League action returns for Cray Wanderers on Saturday for the first of two league matches in three days as Haringey Borough make the visit to Hayes Lane. Kick off is 3pm.
Cray will be looking to put down a marker in the league table after a satisfactory start to the season with six points from five games against second placed Haringey Borough and lie 14th in the Isthmian Premier league table.
Cray come into the game after a 2-1 win against Bedfont Sports in the FA Cup last Sunday. Tony Russell’s side were superb for the first half hour with a stunning strike from Lee Lewis, his first for the club and a close range Joe Taylor header was more than Cray deserved for their dominance. The visitors came back into the game late on but the Wands did enough to earn a home tie to Soham Town Rangers in the 2nd Qualifying Round and go into the game with Borough with confidence. The return of Ben Mundele saw a 25 minutes appearance in the second half after his problems at Bury was a great boon for club, player and supporters. Cray fans will be pleased to hear that Jay Leader returned to training this week and maybe hopefully three weeks from a return but Tom Phipp and Andre Coker due to injuries are likely to be out for a while.
Haringey Borough make their second league visit to Cray Wanderers in good form in the league winning five of their first six games and also safely negotiated the 1st Qualifying Round of the FA Cup last Saturday beating Herne Bay 3-0 at Coles Park with goals by Lionel Stone, Georgios Aresti and Anthony MacDonald. Haringey now are at home to Staines Town in the 2nd Qualifying Round next Saturday. In the league, Tom Loizou’s side picked up wins away at Leatherhead (3-2) and Cheshunt (1-0) with their only defeat on August Bank Holiday Monday at Wingate & Finchley (0-1). At home Haringey beat Corinthian Casuals (1-0), Brightlingsea Regent (5-1) and East Thurrock United (2-0). Anthos Solomou is the leading scorer with 4 league goals.
Last season was their first in the Isthmian Premier and did superbly finishing third and reaching the playoffs where they lost at home to Tonbridge Angels in the Semi-Finals. They also made national headlines by reaching the 1st Round Proper of the FA Cup and a televised tie which they narrowly lost at home to AFC Wimbledon.
Matches between Cray Wanderers and Haringey Borough down the years have been few and far between with just seven past meetings with only two in the league. In the 2015-16 season, in the Isthmian North, the teams drew 0-0 at Haringey Borough on 22nd September 2015 and a month later Cray won 4-2 at Hayes Lane with Aryan Tajbakhsh scoring twice and Michael Frieter and Leigh Bremner also on target and they have come a long way since then. The other meetings were in cup ties with Haringey winning 3 times, once in the FA Vase in 1977-78 with Jimmy Wakeling managing Cray Wanderers and his cousin George managing Haringey. Cray won 3-0 in the London Senior Cup in March 2011 in a tie that was played at Beckenham and one other cup tie was drawn.
Haringey Borough were formed in 1973 after a merger of two clubs Edmonton and Wood Green Town and were in the Athenian League until 1984-85 when they joined Division 2 North of the Isthmian League. They remained there until 1989-90 when they entered the Spartan League and won the London Senior Cup in 1990-91 and briefly changed their name to Tufnell Park in 1995. After the Spartan League merged with the South Midlands League in 1998-99 they had a couple of promotions and relegations. For the 2012-13 season Haringey Borough moved to the Essex Senior League where they stayed for two seasons winning promotion in the 2014-15. In 2015-16 they finished 15th in the Isthmian North where they met Cray in league competition for the first time and the following season they finished 5th reaching the playoffs where they lost to Maldon & Tiptree. In 2017-18 they finished 4th and reached the playoffs again beating Heybridge Swifts and in the final Canvey Island 3-1 to take their place in the Premier Division where they did so well last season.
Certainly this promises to be one of the games of the day in the Isthmian Premier and the potential of two teams going at it hammer and tongs and a match that has been looked forward to for a while.
Admission costs are £10.00 adults, £5.00 concessions/U16s/Students on presentation of card but don’t forget the Football For A Fiver offer for season ticket holders of Premier League/EFL/National League/Non League clubs on presentation of valid ticket at the gate. You could be wise to pop along and make use of your season ticket if no game to go to on Saturday.
A note for all supporters that car parking on matchdays at Hayes Lane for Cray Wanderers games is limited due to planned building works. Cars can be parked in the spaces in front of the main entrance to the ground or off road/street at the present time. Apologies for any inconvenience caused..