Cray Wanderers vs Canvey Island – Isthmian Premier – Wednesday 21st February, 7.45 pm – Match Preview

Cray Wanderers are in midweek action under the lights on Wednesday evening as Canvey Island are the visitors to Hayes Lane in the first of a home double header this week.  Kick off: 7.45 pm

The Wands come into the game in good heart, unbeaten in the last six league and cup games and just two defeats in twelve games which has moved Neil Smith’s side up the Isthmian Premier League table albeit at a snail’s pace to 15th ahead of midweek fixtures.  

The 1-0 win at Cheshunt on Saturday was a vital three points as it moved Cray on to 36 points, thirteen ahead of 19th placed Cheshunt and also thirteen off the playoff places and could go as high as 13th with a win on Wednesday night.  Home form has been strong of late and Cray are unbeaten in the last thirteen home games.

Saturday’s match was always going to be a battle and a hard earned three points and that was how it turned out to be with Yahya Bamba’s 83rd minute strike, his sixth goal of the season winning the game.   Defensively, Cray were excellent with Jack Holland, playing his first full game since Boxing Day along with Tom Bonner at the back and helped by Emmanuel Kwatchey and Sam Wood and the reassurance of Shaun Rowley in goal.  The Wands were missing the likes of Ellis Brown, George Porter and Nyren Clunis but the midfield with Frankie Raymond pulling the strings was outstanding especially in the second half and Gary Lockyer worked hard up front without getting the goal his performance deserved.  Also, experience off the bench in Rhys Murrell-Williamson, Anthony Cook and Tom Beere was a great help for the last half hour and Cray were able to add a vital three points and continue to keep a distance from the bottom four.

Canvey Island like Cray were playoff semi-finalists last season and similarly to Cray maybe haven’t had the consistency of results this time around but will definitely be tough opponents and recently completed a league double over Billericay Town winning 3-0 at home on 10th February and have also won at Hastings United and beaten Chatham Town at home. Canvey looked like being playoff contenders but a run of five games without a win in December moved them down the table. Brad Wellmen’s side lie 13th in the table on 38 points after 28 games and on Saturday were beaten 3-2 at Margate, with Ben Greenhalgh’s hat-trick for the home side and Lance Akins and Bradley Sach scoring for Canvey Island. 

When the sides met at Canvey on 24th October, Cray were perhaps unlucky to lose 2-1 being down to ten men late in the first half and despite Gary Lockyer’s header goals from Mason Hall and Bradley Sach won the game for Canvey Island.  The last time the sides met at Hayes Lane was on 20th August 2022 with Cray winning 1-0 with Billy Crook’s stoppage time winner.

Away from home Canvey have won at Concord Rangers (3-1), Billiericay Town (1-0), Carshalton Athletic (3-0) and Hastings United (2-0) and drawn at Bognor Regis Town (1-1). Canvey were beaten at Dulwich Hamlet (1-4), Kingstonian (1-2), Wingate & Finchley (2-6), Enfield Town (0-3), Hashtag United (1-3), Horsham (1-2), Hornchurch (0-2), Haringey Borough (1-2), Chatham Town (1-5) and Margate (2-3). At home, Canvey have beaten Haringey Borough (3-2), Margate (4-1), Cray Wanderers (2-1), Chatham Town (3-2), Concord Rangers (1-0), Kingstonian (3-2), Folkestone Invicta (2-1) and Billericay Town (3-0). Canvey Island drew with Cheshunt and were beaten by Bognor Regis Town, Whitehawk, Potters Bar Town and Enfield Town.  Bradley Sach is the leading scorer with 13 goals.

This should be an entertaining game under the lights with both teams looking to get to or past the forty points mark before March and move further up the table.  

Admission £12/£6 on gate (cash only) or online at – Printed Match Programme £2 available.


A note for Cray Wanderers supporters that the Isthmian Premier League match at home to Potters Bar Town, originally scheduled for Saturday 9th March has now been rescheduled for Wednesday 13th February, 7.45 pm ko.  The match was moved due to Bromley’s FA Trophy Quarter Final with Barnet taking place on 9th March at Hayes Lane.

Please see here a list of the revised fixtures for the rest of February – March

Weds 21st February vs Canvey Island: H: 7.45 pm

Sat 24th February vs. Kingstonian: H: 3 pm

Tues 27th February vs. Whitehawk: A: 7.45 pm

Sat 2nd March vs. Hornchurch: A: 3 pm

Weds 13th March vs. Potters Bar Town: H: 7.45 pm

Sat 16th March vs. Haringey Borough: A: 3 pm

Weds 20th March vs. Dartford: London Senior Cup QF: H: 7.45 pm

Sun 24th March vs. Folkestone Invicta: H: 3 pm

Sat 30th March: vs.  Chatham Town: H: 3 pm