The Bostik League South-East moves into its final month and Cray Wanderers begin April with a Sunday afternoon local derby against Greenwich Borough at Hayes Lane. Kick off is 3pm.
This match has great meaning at both ends of the table and a Cray Wanderers victory will guarantee promotion to the Bostik League Premier next season.following Ashford United’s defeat at Hythe Town meaning Cray cannot get caught with a win. Greenwich Borough occupy the final relegation place but are only a point behind 18th placed Guernsey and the two sides meet in a crunch match next Sunday. Horsham are 7 points behind following Saturday’s games but can only get 74 points if Cray win.
The Wands will be looking to bounce back after three games without a win and last Saturday’s 0-1 defeat at Whitstable Town. This was only Cray’s third league defeat of the season and only the second game in which they have failed to score as the Wands were held by a hardworking Whitstable side. There is still no need to push any panic buttons as Cray return to Hayes Lane for three of their last five matches where form has been excellent, unbeaten at home and in the league since February 2018. Cray have 72 points from their 31 games played and with a good goal difference and this despite injuries to Michael Power, Aaron Rhule, Barney Williams this season and recently Bradley Pritchard, the fact that Cray have been so consistent up to now shows how well they have done in what is a strong league.
Greenwich Borough have had a difficult season at times but are still in with a chance of avoiding the drop which seemed highly unlikely at the turn of the year. Borough who had reached the playoffs for the previous two seasons began with ex-Wand Luke Medley in charge but was replaced by Huseyin Torgut for a short spell and then the dual coaching team of Steve O’Boyle and Steve Sallis have steadied things for the club. Their last match saw them beat Sittingbourne 2-1 at DGS Marine Stadium last Saturday with an early goal from Rhys Paul and a second half penalty from Teshuane Tyreece Walters securing a win despite a late consolation for the Brickies. This ended a three game losing run and put Greenwich on 27 points, a point behind Guernsey but have played one game more than the Green Lions and have still to travel to Guernsey before the end of the season and four points behind Faversham Town.
When the two sides met on the opening day of the season, Cray ran out 3-0 winners with a brace from Michael Power, the first from a first half penalty and a Jerome Federico goal getting the Wands off to a flying start.
Away form for Greenwich has seen them win three times on the road at East Grinstead Town (3-1), Herne Bay (2-1) and Hythe Town (2-1) and also picked up a point at Haywards Heath Town (0-0). Their other games ended in defeat at Ashford United (0-7), Faversham Town (1-4), Hastings United (0-4), Horsham (0-2), Phoenix Sports (2-3), Ramsgate (1-3), Sevenoaks Town (1-2), Sittingbourne (2-4), Three Bridges (0-2), VCD Athletic (1-4), Whitstable Town (0-2) and Whyteleafe (1-4). At home they beat East Grinstead Town (2-0), Faversham Town (4-1), Guernsey (4-0), Hythe Town (2-0) and Sittingbourne (2-1). They drew with Three Bridges and Whitstable Town and their other games against Ashford United, Cray Wanderers, Haywards Heath Town, Herne Bay, Horsham, Phoenix Sports, Ramsgate, Sevenoaks Town and VCD Athletic ended in defeat.
The last time the two teams met at Hayes Lane was just over a year ago on Easter Monday, 2nd April, 2018 and the game finished in a 2-2 draw with two Cray penalties from Charlie MacDonald and Michael Power cancelled out two goals from Jack Barham.
The Wands and Borough were regular opponents in the Kent League days and played for twenty consecutive seasons between 1984-2004. Borough were elected to the Kent League in 1984-85 and won the title twice in 1987 and 1988 and were a very strong side at that level for a number of years.
They did struggle for a few seasons but had a resurgence from the 2013-14 season with astute financial investment and became first a major cup side under former Wands manager, Ian Jenkins and then in 2015-16 won the Southern Counties East league to earn a crack at the Bostik League at the DGS Marine Stadium (Badgers Sports Ground) after a couple of seasons playing at Princes Park, Dartford. Overall, Greenwich have the better of the head to head with a record of P. 45 W. 12 D. 12 L. 21.
Cray Wanderers take on Greenwich Borough in September 1985 in a 1-1 draw
Sunday games for Cray Wanderers tend to be special affairs and this is probably the most important for a number of years. Admission prices are £10.00 adults, £5.00 concessions but please remember the Football For A Fiver offer which offers great value for money for Season ticket holders of Premier League, EFL and National League clubs on presentation of valid season ticket. This could be a very momentous month for Cray Wanderers but there is still a bit of work to do before any celebrations can begin.