Cray Wanderers return to league action to begin November on Saturday as Worthing are the visitors to Hayes Lane in the Isthmian Premier.  Kick off is 3pm.

Although Cray have lost their last two matches in cup competitions in the league the Wands have been in good form with just one defeat in the last 11 games and unbeaten in three.  Worthing though are a strong side and are fifth at the start of play and unbeaten in four league games.

Cray will be looking to get back to winning ways after defeats in the FA Trophy at Maldon & Tiptree last Saturday and on Wednesday night exited the Kent Senior Cup after defeat at home to VCD Athletic. There were positives in the performance on Wednesday with a few players who needed game time getting minutes and created chances and but for the VCD keeper could have been well ahead with Lee Lewis, Karl Dent, Jerome Federico and Andre Coker all going close before the visitors took the lead before half time.  The only disappointment was a hamstring injury for Tom Murphy which could mean a few games out but confidence does remain high as Cray begin another busy month looking to cement a strong league position at this admittedly still rather early stage of the season.

Worthing who finished ninth last season, five points outside the playoffs have begun the 2019-20 season confidently and after a 1-1 draw at Potters Bar Town on Tuesday night have 24 points from their 13 games, three points ahead of Cray.  Away form has been good although the vast majority of games have been at home with wins on the road at Margate (2-0), Merstham (3-1) and Cheshunt (2-1) and drew at Potters Bar Town.  Their only defeat came at Folkestone Invicta (0-2) on the opening day of the season.  At home Adam Hinshelwood’s side beat Lewes (3-1), Bognor Regis Town (3-0). Kingstonian (2-1) and Brightlingsea (3-0). Worthing drew with Leatherhead (5-5) and Carshalton (1-1) but lost to Hornchurch and East Thurrock United.  Last weekend in the FA Trophy Worthing advanced with a 2-1 win at home to Walton Casuals and face AFC Sudbury at home in the 2nd Qualifying Round next Saturday.  Earlier in the season in the FA Cup, Worthing beat Hastings after a replay but were beaten by St. Albans in the 2nd Qualifying Round again after a replay.  Top scorer in league and cup is Lloyd Dawes with 7 but goals are shared around prolifically around the team.

Meetings between the two sides have been rare with just the five games in the Isthmian South between 2007-2009 and one FA Trophy tie in November 2016.  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.  Of the four league games Cray have won one, Worthing one and two draws.  The last time the two sides met, Worthing won 2-1 at Hayes Lane in the 2nd Qualifying Round of the FA Trophy on 14th November, 2016 with Danny Haynes scoring for Cray.

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 and last season finished 9th.

This promises to be a terrific game between two sides who play good football and also could be a fascinating tactical battle. Admission costs are £10.00 adults, £5.00 concessions/U16s.  Please note the Football For A Fiver offer for season ticket holders of Premier League/EFL or National League clubs on presentation of valid ticket. With a legends game planned at Flamingo Park earlier in the day and hopefully England winning the Rugby Union World Cup for the second time November 2nd could be a very special day and plenty of time for fireworks displays later in the evening.