Cray Wanderers play their final home game of 2022 on Saturday as Neil Smith’s side face Billericay Town at Hayes Lane as the Isthmian Premier League’s opening fixtures are reversed. Kick off 3pm. Please note for train travellers there is industrial action by the RMT Union on Saturday 17th December.

The Wands come into the game in good form with just one defeat in the last 12 league games and on Sunday picked up their biggest win of the season after beating Haringey Borough 5-1.  Dan Bassett scored his ninth goal of the season in the first half before the North Londoners levelled just before half time.  Despite the cold and murky conditions Cray broke loose after the break and Jalen Jones got off the mark with a header from a Sam Wood free kick before a brace from Anthony Cook with a direct free kick and a penalty kept up his good form and reverting to his traditional no 10 role after playing in a number of positions earlier in the campaign.  Substitute Omari Hibbert scored the fifth nine minutes from time from a Bassett cross to complete a satisfactory afternoon.

After the midweek fixtures, Cray are 7th in the table but just two points off the playoff places.  Cray have set a club record for the first half of an Isthmian Premier season with the fewest defeats (4) and are the only side to play the full compliment of 21 games so no additional rescheduled games to follow.  

The Haringey game came shortly after Neil Smith learned that Kellen Fisher and Ben Krauhaus were being recalled by Bromley so no real time for replacements but Mitch Chapman once again did superbly out of position as centre-half in the absence of Sinn’Kaye Christie and the experience of Omari Hibbert and David Ijaha on the bench coming on helped see out the game. Tom Derry missed the game with a knock and Yahaya Bamba has been a lively presence up front.

Billericay Town who returned to the Isthmian League after a four season spell in the National South come into the game in 11th place in the table on 27 points and last Saturday in one of the few games to beat the big freeze were beaten 2-1 at home by Corinthian Casuals. Bradley Stevenson who had a spell with Cray Wanderers in the 2017-18 season scored his 13th goal of the season with a penalty but goals from Luke Stokoe and Lewis Croal won a big three points for Casuals.

Cray Wanderers were unfortunate to get beaten at Billericay Town on the opening day of the season on a sweltering afternoon.  Dan Bassett gave Cray the lead before half time but goals from Chris Dickson who Wands fans remember from his time with the club last season from the penalty spot and Alfie Cerelli scored the winner five minutes from time.  The last time the teams played at Hayes Lane in the Isthmian Premier was on 30th November 2013 with Billericay winning 1-0 .

Since then, Billericay went five games with a win in the league before winning five in a row in October and November to begin to move up the table.  Away form has seen victories at Haringey Borough (3-0) and Wingate & Finchley (3-1) and drew at Margate (0-0) and Herne Bay (2-2). Billericay were beaten at Aveley (0-1), Potters Bar Town (0-3), Brightlingsea Regent (0-2), Kingstonian (1-2) and Carshalton Athletic (0-2).  At home Billericay beat Cray Wanderers (2-1), Lewes (2-1), Bognor Regis Town (3-2), Hastings United (1-0), Horsham (5-3) and Canvey Island (1-0), drew with Bishop’s Stortford and lost to Folkestone Invicta, Hornchurch and Corinthian Casuals.  Billericay had a decent run in the FA Trophy to the 2nd Round after beating Margate and Haringey Borough before losing at home to Bath City. In the FA Cup Billericay reached the 3rd Qualifying Round after beating Leverstock Green and Enfield Town before losing after a replay to Biggleswade.

After what has been a colourful, sometimes fraught 2022, this will be a great way to bring down the curtain on the year against one of the big name clubs in the division and hopefully snow free.

Admission £12/£6 on the gate or online at