It’s FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round weekend and Cray Wanderers face their second Sunday cup tie of the season as a bit of history is made and the first ever meeting with Bedfont Sports. Kick off at Hayes Lane is 3pm.
Both sides had to advance from the Preliminary Round and Cray did so with the bare minimum of fuss on a sweltering afternoon on 25th August with a 5-0 win against Hythe Town. Tom Murphy and Joe Taylor with a brace of goals each and a Bradley Pritchard ensured a smooth passage into the next round. Bedfont Sports had a trickier tie overcoming near neighbours Hanworth Villa in the Preliminary Round, 3-2 at home with two goals from Keanu Williams and a Didi Ndombe strike overcame the Combined Counties Premier Division side.
In between the two cup ties, Cray got back into league action last Saturday and picked up a useful point with Joe Taylor’s stoppage time equaliser gaining a 1-1 draw at Potters Bar Town. A point was on reflection the right outcome with chances few and far between but Cray showed good character to bounce back from Potters Bar taking the lead with five minutes to play. Cray sit 14th in the league table with six points from five games played. There were some good performances particularly from Geofrey Okonkwo at the back and Karl Dent and Tom Carlse were sharp after coming on as subs in the second half.
The Wands were without Mitchell Nelson at Potters Bar due to the excellent excuse of his nuptials but should hopefully return for Sunday. Ben Mundele has re-signed with the club after the problems of his signing with Bury and adds versatility to the team as he can play in most positions on the field. Injuries have played a huge part in the early weeks of the season and it is hoped that Andre Coker could be in contention after three games out while Jay Leader and Tom Phipp are perhaps still a little while away from recovery but slowly but surely the team is getting back to full fitness.
Bedfont Sports lie 13th in the Isthmian South-Central league table with four points from their four games played. They were beaten in their first two games, 0-4 at home to Hanwell Town and then 1-2 at Chalfont St Peter but after the Hanworth Villa win in the cup they won their first league game of the season beating Chertsey 1-0 at home with a Reece Cave goal. Since then they drew 0-0 at home to Barking last Saturday and then on Tuesday night got their Isthmian League Cup campaign off to a winning start 2-0 at Ashford Town (Middlesex).
Bedfont Sports were only formed in 2002 as a Saturday side to supplement a Sunday team, Bedfont Sunday and combined with the Bedfont Eagles Youth team to create a side for senior football. They played in the Hounslow and District League before in 2004 they joined Division One of the Middlesex County League gaining promotion in their first season to the Premier Division. They remained there until 2008-09 when after winning the Middlesex Premier Cup and finishing third in the table moved up to the Combined Counties League Division One. In 2011-12 they finished runners-up and were promoted to the Step 5 Combined Counties Premier Division.
In 2017-18 they gained promotion as runners up and for the first time took their place in the newly formed Isthmian South-Central and Paul Johnson’s side finished in a creditable 12th place in their first season at that level.
This promises to be a tricky encounter and Cray will have to show all the professionalism they displayed against Hythe to see off a potential upset of a Bedfont win. Should the game end in a draw the replay is expected to be on Tuesday night subject to confirmation.
Sunday games are always a bit special at Hayes Lane and this should be a good watch with this being an international break weekend and not a lot of football around so could be well worth a visit. Admission prices are £10.00 adults, £5.00 concessions/U16s.