Cray Wanderers vs Aveley – Isthmian Premier, Saturday 5th November, 3 pm – Match Preview
Cray Wanderers continue their recent run of games against sides in the top 5 on Saturday as Aveley are the visitors to Hayes Lane. Kick off 3 pm.
Both teams come into the game in good form with Cray unbeaten in four league games which has seen draws with leaders Potters Bar Town and Enfield Town and continued that form with a deserved 1-0 win against Leyton Orient in the London Senior Cup on Wednesday night. On a rain lashed night Cray won the game with a classy piece of finishing from Michael Ademiluyi in the 69th minute and came close to scoring again late on through Sam Skeffington, new signing Yahaya Bamba and Nyren Clunis.
Defensively Cray Wanderers have been more resolute and already have 4 clean sheets which is considerably better than the one from last season. Freddie Cartet r had a very positive first half performance on Wednesday night which helped with his fitness and Jalen Jones and Sinn’kaye Christie have been forming a solid partnership in recent weeks. The signing of Bamba adds power and speed and can play as an attacker or defensively so very versatile. Danny Bassett has been sharp and is top scorer with seven goals while Ben Krauhaus has four goals from the last four games. Cray sit 7th in the league table with 20 points from 13 games played.
Aveley have made a terrific start to the season and Danny Scopes’ side have continued the momentum of last season where a run of one defeat in the last 21 league games saw the Millers win the Isthmian North by two points from Canvey Island to mark a return to the Premier for the first time since the 2011-12 season.
Aveley are unbeaten in their last three league games and drew 1-1 at Lewes on Tuesday night after taking an early lead through George Sykes and are currently 4th on 26 points two behind leaders Potters Bar Town after 13 games.
Away form has seen wins at Hastings United (2-1), Wingate & Finchley (2-1) and Brightlingsea Regent (6-0) and drew at Lewes (1-1). Aveley were beaten at Bishop’s Stortford (0-2) and Carshalton Athletic (0-1). At home Aveley have been very strong beating Billericay Town (1-0), Corinthian Casuals (2-1), Potters Bar Town (3-1), Margate (3-1) and Haringey Borough (3-0). The Millers drew with Herne Bay and the only defeat came against Bognor Regis Town in August. Like Cray, Aveley were beaten in the cups early on losing at Potters Bar in the FA Cup after a replay and at Horsham in the FA Trophy. Aveley did beat Tilbury in the Isthmian League Cup 3rd Round so continue on in that competition. Sykes is the leading scorer with 11 goals in all competitions and the signings of goalkeeper Jonathan North and defender Siju Odelusi have added to a fairly settled squad.
This will be the first meeting between the sides at Hayes Lane since 8th September 2015 in the Isthmian North with Cray winning 3-1 in a match under the lights with goals from Lea Dawson, Karl Dent and Andre McCollin.
Aveley FC were formed in 1927 and played in local leagues until the 1950’s when the Millers joined the London League and met Cray Wanderers in league competition for the first time and in 1954-55 won the London League Premier finishing runners up the following season with Cray winning the title in 1956-57. Aveley left the league after that and joined the Delphian and Athenian Leagues, reached the FA Cup 1st Round and the Quarter Finals of the FA Amateur Cup in 1970-71 and were in the Premier division when they moved to the Isthmian League Division Two in 1973-74. Metropolitan League Cray beat Aveley in the FA Cup, 4-2 at Oxford Road in August 1974. T
Terry Smart (on the ground) scores for Cray Wanderers in a 4-2 win vs Aveley in the FA Cup in August 1974 at Oxford Road.
he club remained in the Isthmian often between Divisions 1, 2 and 3 and were promoted to Division One North in 2001-02. Aveley were moved for a couple of seasons to the Southern League Division One East from 2004-06 before returning to the Isthmian League Division One North for 2006-07. In 2008-09 Aveley were champions of Division One North and promoted to the Premier for the first time. Cray Wanderers were also newcomers to the Isthmian Premier for the 2009-10 season and the sides met at Aveley on the opening day of the season which finished in a 1-1 draw. Aveley finished 3rd that season before losing to Boreham Wood in the Playoff semi-finals.
The opening day of the 2009-10 season as Cray Wanderers drew 1-1 at Aveley on 15th August 2009.
The Millers were relegated in 2011-12 to Division One North and were playoff semi-finalists in 2012-13 losing to Maldon & Tiptree. In 2018-19 Aveley finished 2nd in the Isthmian North losing to Heybridge Swifts in the Semi Finals and in the first Covid disrupted season of 2019-20 reached the last 8 of the FA Trophy before losing at Notts County. Last season saw former Concord Rangers manager Danny Scopes appointed in November and a strong run of form from December saw Aveley over the line to win the Isthmian North and make a return to the Isthmian top flight.
This promises to be a terrific match between sides in good form and a great way to start any fireworks night celebrations you may have for the evening. Admission £12/£6 and pay on gate or online at www.cray-wanderers.com/tickets