Cray Wanderers vs Worthing – Isthmian Premier – Saturday 28th August, 3pm – Match Preview


The Bank Holiday weekend fixtures begin on Saturday for Cray Wanderers with an early season cracker as Worthing are the visitors to Hayes Lane. Kick off 3pm.

The match sees Cray Wanderers with two wins out of two to start the season in 3rd place in the early league table face 7th placed Worthing who bounced back superbly from an opening day defeat at Folkestone to beat Bowers & Pitsea last Saturday.  Cray for their part have begun with two impressive wins, 3-1 at home to Lewes and then last Saturday won 2-1 at FA Trophy holders Hornchurch.

BROMLEY, ENGLAND – August 14: Cray Wanderers before the Isthmian Premier League match between Cray Wanderers and Lewes at Hayes Lane on August 14, 2021 in Bromley, England . (Photo: © Jon Hilliger / HilligerPix)

The win at Hornchurch was the first time Cray Wanderers have ever beaten the holders of a National cup competition and was achieved after going a goal down against a confident side.  Jamie Yila has started the season in irrepressible form and scored the Wands equaliser just before the half hour and Cray’s winner came from the head of Ejiro Okosieme to power home Andy Drury’s free kick to claim a hard earned three points.

Defensively Cray were strong and resolute  especially Okosieme and Freddie Cray but also notable has been the performances of midfielders Andy Drury, Cameron Brodie and Anthony Cook while goalkeeper Jack Turner has continued his fine pre-season form into the new season.  It was also reassuring to have Dean Beckwith on the bench and came on for the last few minutes on Saturday while Charlie Allen added tigerish energy and legs to the midfield.  The only real long term injury for the team is Jack Hanson who is a few weeks away from starting but with another game at Margate on Monday, manager Danny Kedwell may have to utilise his squad for the two games.


BROMLEY, ENGLAND – August 14: Cray Wanderers’s Jamie Yila lines up a shot during the Isthmian Premier League match between Cray Wanderers and Lewes at Hayes Lane on August 14, 2021 in Bromley, England . (Photo: © Jon Hilliger / HilligerPix)

Worthing have been one of non-league unluckiest teams the last couple of seasons as the Mackerelmen have been top of the Isthmian Premier in 2019/20 and 2020/21 before both were suspended/curtailed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Adam Hinshelwood’s side had a seven point lead over Cray Wanderers in 2019/20 with eight games to go while the heavily truncated 2020/21 season Worthing won seven of the eight league games played and led Cheshunt by a point. Worthing are a strong pacey side and began the season with something of a rare defeat at Folkestone Invicta (1-3) but bounced back well to beat Bowers & Pitsea 4-1 last Saturday with two goals from Ollie Pearce and strikes from Arraan Racine and Tom Chalaye.  Additions to the squad in the summer include midfielders Kane Wills and ex-Football League player Dean Cox and former Worthing youth player , defender Patrick Webber who was most  recently with Wigan Athletic.  Worthing follow this game with a home local derby with Bognor Regis Town on Monday and then face Corinthian Casuals at home in the FA Cup next Saturday.

The sides never met last season but had a couple of hugely memorable league games in the 2019-20 season with a 2-2 draw on 2nd November, 2019 (pictured) with an injury time own goal grabbing a point for Cray who also ended Worthing long unbeaten run through Autumn-Winter with a 2-1 win at Worthing with goals from Joe Taylor and a last minute winner from Joel Rollinson. Overall there haven’t been too many meetings between the two sides have been rare with just nine matches played including one FA Trophy tie in November 2016 and an Isthmian League cup tie in December 2019. One of those games 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.

Founded in 1886 Worthing spent their early years in the Sussex League where they won eight league titles up to the 2nd World War and played in the Corinthian and Athenian leagues after that.  They have been members of the 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 the 2015-16 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 back to the Premier for the first time since 2007.  Since then the Rebels have finished 14th, 16th, 9th and the two seasons mentioned above.

This should be a great game and admission is £10.00 adults, £5.00 concessions/U18s while tickets can be purchased online at