Cray Wanderers vs Enfield Town – Isthmian Premier – Saturday 22nd October, 3 pm – Match Preview

Cray Wanderers make a quick return to action at Hayes Lane on Saturday as Enfield Town are the visitors in a match which pits 4th vs 3rd in the Isthmian League table.  Kick off 3 pm.

The teams are level on 19 points and separated by a one goal difference and in the past has been a high scoring encounter with 27 goals in the last four games between the sides.

Cray go into the game having won two out of the last three league games including a 4-0 win at home to Brightlingsea Regent on Wednesday night.  After a goalless first half the game broke open after the break and the star turn was Ben Krauhaus who scored three goals, the first Wands league hat-trick since Joe Taylor in November 2019.  Tom Derry, who was captain on the night, scored his third goal of the season which made it and just reward for his performance.  

The Wands had a very young back four on Wednesday night with 18 year olds Kellen Fisher and debutant Harrison Sodje alongside Sinn’kaye Christie and Jalen Jones and with Shaun Rowley in good form the clean sheet was the third of the season an improvement on last season’s one. The return of Nyren Clunis also seems to have lifted the side and Neil Smith’s side  have quietly climbed tup the table although admittedly still very early days in the season.

BROMLEY, GREATER LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 21: Cray Wanderers’s Jalen Jones runs the ball out of defence during The Pitching In Isthmian Premier League match between Cray Wanderers and Hastings United at Hayes Lane on September 21, 2022 in Bromley, Greater London, England . (Photo: © Jon Hilliger / HilligerPix)

Enfield Town after a quiet start to the season had a positive September and start of October to move into the top 3 after six unbeaten in the league but come into the game on the back of a 2-4 home defeat to bogey side Lewes last Saturday.  After going four goals down, Enfield pulled two goals back through Jake Cass and James Richmond but couldn’t complete a comeback.

Away from home Andy Leese’ side have beaten Brightlingsea Regent (4-0), Margate (5-2) and drawn at Kingstonian (0-0). Enfield were beaten at Hornchurch (2-3) and Potters Bar Town (1-2).  At home Enfield have beaten Bowers & Pitsea (2-0), Horsham (2-1) and Corinthian Casuals (2-0) and drawn with Folkestone Invicta, Canvey Island and Bognor Regis Town with the only defeat to Lewes.  In the Cups like Cray, Enfield were knocked out early losing at Canvey Island in the FA Cup and at home to Chesham United in the FA Trophy.  Top scorer so far is ex-Wand Andre Coker with five goals.

Last season’s games saw an aggregate score of 7-7 with the sides drawing 4-4 at Hayes Lane on 3rd January with Chris Dickson, Jamie Yila, Cameron Brodie and an own goal scoring for Cray and Coker, Lyle Della-Verde and two Lewis Taafe goals for Enfield.  There was also a 3-3 draw at Enfield on Good Friday which proved pivotal in Cray Wanderers’ survival in the  Isthmian Premier as goals from Sam Wood, Richie Danquah and Soul Kader earned a point despite a Jake Cass hat-trick for promotion chasing Town.  Enfield had a very positive season in 2021-22 finishing 3rd on 84 points but were beaten at home by Hornchurch in the playoff semi-final but after some solid recruitment in the summer are once again one of the favourites for promotion this season.

BROMLEY, GREATER LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 03: Cray Wanderers’s Jamie Yila rises the highest to head the ball during The Pitching In Isthmian Premier League match between Cray Wanderers and Enfield Town at Hayes Lane on January 03, 2022 in Bromley, Greater London, England . (Photo: © Jon Hilliger / HilligerPix)

BROMLEY, GREATER LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 03: Cray Wanderers’s captain, Anthony Cook, plays a ball forward during The Pitching In Isthmian Premier League match between Cray Wanderers and Enfield Town at Hayes Lane on January 03, 2022 in Bromley, Greater London, England . (Photo: © Jon Hilliger / HilligerPix)

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 finished 4th before losing to Dulwich Hamlet in the Semi-Final. In 2017-18 they finished 10th gplace 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 before coming 3rd last season, their highest ever league placing.

This should be one of the games of the day in the Isthmian Premier between two very strong attacking sides and could be one to really savour in Cray’s last game before the clocks change next weekend.

Admission £12/£6, online or