Beckenham Town vs Cray Wanderers – Pre-Season Friendly, Saturday 15th July, 3 pm

Cray Wanderers play their second game of pre-season on Saturday 15th July as Neil Smith’s side make the relatively short trip to Beckenham Town and the always excellent playing surface.  Kick off at Eden Park Avenue is 3 pm.

The Wands got their pre-season campaign underway last Saturday and began with an encouraging 2-1 win at home to National South Welling United.  With all the new signings getting at least a half of football plus the majority of retained players there was a lot to admire in a mature performance.  A goal in each half from Louis Collins and Cameron Thompson made it 2-0 before a late Welling goal in the final minutes of the game.

Another positive that came from the Welling game was the appearance of Academy team captain Reggie Rye in midfield during the first half and also 16 year old’s, goalkeeper Tom King and wide player, striker Michael Ihiedi got the benefit of minutes playing for the first team in the second half.  The importance of Cray Wanderers producing our own players is something Neil Smith is keen to emphasise and continue to do over the coming years.

With the league fixtures now announced and with games in August to come against Lewes, Horsham, Billericay Town, Enfield Town and Hastings United the Wands team looks in a good place to take on these challenges and the season ahead.

Beckenham Town had an excellent debut season in the Isthmian South-East in 2022-23 after promotion from the Combined Counties League and finished 4th on 68 points and like the Wands were beaten in the Playoff Semi-Finals in a tight game at Whitehawk, 0-1.

Jason Huntley’s side will look to continue that momentum and look to be a club heading in the right direction.  Their pre-season campaign began with a 0-1 defeat with an experimental side at Glebe on 1st July and last Saturday won 3-1 at Horsham YMCA. Beckenham have four more friendlies after Saturday to come before starting the 2023-24 season at Littlehampton Town on 12th August.  In the FA Cup Preliminary Round, Beckenham will be away to the winners of the Hollands & Blair/Ashford United tie and in the FA Trophy 1st Qualifying Round have been drawn at home to Three Bridges.

The teams have played in pre-season fairly regularly in recent years and every pre-season since 2019-20 and Beckenham have won two, Cray once and one draw. Last pre-season Beckenham won 3-1.


Beckenham | England | 24 July 2021 | Eden Park Avenue
Beckenham Town v Cray Wanderers
Pre-Season Friendly
(Photo: © Jon Hilliger / HilligerPix)

Action from a 1-1 draw at Beckenham Town in July 2021.

The original Beckenham club were regular opponents of the Wands including in the London League, Aetolian and Greater London Leagues and many fine battles ensued. In 1969 the club folded and reformed in 1971 as Beckenham Town. The club were promoted to the Premier Division of the London Spartan League the year Cray won the league for the second time in 1977-78 so missed them when Cray moved to the Kent League but Beckenham too entered the Kent League from 1982-83 and played consistently up to Cray winning the title in 2003-04 and gaining promotion to the Isthmian Division One South. Beckenham Town were runners up in 2005-06 behind Maidstone United and won the Kent Senior Trophy & League Cup double in 2013-14. Beckenham were involved in an exciting four team race for the SCEFL Premier title in 2019-20 along with Corinthian, Chatham Town and Sheppey United and had a two point lead at the top when the season was abandoned due to Covid-19. The club moved across to the Combined Counties League Premier South for the 2021-22 season winning the championship at the first attempt.

Games against Beckenham Town on the Eden Park Avenue carpet are always competitive and enjoyable for the fans and this one should be no different.


General Admission £5.00 (cash only at the gate), £3 concessions

From the Cray’s. Head to Southborough Avenue then go through two roundabouts for 1.1 mile. At roundabout take 2nd exit onto Crown Lane for 0.2 miles then on Crown Lane Spur and at roundabout take 2nd exit onto Bromley Common/A21 for 0.6 miles.

Continue onto Masons Hill/A21 for 0.4 miles then Masons Hill/B228 for 0.1 mile. Then left onto Westmoreland Road/B228 for 0.9 miles. Turn right onto Hayes Lane B251 for 1 miles. At roundabout continue straight onto Stone Park Avenue for 0.5 miles, then turn left on Village Way for 0.1 mile

then onto Eden Park Avenue for 0.2 miles then take a left to the ground.

By Train: Nearest railway station. Eden Park (Hayes Line) and 0.6 miles away. Please note there is a rail strike this Saturday. Here are directions if you catch a bus to Eden Park.

Walk onto Upper Elmers End Road then a right onto Upper Elmers End Rd/A214 for 0.1 mile passing a Sainsbury’s store along the way. Then turn right onto Eden Park Avenue and then a left into the ground.

Buses to the ground: 194, 356 or 358 which departs from Orpington, Bromley or Shortlands and takes you close to the ground.

Nearest pubs: The Eden Park Toby Carvery is a stone’s throw away from the ground just across the road from the turning into Eden Park Avenue. If you go into Beckenham itself then the Elm Tree in Elmers End is worth a visit as is the Coach & Horses on Burnhill Road (BR3 3LA). If you fancy a real day of it perhaps pushing the boat out in pre-season, Crystal Palace is about a twenty minute bus ride on the 358 and by the roundabout opposite Crystal Palace Park is the Westow House Hotel which has live music and DJ sets and a lively atmosphere. Also the Faber Fox (Westow Hill) and the Alma (Church Road) may interest you. Crystal Palace park itself is well worth a walk around and might take you a while as well as the legendary Analogue TV Mast which is a listed structure and the National Athletics and Aquatics Centres give the area a sporty feel.