Carshalton Athletic vs Cray Wanderers – Isthmian Premier – Saturday 3rd February, 3 pm – Match Preview
Cray Wanderers begin a busy February on Saturday as Neil Smith’s side head to in-form Carshalton Athletic looking to keep clear of the relegation places.
The Wands in 17th place in the Isthmian Premier go into the game on the back of a solid 1-0 win against Wingate & Finchley at Hayes Lane last Saturday. Gary Lockyer’s spectacular 6th minute strike, his tenth of the season, made it twelve games unbeaten at home and also for Shaun Rowley, five clean sheets in six matches. The Wands though will be looking perhaps for an upturn in away form after losing the last three league games on the road.
It was a very good all round team performance and followed on from the 3-0 win vs Fisher in the London Senior Cup and helped to erase the memory of the Wands last away match at Billericay on 13th January. Defensively, Cray were excellent against a very positive Wingate & Finchley side and will need to show similar resolve like in the last encounter with Carshalton Athletic which Cray won 1-0 on 11th November courtesy of a Luke Read own goal and an inspired goalkeeping display from Shaun Rowley. The Wands’ Tom Beere played for Carshalton that afternoon as a substitute.
With six more games in February following rescheduling, the Wands will be hoping that the likes of Nyren Clunis, Jack Holland and George Porter can soon return as the season enters its last three months.
The defeat to Cray on 11th November started a run of five straight league defeats for Carshalton but have been one of the form sides in the league since December with just one defeat in the last nine league games and moved up to 7th in the table on 42 points, three points behind 5th placed Enfield Town after an impressive 3-1 win at Lewes on Tuesday night with goals from Ibrahim Olutade, Oluwabunmi Babajide and Mark Marshall.
At home the Robins beat Potters Bar Town (5-0), Haringey Borough (1-0), Concord Rangers (2-0), Folkestone Invicta (3-1), Whitehawk (2-1), Kingstonian (4-1) and Hastings United (2-1) Carshalton drew with Lewes (1-1) and Hornchurch (2-2) and were beaten by Hashtag United (0-1), Canvey Island (0-3), Horsham (1-2), Wingate & Finchley (2-3) and Cheshunt (1-4). Away from home Carshalton have won at Kingstonian (3-2), Enfield Town (3-0), Margate (1-0), Haringey Borough (6-0) and Lewes (3-1) and drew at Bognor Regis Town, Hornchurch, Chatham Town and Folkestone Invicta were beaten by Cray Wanderers, Hastings United, Billericay Town and Dulwich Hamlet. Olawadumni Babajide is the leading scorer with 15 goals.
Last season’s game at Colston Avenue ended in a 1-1 draw on 30th November, 2022 with Dan Bassett, now back at Carshalton scoring for Cray and Calvin Ekpiteta for the home side.
Games between the sides have traditionally been entertaining affairs and with both teams needing the points for differing reasons this could well be another.
DIRECTIONS TO CARSHALTON ATHLETIC & ADMISSION PRICES
War Memorial Sports Ground, Colston Avenue, Sutton, Carshalton SM5 2PW
Adults: £12.00 over 18’s (or £11 if purchased online: https://www.carshaltonathletic.co.uk/tickets
Seniors: £9.00 (£8.00 online) – Under 18’s: £4.00 (£3.00 online)
Matchday Progamme – Online and can be found an evening before the match.
Supporters going to Colston Avenue need to adhere to the following:
Photo ID needs to be provided for purchasing alcohol but also needs to be shown at the gate upon arrival. No drums or clappers are permitted into the ground. Dogs will need to wear a muzzle but are generally welcome.
If you are driving the best and fastest way is via the A232 picked up from West Wickham. At the roundabout take the 2nd exit onto Wickham Road/A232 follow for 1.4 miles and at the roundabout take the 2nd exit onto Shirley Road/A232. At the next roundabout take the 1st exit onto Addiscombe Road/A232 then keep following the A232 for 1.7 miles. At the roundabout take the 2nd exit onto the Croydon flyover/A232 for 1 mile. Then keep right to continue onto Epsom Road, use the middle lane to turn right onto Purley Way/A23, then turn left onto Croydon Road/A232 following the A232 for 2.2 miles. Then continue onto the roundabout taking the 2nd exit onto West Street/A278 then after 0.3 miles turn left into Colston Avenue for the ground.
The entrance to the ground is down a small alley about 150 yards on your right. This is a busy and narrow road so best to avoid parking down here – there is a car park at the ground or park on West Street or Colston Avenue.
Trains to Carshalton go direct from London Victoria on Saturday’s at 11 & 41 past the hour or 15 and 45 on the way back. Please check online for more details. Trains from London Waterloo require a change at Clapham Junction or Wimbledon.
The station is only a few minutes’ walk from the ground – take a right out of the exit and walk down the hill. Turn right, walk under the railway bridge and then left into Colston Avenue – ground is 150 yards on your right.
The following bus no’s will take you close to Colston Avenue, 127, 157, 407, 627, S3 & X20
Carshalton has a few decent pubs within a stone’s throw of the ground. On West Street (take a left out of the station) there are the Racehorse which is a live music venue and also The Hope, whilst in The High Street there is the Greyhound Hotel, Woodman and Coach and Horses – all of which are worth a visit and serve top notch food. The clubhouse at the ground is excellent (one of if not the best in the league) and has done a pretty decent guest ale in the past.
If it’s a Chippy you want then Chipsmiths in the High Street should you get there early and decide to have a walkabout should suit you. Also on the High Street are a couple of decent Indian restaurants, The Blue Bengal and Indian Oasis.
Although by no means a large place there always seems to be lots going on there and there are a couple of lovely ponds, three parks, a Water Tower and well worth a stroll along the River Wandle as well as taking in some breathtaking Surrey scenery. One to definitely recommend for those that like football and making a day out of it but might be even better if it doesn’t rain on Saturday or being freezing cold.