History is made on Tuesday night as Cray Wanderers head to Bristol Manor Farm for the very first time in the 3rd Qualifying Round of the FA Cup. Kick off at the Creek is 7.45pm. The tie will go to penalties if tied after 90 minutes.

Cray Wanderers will be looking to reach the final qualifying round of the competition and Thursday’s lunch time draw for only the second time with the last appearance in the 2005-06 season where Cray lost at then Conference leaders Grays.  Manager Tony Russell was part of the playing staff at that time but never played as recovering from injury and will be looking for Cray to make a return fifteen years after the last.   This is Cray Wanderers seventh appearance in the 3rd Qualifying Round and the second season in a row to do so.

The Wands come into the game on the back of two league defeats at Potters Bar Town last Tuesday and then at home to Bishop’s Stortford on Sunday but there is no time to dwell on that game with the quick turnaround required for the trip to Bristol.  Cray began very positively and deservedly led at half time with Freddie Parker’s fifth goal of the season and were playing well but Bishop’s Stortford hit back hard in the second half scoring three goals to ensure Cray’s first home loss since Boxing Day.

Cray will need to show all the professionalism shown at Moneyfields in the 2nd Qualifying Round where the Wands were 4-0 up in 35 minutes and went on to win 6-2.  Joe Taylor who scored a hat-trick at Moneyfields has scored 9 goals in the FA Cup in the last two seasons.  Freddie Parker scored in both rounds against Fisher and Moneyfields, while Jason Banton (2), Jay Leader and Charlie Allen have netted in the competition so far.

Bristol Manor Farm who play in the Southern League Division One South are in the 3rd QR for the third successive season and have gone through three rounds to get this far and all away from home. A 5-1 Extra-Preliminary Round win at Cadbury Heath was followed by local bragging rights with a 2-1 win at near neighbours Yate Town in the 1st QR. Then in the 2nd QR, a dramatic penalty shoot-out victory at Kidlington after a 1-1 draw, Mike Bryant scoring for the Portwaymen with keeper Luc Rees saving the decisive penalty in a 7-6 shoot-out win.

In the league, Lee Lashenko’s side are 12th after five games played.  After losing at home 0-2 to Cirencester on the opening day of the season they then went three without defeat, beating Highworth Town, 3-2 and then 3-1 at Slimbridge.  Last Tuesday they drew 2-2 at home to Barnstaple with goals from Marcus Day and Lewis Bamford and then on Saturday were beaten 0-3 at AFC Totton.

Bristol Manor Farm were formed in 1960 and have played at their current home of the Creek since 1965 and spent many years in the Western League.  In recent years, Bristol Manor Farm reached the last 8 of the FA Vase in 2015-16 and the following season were Western League champions and promoted to the Southern League Division One South for the first time and finished 9th in 2017-18 and then 15th in 2018-19 and were 15th when the season ended early last season.

This promises to be a tough and exciting night with the magic of the FA Cup very much alive but Cray will be looking to go that one step closer to a first ever appearance in the 1st Round of the FA Cup.


Address: Bristol Manor Farm FC, The Creek, Portway, Sea Mills, Bristol BS9 2HS

Admission prices are £8.00 adults, £5.00 concs, £2.00 u16s, £1 U12s.

Capacity – 400 – Website for online ticketing. PLEASE NOTE THAT ALL TICKETS FOR THIS GAME HAVE NOW SOLD OUT AS OF 12/10/20. Only those with a pre-purchased online ticket or on the RSVP list will be permitted in at Bristol Manor Farm FC.

There is a coach running to the game leaving Flamingo Park at 1pm which is now sold out. Apologies if you have not been able to book a place on this occasion but hopefully more opportunities for travel in the future.

Leave the M5 at Junction 18 (signposted Bristol, Avonmouth and Docks). Shortly keep in the left-hand lane then branch left (signposted for Bristol and Airport). At the roundabout take the second exit onto the Portway – A4 (signposted Bristol) – entering Avonmouth. This will take you to the Portway. Continue along this road for approximately 2 miles.

Turn left at the traffic lights for Sylvan Way (A4162) and signposted Lawrence Weston & Westbury-on-Trym. Turn right at the next set of traffic lights onto Shirehampton Road. Turn right onto Sea Mills Lane (this is directly opposite The Mill House pub). Follow this road which will take you under the Portway. When you emerge from under the Portway bridge follow the road to the left (Sea Mills Train station is a dead-end directly in front at this bend) and this will take you back up to the other side of the Portway.

Turn left onto the Portway (watching out for the traffic, as it travels fast). The ground can be found on the left by the bus stop. Look for the signpost and also the Portway Rugby Development Centre, which is the same place.

By Rail:

The nearest station is Sea Mills (on the Bristol Temple Meads – Severn Beach line). Train is probably not advisable unless you intend to stay the night as the last train from Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington is at 22:00 and the last train from Sea Mills to Bristol Temple Meads is 20:20.

By Bus:

Take the First Bus No. 4 to Sea Mills Square, then the 902 Park & Ride Portway Bus to Riverleaze stop which is directly next to The Creek. Check timings though as may not operate after certain hours at night.