Cray Wanderers vs Carshalton Athletic – Isthmian Premier, Saturday 11th February, 3pm – Match Preview

Pics:  Ozay Booth, Jon Hilliger

Cray Wanderers play the first of two successive home Isthmian Premier League matches on Saturday, 11th February as Carshalton Athletic are the visitors to Hayes Lane.  Kick off 3pm.

Both teams will be looking to bounce back from defeats last Saturday and the Wands will be looking to return to winning ways after two games without a win and moved out of the playoff places into 6th place on 47 points after a 0-1 defeat at Wingate & Finchley.  Carshalton Athletic are two points and places behind Cray and are three games without a victory and suffered a rare home league defeat to Canvey Island, 0-2 last Saturday.

Wands manager Neil Smith hopes to have a pretty full complement of players available and added loanee Bailey Akehurst from Gillingham at left back and generally defended well last Saturday with ex-Robin Jalen Jones and Freddie Carter at the back.  It was just seemed to be one of those games where Cray probably needed to score the first goal and another ex-Carshalton player, Dan Bassett was unfortunate the Wingate & Finchley keeper made a great save in the 4th minute and if that had gone in the shape of the match would have changed. .It was the first time Cray had failed to score in the league since 19th November but are still joint 3rd top scorers in the league with Lewes on 52 goals with Hornchurch (57) & Enfield Town (54) above them.  

Dan Bassett who scored a hat-trick for Carshalton against Cray last season at Hayes Lane is top scorer with 11 goals and scored the Wands goal just before half time in the corresponding game at Colston Avenue on 26th November which finished in a 1-1 draw with Calvin Ekpiteta levelling for the Robins in the second half.  Nyren Clunis makes up a trio of former Robins in the Cray Wanderers squad.

Carshalton Athletic under the management of former Tonbridge Angels boss, Steve McKimm after a quiet start to the season picked up impressive form through October-December and moved into the playoff places briefly last month but have generally been in and around the playoff picture for the last three months and will be be tough opponents.

Away form for Carshalton Athletic has seen wins at Horsham (3-1), Bowers & Pitsea (1-0) and Herne Bay (3-2) and drew at Bognor Regis Town (3-3), Canvey Island (1-1), Hornchurch (1-1) and Brightlingsea Regent (1-1) were beaten at Lewes (0-2), Kingstonian (1-2), Hastings United (0-1), Bishop’s Stortford (0-2), Haringey Borough (0-1) and Enfield Town (1-4).  Home form has been very solid with wins against Brightlingsea Regent (2-1), Aveley (1-0), Corinthian Casuals (1-0), Folkestone Invicta (1-0), Margate (1-0), Billericay Town (2-0), Potters Bar Town (5-2), Kingstonian (1-0), Bowers & Pitsea (1-0) and Lewes (2-1). They drew with Cray Wanderers and Horsham and lost to Haringey Borough, Enfield Town and Canvey Island.  Femi Akinwande and Tom Beere are joint top scorers with 10 goals.

Last season’s match at Hayes Lane on 22nd January, 2022 was truly remarkable with Cray winning 5-4 coming from 0-2, 1-3 and 3-4 down with goals from Cameron Brodie (2), Chris Dickson, Luca Albon and Jamie Yila after Dan Bassett scored a first half hat-trick and Kwaku Frimpong scoring for Carshalton. That victory proved crucial in determining Cray’s place in the Isthmian Premier as Carshalton had a goal disallowed in stoppage time which if it had finished 5-5 chances are Cray may not have stayed up. 

BROMLEY, GREATER LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 22: Cray Wanderers’s captain, Anthony Cook, finds himself surrounded but plays the ball forward during The Pitching In Isthmian Premier League match between Cray Wanderers and Carshalton Athletic at Hayes Lane on January 22, 2022 in Bromley, Greater London, England . (Photo: © Jon Hilliger / HilligerPix)

This season is shaping up to be one of the tightest and most exciting title races for years with Bishop’s Stortford two points clear at the top with Enfield Town and Aveley on 51 points, Hornchurch on 49 points and Canvey Island on 48 making up the top 5 with at least 8 teams very much in contention for the playoffs with three months of the season to go.

This match has been chosen by the Non League Paper as its feature match in the Isthmian Premier this Saturday and one that promises to be exciting and should be a good watch for supporters and neutrals alike.


Admission £12 adults, £6 concessions, U16s, Students.  Printed Programme:  £2, Golden goal tickets £1