Cray Valley PM v Cray Wanderers – Pre-Season Friendly – 21/7/18, 1.30pm
Cray Wanderers move halfway through their pre-season programme on Saturday as the Wands travel to Eltham to take on near neighbours Cray Valley PM. Please note the early kick off time at Middle Park Avenue of 1.30pm.
Cray have begun their pre-season schedule very confidently and were impressive 4-0 winners at Grays Athletic on Wednesday evening making it 3 wins out of 4 in pre-season and Michael Power has looked incredibly sharp with six goals whilst Freddie Parker in just two halves of football has two goals to his name. With the confirmed signing of midfielder Bradley Pritchard in the week Tony Russell has been quietly and efficiently been putting a side together for the challenges of the Bostik South East whilst replacing the players that have departed with strength in those areas. Already, Jerome Federico, Tom Phipp, Mitchell Nelson, Sean Roberts and Matt George look like astute business.
Cray Valley always offer tough opposition to whoever they play and the club have been one of the slightly under the radar success stories of Kent Football since their promotion to the SCEFL Premier in the 2011-12 season. Kevin Watson’s side finished in a highly creditable sixth place last season and also reached the final of the London Senior Cup, a competition they won in 2016-17. More often than not they hold their own in that league and are a hard team to beat especially at home.
This season marks their 100th in their history having been formed in 1919 and were the club which represented the Paper Mills in St Paul’s Cray until their closure in 1981 and much like the Wands have moved around in search of a home.before settling at the Badgers Sports Ground in Eltham. After spending a lot of their existence in Intermediate Football before joining the Kent County League Division 1 in 2001-02 and gained promotion two seasons later and after a lot of success at that level in 2011-12 jumped two divisions by winning the Kent County League and going up to the Kent League (now SCEFL) where they remain and entered the FA Cup for the first time.and FA Vase. In 2016-17 they won the London Senior Cup beating Met Police 2-1 in the Final at Dulwich and last season reached the final losing to Balham.
Cray Valley begin their league season on Tuesday 7th August at AFC Croydon. In the FA Cup Extra-Preliminary Round they are at home to Eastbourne Town on Sunday 12th August with the winner at home to Ashford Town (Mddx) in the Preliminary Round. In the FA Vase 1st Qualifying Round they travel to Sutton Athletic on 1st September.
The two sides have never met in a competitive encounter but have played in pre-season three times in recent seasons including in pre-season two seasons ago with the Wands winning 4-1. .
DIRECTIONS TO CRAY VALLEY PM
Middle Park Avenue
London SE9 5HT
The ground is really easy to find if you are coming by car. It is located just off the South Circular A205 at the Yorkshire Grey roundabout. If you are coming from the A2 (either north or south), head onto the South Circular s/p Catford. At the roundabout take the second exit into Middle Park Avenue. The entrance to the ground is on your right hand side.
If you are coming up the A20 then when you reach the Cliftons Roundabout (junction with A205 South Circular) go all the way around the roundabout and head back onto the A20 then turn left immediately before Goals 5-a-side centre into Eltham Palace Road. At the end turn left at the roundabout and the entrance to the ground is on your left hand side. There is ample free parking at the ground.
Please note trains on the Sidcup line to Mottingham are running normally on Saturday and should be four trains an hour that head to Mottingham. You can also catch the 160 bus which stops pretty much outside the ground which goes from Sidcup, Chislehurst or New Eltham.
The nearest train station is Mottingham and it is about 15 minute walk away. Exit the station (from London turn left, from Sidcup/Dartford cross bridge then turn left) into Middle Park Avenue and follow this for about a mile. The ground is at the end of this road on your left hand side. A 124 bus from outside the station will take you half way up Middle Park Avenue but if you alight at the Bingo Hall at Eltham Hill/Kingsground just walk down towards the Yorkshire Grey roundabout (about 10 minutes) and the first left before the roundabout is Middle Park Avenue and it is a minute walk up that road.
Eltham Station is also fairly close and a 162 from Beckenham, Bromley or Chislehurst will take you there but no bus will take you there from the station to the ground otherwise it is around a fifteen/twenty minute walk up to the High Street and then at the church cross over the zebra crossing and go down Eltham Hill which can test the legs at a fast past. Once you get to the Yorkshire Grey roundabout (there is a McDonalds there) take the second exit into Middle Park Avenue and it is a one minute walk up that road.