There is a small landmark for Cray Wanderers on Saturday as the Wands play their 50th FA Trophy tie as an in form Bedfont Sports are the visitors to Hayes Lane in the 1st Round of the competition. Kick off 3pm and the game will be played to a finish with no replays in the competition this season.

Cray will be looking to bounce back pretty sharpish from the 0-2 league defeat at Merstham on Tuesday night which ended with the Wands in 18th place in the Isthmian Premier League table. With an exciting run of league games in the next few weeks, Saturday gives a chance for Cray to match last season’s 2nd Round appearance in the tournament but will have a tough test against cup specialists Bedfont Sports. After a bright start against Merstham, the game went  flat in the second half despite Jack Turner’s heroics in goal and Cray just need the momentum of playing games after a stop-start October, keep a settled side and picking up points.

SURREY, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 09: Cray Wanderers’s Freddie Barton slides a pass past Merstham’s Chace Jacquart during the The Pitching In Isthmian Premier League match between Merstham and Cray Wanderers at The Whiskey Bible Stadium on November 09, 2021 in Surrey, England . (Photo: © Jon Hilliger / HilligerPix)

Cray advanced to this round with a 4-1 win against Kings Langley on 31st October with goals from Anthony Cook, Dean Beckwith, Chris Dickson and Daniel Uchechi but will need no reminding that another Isthmian South-Central side, Sutton Common Rovers pulled off a shock result in the FA Cup at Hayes Lane in early September.

BROMLEY, GREATER LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 31: Cray Wanderers’s Dean Beckwith scores his team’s second goal to make the score 2-1 during the The Buildbase FA Trophy match between Cray Wanderers and Kings Langley at Hayes Lane on October 31, 2021 in Bromley, Greater London, England . (Photo: © Jon Hilliger / HilligerPix)

This will be the second cup tie meeting between the sides in the last couple of seasons after Cray edged a 1st Qualifying Round FA Cup tie in September 2019, 2-1 with goals from Lee Lewis and Joe Taylor with Joe Jackson scoring for Bedfont.

The Middlesex side come into the game in great form, unbeaten in eight games and lie 4th in the Isthmian South-Central table with 20 points from 9 games following a 2-0 home win vs Northwood last Saturday.  Paul Johnson’s side have advanced with two home wins against Romford (3-1) and in the 3QR against Harlow Town (2-1) with goals from Ezekiel Badermosi and a last minute own goal put them through. They have excelled in cup competitions this season and reached the 4QR of the FA Cup with wins against Herne Bay, Spelthorne Sports, then a huge scalp winning at Dulwich Hamlet, Sholing and only lost narrowly at home to Kidderminster Harriers. Bedfont also won in the Middlesex County Cup on Tuesday night beating Enfield Town on penalties after a 1-1 draw so their challenge will not be taken lightly.  Daryl Sanders is Bedfont Sports top scorer with 9 goals.

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 finished in a creditable 12th place.  They were also 12th when the 2019-20 season ended abruptly in March 2020 and 14th last season although only played six matches before the league was curtailed in November.

Cray will be looking to see in their next half century of FA Trophy games with further progress in this season’s competition but it will be a tough test and should be a great cup tie. Admission £10.00 adults, £5.00 concessions.