It’s cup tie action at Hayes Lane on Sunday as Cray Wanderers and Worthing meet in one of the ties of the 2nd Qualifying round of the Buildbase FA Trophy. This is the first ever cup meeting between the two sides and promises to be a fine match. Kick off is at 3pm.
Cray are aiming to reach the 3rd Qualifying Round for the third time in the last five seasons and made it through to Sunday’s game with two home victories against Carshalton Athletic and Marlow. The Wands will be looking to carry on the momentum of the last twenty minutes against Whyteleafe on Wednesday night when Cray came back from two nil down to grab a draw and could have won it at the end. Some positive substitutions, notably with Sol Taiwo and Dane Luchford coming on gave Cray a fresh impetus and helped turn the game around.
Cray should be boosted by the possible return from suspension of Danny Haynes and Jey Siva after three games out. New signing Sherwin Stanley, who scored on his debut on Wednesday played for Aveley in one of the earlier rounds so it not eligible for Sunday. Cray will have to be secure at the back but should pose a threat with the pace of Brandon Scott and potentially Haynes.
There is no doubt that Worthing will provide the toughest test for Cray so far with Worthing having acquitted themselves very well in the Ryman Premier after promotion last season from the South in the playoffs. They are twelfth in the table with twenty three points from seventeen games but are just two points behind fifth placed, Billericay Town. Worthing made it through the 1st Qualifying Round with a 3-1 win at home to Kempston Rovers. Cup form has been good for Jon Meeney and Gary Elphick’s side as they reached the 3rd Qualifying Round of the FA Cup and are through to the 3rd Round of the Alan Turvey League Cup following a 2-1 win at home to Ryman South leaders Dorking Wanderers on Tuesday night.
Meetings between the two sides have been rare with just the five games in the Ryman South between 2007-2009. One of those games though was one of the biggest games in the Wands history on 28th April 2009, in the Ryman South Playoff semi final at Hayes Lane, a Jamie Wood goal before half time settled a tense contest and sent Cray through to the Final against Met Police which the Wands ultimately won. The overall record is P. 5 W. 2. D. 2. L.1
Worthing have been members of the Ryman Isthmian League since 1977 and have played in all divisions finishing runners up in the Premier twice during the 80’s. They were relegated from the Premier in 2006-07 and remained in the South until last season when they finished third in the table. In the playoffs they hammered Hythe Town 7-0 at home and then comfortably beat Faversham Town 3-0 at home in the final to gain promotion.
All the ingredients are there for a terrific cup tie contest on a Sunday afternoon between two good footballing sides.
Season ticket holders, please note that season tickets are not valid for this game. It is pay on the day, £10.00 adults, £4.00 concessions/U16s. Should the game end in a draw, the replay is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, 15th November.