Corinthian vs Cray Wanderers – Kent Senior Cup 1st Rd, Match Preview

Cray Wanderers continue their Tuesday night travels on 8th February as the Wands travel to Corinthian in the 1st Round of the Kent Senior Cup.  Kick off: 7.45pm

BROMLEY, GREATER LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 05: Cray Wanderers’s Jamie Yila makes everyone watch as he cuts across the field during The Pitching In Isthmian Premier League match between Cray Wanderers and Merstham at Hayes Lane on February 05, 2022 in Bromley, Greater London, England . (Photo: © Jon Hilliger / HilligerPix)

This will be the first competitive game between the teams since the 1997-98 season and should be a good match in what will be Corinthian’s first Kent Senior Cup tie.  The winners of the tie will be at home to Ashford United in the 2nd Round.

The Wands have had a good start to February with back to back league wins for the first time since the opening two games of the season.  A come from behind victory at Potters Bar Town last Tuesday was followed by a stylish 3-0 win against Merstham on Saturday.  The evergreen goalscoring duo of Chris Dickson and Kyel Reid gave Cray a two goal lead after 16 minutes and built on that in the second half with an Ethan Kaiser header just before the hour.  As well as the three points which took Cray out of the bottom three on goal difference there was also a clean sheet for the second time this season and ended a positive few days.

BROMLEY, GREATER LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 05: Cray Wanderers’s Ethan Kaiser scores his team’s third goal with his head to make the score 3-0 during The Pitching In Isthmian Premier League match between Cray Wanderers and Merstham at Hayes Lane on February 05, 2022 in Bromley, Greater London, England . (Photo: © Jon Hilliger / HilligerPix)

For the trip to Corinthian and with a busy and exhausting few weeks behind them this could be a chance for players that haven’t featured or started in recent games like Tom Hanfrey, Luca Albon, Jai Reason, Richie Danquah and Jacob Munting as Grant Basey looks to utitilse his squad and perhaps with a look to the future at some young players eager for some competitive cup tie football.

This season has seen Corinthian’s Isthmian League debut and have made a very steady start to life in the South-East division and currently stand 11th in the table with 35 points from 26 games. Michael Golding’s side showed good resilience to twice come from behind to draw 2-2 at Whitehawk on Saturday with goals from Jack Mahoney and Jack Bath.

Home form in the league has seen victories against Ramsgate (2-1), Hastings United (2-1), Hythe Town (2-1) and VCD Athletic (3-0). Corinthian have drawn with Ashford United (0-0), Three Bridges (1-1), Cray Valley PM (1-1), Haywards Heath Town (0-0) and Herne Bay (0-0) and were beaten by Sittingbourne (1-4), Whitehawk (0-4) , Faversham Town (0-1), and Chichester City (0-2).  Away from home Corinthian won at Hythe Town (2-1), VCD Athletic (4-1), Lancing (3-0), Burgess Hill Town (2-0) and Phoenix Sports (1-0). They picked up points at East Grinstead Town and Whitehawk and were beaten at Cray Valley PM, Herne Bay, Sevenoaks Town, Ashford United and Three Bridges. In the FA Cup Corinthian advanced past Badshot Lea in the Preliminary Round before putting up a great fight against Folkestone Invicta losing 2-3 at home. In the FA Trophy, Corinthian beat Grays on penalties before losing at home to Brentwood Town.  Jack Mahoney is the leading scorer with seven goals.

This will be the first competitive trip to Corinthian since August 1997 when Cray won 4-0 at Gay Dawn Farm with goals from Perry Weedon, Tunde Utsaja, Steve Marshall and Paul Burke.  The biggest cup meeting between the sides was the Final of the Kent Senior Trophy in 1986-87 which ended in a 1-1 draw at Dartford with Micky Paye’s goal cancelled out by a goal in the final minute to earn a replay which Corinthian who were in the Southern League won 3-2 at Sittingbourne with Paye and Bobby Pittaway scoring for Cray.

Cray Wanderers vs Corinthian – 1987 Kent Senior Trophy final with Ian Crouch going for the ball with the Corinthian keeper.

Jamie McCarthy chases down the Corinthian goalkeeper during a 4-0 Wands win in August 1997 

Corinthian were formed in 1972 by the Billings family originally as a youth side and then adult football based on the famous Corinthian amateur club. The side played friendly games up until 1985 when they were accepted into the Southern League Division One South and finished 5th in their first season. In 1990-91 they were relegated to the Kent League where they met Cray Wanderers in league competition for the first time.  They remained in the league until 1997-98 when the club withdrew from the league to concentrate on youth football and had a spell in partnership with Welling United for a couple of seasons.  They re-joined the Kent League in 2009 and made national headlines in the 2019-20 season where they reached the Semi-Finals of the FA Vase and were top of the SCEFL Premier when the season was punctuated by the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak. Eventually Corinthian lost the semi-final to Hebburn Town on penalties. Corinthian  were second in the league behind Chatham Town during the shortened 2020-21 season and on the back of two good season were promoted on points per game to the Isthmian South-East for the first time.

Charlie Allen scores in a pre-season friendly in September 2020

This should be a good, cup tie played under the lights and an enjoyable fairly local trip into the Kent countryside.


Corinthian FC

Gay Dawn Farm, Valley Road, Fawkham, Longfield DA3 8LY

Admission Prices

Ticket Prices: Adult £8, Concession £4 (Age 65+ or 17 years and under)


If travelling from St. Mary Cray, best bet is to use the A224/A20 for the 12.5 mile journey.  From Kent Road turn right onto Cray Avenue/A224.  Follow for 1.7 miles then at the roundabout take the 3rd exit onto Edgington Way/A223.  After 0.2 miles turn right towards Sidcup By-pass/A20, then merge onto Sidcup By-Pass Rd/A20 via the slip road to Dover/M20/M25.  Continue to follow the A20 for 3.9 miles then using the left lane to take the M25/A20 slip road to B2173/Dartford/Gatwick Airport/West Kingsdown/Swanley.  After 0.3 miles at the roundabout take the 3rd exit onto London Road/A20, then after 0.4 miles at the roundabout take the 2nd exit staying on the London Road/A20.

Continue to follow the A20 for 1.1 miles, then at the roundabout take the 2nd exit onto Main Road/A20 continuing on the A20 for 1.6 miles.  Then turn left onto Scratchers Lane, after 1.1 mile, turn left onto Fawkham Road then continue on to Brands Hatch Road for 0.5 miles then continue on to Valley Road for 1.5 miles.  Then turn right and Corinthian Sports Club will be two minutes away on the right.

The nearest train station to Corinthian FC is Longfield which is reached from Bromley South/St. Mary Cray or Swanley.   Trains from St Mary Cray leave at 10 and 40 mins past the hour. Best returns after the game are at 22:20, 22:39 or 23:39. From Swanley trains leave at 15 & 45 minutes past the hour and return at 22:39 or 23:39.

The ground is around 1.7 miles away and will take you probably around 35 minutes to walk.  From the Railway Station, walk west on Station Road toward Kent Road for 0.1 mile, then turn left onto Kent Road for 0.2 miles.  Then turn left onto Fawkham Road for 0.7 miles and then continue onto Valley Road for 0.2 miles and then turn left for 0.3 miles then another left for 0.1 mile for Corinthian Sports Club

The 489 bus run by Arriva Kent Buses will take you from Longfield Station to Green Way but that will still leave you with a good 1.2 miles to walk.  Please note this isn’t the most frequent of buses and there is one at 18:00 (journey to Green Way takes 3 minutes) then that is it for the night.  There is a taxi rank by the station and this may be your best bet for a return.

There are three pubs which would may be suitable if you arrive very early.  Otherwise the facilities at the ground may be best.  There is the Railway Tavern outside Longfield Station and the Green Man on Longfield Road (DA3 7AS).  In Fawkham a bit nearer the ground is the Rising Sun on Fawkham Green Road (DN3 8NL) which is a mile from Brands Hatch.

Brands Hatch, in my opinion the UK’s premier racing circuit is about 3.5 miles from the ground so probably would have to drive if you decide to hang around there.

If you are hungry there is tbehe Longfield Fish Bar on Station Road but you may have to go into Meopham for more choice.   On Station Road there are two Indian Restaurants, Longfield Tandoori and the Delhi Club.

Might be a better place to visit on a Saturday but will be a big occasion for Corinthian who have joined the Isthmian League this season.