Cray Wanderers make their first home appearance of 2022 on Bank Holiday Monday as Enfield Town are the visitors to Hayes Lane in a game with importance at both ends of the table. Kick off is 3pm.

Both sides started the year with wins as Cray picked up a much needed three points at East Thurrock United on New Year’s Day in Grant Basey’s first game as interim 1st team Manager which moved Cray out of the bottom two. Enfield who have been in the playoff places for most of the first half of the season won 4-0 at home to Potters Bar Town to remain 5th in the Isthmian Premier league table on 39 points.

With so little time to prepare for the trip to the Rookery having only had one training session on Thursday night, Grant who is being assisted by Gary Alexander was able to field most of the side who played Margate on 27th December although Andy Drury, Dean Beckwith, Fjord Rogers and Jack Hanson have departed the club. A new arrival on the eve of the game was midfielder Stefan Wright previously of Greenwich Borough and more recently Sevenoaks Town who looked sharp when he came on as a second half substitute. Cracking goals from Cameron Brodie, his first league goal for the club and Anthony Cook fired in a now customary special from 25 yards for his tenth goal of the season put Cray twice ahead. A quality finish from Jai Reason in the 76th minute helped the Wands to their fifth win of the season and hopefully the start of a consistent run up the table.

SURREY, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 09: Cray Wanderers’s Cameron Brodie 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)

Enfield have had a consistent season so far and Andy Leese’s side won 4-0 on Saturday with all the goals in the second half with Muhammad Faal scoring a hat-trick and has 26 goals in league and cup this season with Lyla Della-Verde also scoring. A run from October of five straight league wins and generally consistent form has kept Enfield Town up with the league leaders all season.

Away form has seen wins at Carshalton Athletic (4-2), Leatherhead (3-0), East Thurrock United (8-0), and Corinthian Casuals (2-1). They drew at Folkestone Invicta (0-0) and Bognor Regis Town (2-2) and were beaten at Lewes (1-4), Margate (1-2), Bishop’s Stortford (1-2) and Cheshunt (1-2) on 27th December.  At home their form has been very good beating Brightlingsea Regent (2-0), Cheshunt (1-0), Haringey Borough (1-0), Kingstonian (2-0), Wingate & Finchley (2-1), Merstham (3-1), Hornchurch (2-1) and Potters Bar Town (4-0) with their only defeat at the hands of Folkestone Invicta.  In the FA Cup Enfield Town advanced to the 2QR after beating Dereham Town and Hadley after a replay before losing narrowly at Chelmsford City.  In the FA Trophy, like the Wands they reached the 3rd Round, beating Metropolitan Police, Biggleswade and Hanwell Town before losing at National League Eastleigh.

Cray’s home record vs Enfield Town is in need of improvement as the Wands have been beaten in all three previous home games with the last being an exciting eight-goal thriller in October 2019 with Enfield winning 5-3 with Faal scoring twice that day and Joe Taylor, Tom Murphy and Jay Leader scoring for Cray.  It was similarly exciting in the corresponding fixture on 25th January 2020 with Cray winning 3-2 at Enfield with Leader scoring the winner after two Charlie Allen goals.

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.   In 2017-18 they finished 10th place and also lifted silverware winning the Isthmian League Cup beating Hornchurch 2-0 in the Final and 10th the following season. Enfield were 7th when the 2019-20 season ended in March 2020 and were 3rd during the curtailed 2020-21 season.

This has the makings of a great game and a decent sized crowd before everyone goes back to normality following the Christmas-New Year holidays. Admission £10 adults, £5 concessions at gate or online at