Cray Wanderers return to league action on Saturday as Tony Russell’s side begin a busy spell of four league games in ten days with a fascinating clash with Enfield Town at Hayes Lane.
Both sides have lost only one league game so far this season and Cray Wanderers come into the game in decent league form and lie ninth in the league table with 14 points. Enfield Town have started the season extremely well and are fourth with 20 points. However, Cray and Enfield will be looking to bounce back from FA Cup defeats last weekend.
Cray who face trips to Merstham on Tuesday night then two more away games at Lewes and Horsham to follow will be looking to recover from the tight and tense game at Haringey Borough last Saturday which ended in a 0-1 defeat. Tony Russell will be looking for his 100th league win since becoming Cray Wanderers manager in 2015 and his side will seek to return to the good goalscoring form before the Haringey match. Joe Taylor is the leading scorer with 12 in league and cup and netted in the last league game, a 3-1 win at home to Bowers & Pitsea on 2nd October.
Harry Hudson’s very successful two month loan spell has come to an end with hopefully Jay Leader soon to return which would be his 150th Cray Wanderers appearance. Cray have done well so far with the knocks and injuries to Leader and Tom Phipp and if both can return then the club can have a full strength team to choose from for the first time this season.
Enfield Town also lost 0-1 in the FA Cup at Chichester City last Saturday but their league form away from home has been very good and are unbeaten with wins at Leatherhead (2-1), Bowers & Pitsea (1-0) and Brightlingsea Regent (2-0). They also drew at Lewes (1-1) on the opening day of the season. At home, Andy Leese’s side beat Bishop’s Stortford (5-0), Corinthian Casuals (3-1) and Merstham (2-0). They drew with Potters Bar Town (2-2) and their only loss came at home to league leaders Horsham (1-4) in August. They had a decent FA Cup run beating AFC Rushden & Diamonds and an excellent win against National South Braintree Town before the Chichester defeat. The leading scorer is Muhammadu Faal with 8 in league and cup. Last season Enfield Town finished 10th in the Isthmian Premier and won the Isthmian League Cup beating Hornchurch 2-0 in the Final.
Matches in the past between the sides have been few and far between as Enfield Town were only formed in 2001 by the supporter’s trust of the original Enfield club. There have been four league meetings with Cray winning one and Enfield Town three times. The last time the two teams met was on the last day of the 2013-14 season with Cray already relegated facing an Enfield Town side who had to win to avoid the drop. Paul Vines gave Cray the lead before Enfield came back and won the game 2-1.
Leigh Bremner gets a header in on goal during Cray Wanderers 3-1 win at Enfield Town in October 2012
Enfield Town were one of the first supporter owned clubs in the non-league game after dissatisfaction with Enfield not playing their games in the Borough after selling their Southbury Road ground and were playing at Boreham Wood as well as other issues and the new club were accepted into the Essex Senior League. The club were playing at Brimsdown Rovers ground at the time and finished 2nd in their first season and won three trophies. They won promotion the following season but didn’t go up due to ground grading issues. In 2004-05 they won promotion again and this time went up to the Southern League Division One East where the original Enfield club were now playing following their relegation from the Isthmian League. Enfield Town finished third and lost in the playoffs to Wivenhoe Town.
In 2006-07 they were relocated to the Isthmian League Division One North where they finished third again losing to AFC Sudbury in the playoffs. At the end of that season the famous Enfield club, a scourge of many a Football League team in the FA Cup were dissolved after attempts to merge the two clubs failed to materialise and would re-emerge as the Enfield 1893 club in the Essex Senior League. They also moved to the Queen Elizabeth Sports Ground in Enfield. In 2009-10 after a fourth placed finish they reached the playoff final losing to Concord Rangers. Finally in 2011-12 Enfield Town finished 2nd in the North and won promotion via the playoffs beating Needham Market in the final to win promotion to the Premier for the first time.
They have consolidated in the division although they came close to relegation in 2013-14 but in 2016-17 they had their best season finishing 4th before losing to Dulwich Hamlet in the Semi-Final. So despite being quite a young club have packed in quite a bit of history in that time.
This should be a great game and on Non-League Day a clash of two famous names of the non-league game.
Admission is £10.00 adults, £5.00 concession/U16s but there is also the Football For A Fiver offer for season ticket holders of Premier League/EFL and National League clubs on presentation of valid ticket on the day.
It is also our annual Youth team day where we celebrate the work of our youth section, the up and coming future stars and the coaches who devote so much time to producing the stars of tomorrow. It should be a great day.