Bowers & Pitsea vs Cray Wanderers – Isthmian Premier, Saturday 4th March, 3 pm – Match Preview

Pics: Jon Hilliger –, Ozay Booth

With the Isthmian Premier League going into the final two months of the season, Cray Wanderers start the month with a trip to Essex to face Bowers & Pitsea.  Kick off 3pm

BROMLEY, GREATER LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 18: XXX during The Pitching In Isthmian Premier League match between Cray Wanderers and Bowers & Pitsea at Hayes Lane on September 18, 2022 in Bromley, Greater London, England . (Photo: © Jon Hilliger / HilligerPix)


Both sides go into the game in search of an improvement in form and at both ends of the table. Cray who start the match in 10th place on 51 points are without a win and a goal in the last three games while Bowers & Pitsea lie 19th on 24 points and have lost the last six league games and ending January unbeaten in three matches.

Despite the recent blip of form, Cray are only four points outside the playoffs and bunched behind Canvey Island, Hastings United, Carshalton Athletic, Folkestone Invicta, Horsham, Lewes and Billericay Town are all in with a shout to extend the season by a week at the end of April/beginning of May.

Last Saturday Neil Smith’s side had a positive first half hour at least against promotion contenders Hornchurch but a goal in each half from Ade Yusuff and Chris Dickson won the game 2-0 for the Urchins.  

Cray will just be looking to fire again in front of goal after being second highest scorers in the league for a fair period of time but still have a fairly healthy goal difference of +16 should the playoff race be still so tight going into April.  Dan Bassett remains top scorer with 12 goals and scored in the corresponding game with Bowers & Pitsea on 18th September.  Mitch Chapman is still the main injury absentee for the Wands being out since the match at Aveley on 21st January. 

Defensively Cray have still been pretty difficult to score against with a young back four and it has to be remembered this time last year things were looking very dodgy going into March with the Wands fighting against relegation and have at least exercised that ghost this season. Cray could have a big part to play still in the relegation battle as they have to play the current bottom five over the next eight weeks

Bowers & Pitsea despite their lowly league position will provide a stern test for the Wands as James Collins’ side look to close the gap on 18th placed Kingstonian who beat Bowers & Pitsea 1-0 at Imperial Fields last Saturday with the winner from Danny Dudley coming in the 70th minute. That put the K’s six points clear of Bowers & Pitsea having played a game less.

When the teams met at Hayes Lane on 18th September the match finished in a 3-3 draw with Cray coming from 3-1 down to earn a point through Bassett, Anthony Cook and Billy Crook who has since moved to the Len Salmon Stadium.  Bowers’ scorers were a David Ijaha own goal, Duane Ofori-Acheampong and Sonny Fish. The last meeting at Bowers & Pitsea on 30th November 2021 also finished all square as a blockbuster strike from Anthony Cook in stoppage time earned Cray a 1-1 draw after Lewis Manor gave the home side the lead.  The only other previous meeting ended in a 2-1 Wands win on 11th January 2020 with goals from Joe Taylor and Rhys Murrell-Williamson.

BROMLEY, GREATER LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 18: Cray Wanderers’s Daniel Bassett scores his teams first goal to make the score 1-1 during The Pitching In Isthmian Premier League match between Cray Wanderers and Bowers & Pitsea at Hayes Lane on September 18, 2022 in Bromley, Greater London, England . (Photo: © Jon Hilliger / HilligerPix)

Bowers & Pitsea at home this season have beaten Herne Bay (2-1), Aveley (2-1), Potters Bar Town (2-0) and Corinthian Casuals (1-0) and drawn with Canvey Island (1-1), Wingate & Finchley (2-2), Kingstonian (2-2), Horsham (0-0), Brightlingsea Regent (1-1) and Billericay Town (0-0). The only home defeats came at the hands of Margate (0-2), Carshalton Athletic (0-1), Hornchurch (0-2), Enfield Town (1-4), Lewes (2-3) and Bishop’s Stortford (0-1).  Away from home, Bowers & Pitsea won at Canvey Island (2-0) and drew with Cray Wanderers, Lewes and Margate and lost at Corinthian Casuals, Enfield Town, Bishop’s Stortford, Haringey Borough, Potters Bar Town, Bognor Regis Town, Folkestone Invicta, Herne Bay, Casrshalton Athletic, Aveley, Wingate & Finchley, Hastings United and Kingstonian.  Like Cray, Bowers & Pitsea exited the FA Cup and FA Trophy early losing at Wingate & Finchley in the 1st QR of the Cup and at Bognor Regis Town in the 3rd Qualifying Round of the Trophy.

This is a big game for both clubs and a win for either side could invigorate the winner for the remaining weeks of the season.


Address:  Len Salmon Stadium, Crown Avenue, Pitsea, Essex SS13 2BE

Admission Prices

£12 adults, £8 OAP’s/students with card, £3 16-12 year olds, U12s free with paying adult  

Tickets can be purchased online at or cash/card payment at the gate


Coming from London / M25

Head towards either A13 or A127

From A13

Take the turn off for Pitsea.

At the roundabout take the first exit so that you pass Tesco’s on your left. At the next roundabout take the third exit (Ashlyns)

Go straight at the next roundabout (approx. 20 metres). Follow the road until the next roundabout and take the second exit and then take the first left into Kenneth Road.

Follow the road to the end and turn right and then immediate left into the grounds.

Visitors car park is at the far end of the clubhouse building.

Access to clubhouse via pathway between clubhouse and football pitch then side door beside patio area.


Take the Canvey Island turn off and follow the road to join A13 then follow above.

Coming from A127

Take the Wickford turn off and take the third exit at the roundabout.

Follow road going straight over two roundabouts

At third roundabout turn left (Ashlyns) then follow above

If the car park is full, there is extra parking in the Eversley centre. This is located in Crest Avenue and if you follow the pathway through the end of the carpark into Crown Avenue that leads into the ground entrance.

Nearest station:  Pitsea

Trains go from London Fenchurch Street or perhaps easier to get to West Ham and there are four trains an hour for services heading to Shoeburyness.  Trains leave Fenchurch Street on the hour/30 mins past the hour, 23 & 53 or from West Ham at 02, 09, 32 or 39  past the hour. Returns are 04, 10, 34 or 40 mins past the hour.  Please check trains before travelling for any industrial action.

The ground is around 1.3 miles from the station and will take just shy of half an hour to walk it. The quickest way is on leaving the station walk west on Station Approach towards and then a right onto Pitsea Hall Lane for 0.1 miles.  At the roundabout take the 1st exit onto Broadway Link/B1464 again for 0.1 mile. At the next roundabout take the 1st exit onto High Road/B1464 for 0.2 miles. At the next roundabout take the 1st exit onto Rectory Road for 0.3 miles. Then turn right onto Delhi Road for 0.3 miles and then turn right onto Crest Avenue and then a left onto Manor Avenue for 0.1 mile. This is followed by a right towards and onto Cobden Walk and then a left onto Crown Avenue for the ground.

If you are looking for a pre-match drink in Pitsea then the social club at the ground is really excellent and as the ground is a little way from the station might be a better bet   If you’ve time to spend around Pitsea then The Gun Pub on London Road might be what you are looking for.  If you like seafood then Winkles Seafood stall is located at the Great Chalvedon Hall Public House and is in Rectory Road but perhaps still a bit under a mile to the ground.

Pitsea is a small town lying within Basildon and commuters travel to work in London, Southend and within Basildon.   The area has gone through a period of regeneration from 2010 with the Station Lane Development. The main landmark is the St Michael Tower which is all that remains of St Michael’s Church which fell into disrepair.  There is also Great Chalvenden Hall, a 16th century home which later belonged to Basildon Council which is now a pub (see above). Next to the railway station is Cromwell Manor, a 15th century house which used to be known as Pitsea Hall. 

The Bowers connection refers to Bowers Gifford, a small village which lies between Pitsea and Thundersley which overlooks the Thames Estuary. The area has a church (St. Margaret’s) and the sight of pillboxes in surrounding fields shows its importance during World War II in defending the Estuary.