Cray Wanderers Women vs Oakwood FC Women
SCEWFL Division One West – Sunday 4th February, 2024 – 2 pm – Match Preview
There will be a huge moment in the long history of Cray Wanderers on Sunday as the Women’s team become the first side to play on the new 3G pitch at Flamingo Park and kick-starting a new era for the club. Kick off 2 pm.
Many supporters coming to Flamingo Park on Sunday will be seeing the team perhaps for the first time and myself having seen the team play half a dozen times, the side play some terrific football, on the front foot and score plenty of goals and quite miserly at the back. They are also impressively coached and a very disciplined side. Jessica Oldfield is the top scorer with 12 goals with Katie Jackson on 8. Grace Dodds and Vittoria D’urso have so far started all 15 league and cup games played.
The Wands in their fledgling season as part of the club are having a great debut season and currently top the SCWEFL Division One West on 28 pts from ten games and have a one point lead from Petts Wood and two ahead of Tonbridge Angels. As well as topping the league Dean Jarman’s side are through to the Quarter-Finals of the Kent FA Plate where they will play Margate Women at Flamingo Park on Sunday 25th February.
It will be a great occasion for the players but also for the Oakwood team who travel up from Sussex and will provide strong opposition. Oakwood began the season well but have been playing catch up in games in the last few weeks and are 5th in the table on 12 points. Last Sunday they were beaten 0-1 at Danson Sports. When the teams met at Oakwood on 1st October, 2023, Cray won 3-0 with Jessica Oldfield scoring on her debut plus goals from Millie Main and Chloe Ashdown.
Admission to the game is free and there will be a commemorative match programme priced £1 available.
Please see here the thoughts of Dean Jarman ahead of the game:
This is a big day in the recent history of Cray Wanderers this afternoon as the Women’s team in their first season play the first competitive game to be played on the 3G pitch at Flamingo Park. This must be a very proud moment for you and the team!
Yes, it is massive and a good occasion for the girls as they are the ones out there experiencing it all. For them to have that experience and to be the first team to play on the 3G pitch is a milestone.
Obviously since coming into the club we’ve all felt part of it and it has been a learning process for both sides. We have had to understand how the club works and likewise the club understands how we work. It is a good moment and time and also very exciting for us.
Also a big afternoon for our opponents Oakwood. We had a very good win down at their place winning 3-0 earlier in the season.
That’s right, at the time and I know it was still early stages of the season but they looked to be one of the strong contenders. They haven’t played so many games due to the weather and haven’t been able to fulfill fixtures so they have dropped down the league a little bit but we cannot take them for granted. We just need to ensure we turn up as we did when we played them away. It is all about making sure our minds are switched on and, play to the occasion but still know we have a game to play and win.
For those that may have or not following our results so far we are top of the SCEWFL Division One West, unbeaten in the league and through to the Quarter Finals of the Kent FA Plate. It couldn’t have started much better for us this season could it!
No, not at all and again that is down to the girls who are performing week in and week out so we can take nothing away from them. They’ve been fantastic, I think they have certainly started well and continued it as the season has gone along. I know in the return after Christmas we had our first loss in comparison to the teams that are around us albeit in the League Cup against Tonbridge Angels and they are on the same sort of trajectory as we are. The girls have so far really risen to the occasion and they have played well.
Cray Wanderers Women’s Team – Pen Pics
With Dean Jarman
Cray Wanderers Women: Back row l-r: Dean Jarman, Grace Dodds, Alice Wilcox, Vittoria D’Urso, Sam Sharp, Millie Main, Anne-Marie Blanche, Alfie Maloney
Front row: Eve Sales, Louise Chenery, Olivia Gregory, Hannah Atkins, Danielle Smith, Charlotte Knipe, Hrystyna Kulishko
Samantha Sharp – Sam is our goalkeeper and is an integral part of the team. She is our most experienced player and she is a leader in the way that she nurtures the younger players. She also encourages from her own position where she can see the game so she is a great player to have on the team.
Grace Dodds – Grace has been out of football for a little while and this is her first full season back in playing and has really risen to the occasion. We had an injury at right back and Grace stepped in and has really made the position hers which is really good to see.
Vittoria D’Urso – Very consistent and solid at the back. She isn’t the most eccentric of players and more intrinsic but will always go out there and give 100% and all the effort she can do from start to finish.
Claire Goldsmith – Calm, relaxed, encouraging. Again she is very experienced and has the ability to nurture the younger players and push them and give them the right information. Another who gives 100% all the time.
Danielle Smith – Another player who is quite intrinsic. She rises to the occasion when she has to and always gives the maximum effort that she’s got. She’s been held back a bit as she wants to play left midfield but at the moment we don’t have a left back and has done a great job whilst filling in.
Olivia Gregory – Very good impact player and always one I can look to get a response out of. She’s developing still and still on a journey and learning the game as such but is very technically talented and has the ability to change a game.
Millie Main – A technician, very good on the ball and has the ability to pick out passes. Millie does a great job going forward as well as defensively and has the ability to offer cover across the pitch and puts in as much effort as she can.
Annemarie Blanche – She is the engine of the team and will run all game. She will make sure she is defending or attacking, win the ball when she needs to, a calm head and a leader. She is an all round person.
Hrystyna Kulishko – Hrystyna is very young and came up from the U16s last year so it is her first season in Women’s football. She has been a really good character added to the squad and gotten stronger as the season has gone on. Again another player who is very good on the ball but is still learning and a long way to go in the game.
Chloe Ashdown – Chloe is left footed with a lot of pace who can beat a defender, has a very good cross on her to get it across to the back post from a left sided position. She is always positive even in negative situations.
Jessica Oldfield – Jess is a new addition who came to us about a third into the season. A very good acquisition who is now our top scorer. She has brought a lot of energy and character and really shown what she can do from an attacking point of view.
Katie Jackson – Dynamic, always wants to get on the front foot, always wants to beat her defender. Again very good technically on the ball she has got and always gives everything to any positions she plays. She always is looking to go forward and attack.
Eve Sales – Eve has had a few injuries so has found the season a bit difficult such as shin splints. She hasn’t been able to get a consistent run in the team but is a very good team player and is effective when she is on the pitch.
Hannah Atkins – Hannah has made a few starts this season as well as coming off the bench. Hannah scored our first ever league goal at Gravesham in September. She also scored recently against Borough Green and she pops up in the right areas. A very positive attitude and another good team player.
Louise Chenery – Louise is the club captain but unfortunately currently out injured. She has been plagued with injuries this season and has not had a consistent run of games. It has been hard for her to get going but when she has played she has done well.
Lauren Henry – Lauren has been out of football since October 2022 due to a serious knee injury. She came back against Borough Green on 14th January for fifteen minutes and also played in the FA Plate game with London Road for five minutes. She is battling to come back and trying to increase her time and minutes on the pitch as the weeks go on in order to reach full fitness.
Renette Ofori – Ren is another new signing this season and came in a bit later than the other players. Very dynamic, she mainly plays out on the right but has had a bit of a mixed season. When she has started she has done really well but also when coming off the bench. She’s a good character to have around and a good team player.
Okasia Brown – Okasia was injured a few weeks before Christmas which has put her out of the side for about six weeks but she is coming back. She has a good football brain, she knows how to use the ball, is strong, technically good, can pick a pass and has a powerful shot on her so can be effective when she is in the game.
Charlotte Knipe – Charlotte has been coming off the bench more regularly than starting and again when she comes on gives 100% effort and I would say again another good team player.
The Management Team – Dean Jarman, Claire Willicombe, Alfie Maloney
Dean – I’ve been in Women’s football in what is my fourth season. So it has been a real journey to understand the game. It’s been one of them where I’m currently doing my UEFA B coaching certificate so it is a learning curve for me to try and progress Cray Wanderers Women and ultimately alongside Claire Willicombe who does a lot of the admin for the team on a matchday and behind the scenes. She has almost like a carer for the players as she will talk to the girls, make sure they are ok and is the go between for the girls to give information to and perhaps better for them to have someone like Claire to have conversations with rather than myself. Which is good as that takes the pressure off me and I can concentrate on the football side of things alongside Alfie Maloney who is there to support me. I got Alfie halfway through the season just as additional support. He has done his UEFA C coaching so he is also on his journey and wants to progress and get into the game as a coach. That’s the foundation really, we really want to build and make sure there is progression for the younger players to come through the club.
Cray Wanderers FC
Flamingo Park – Directions
Cray Wanderers FC – Flamingo Park Sports & Leisure – Sidcup By-Pass, Chislehurst, Kent BR7 6HL
Flamingo Park lies on the A20 and will be the new home of Cray Wanderers but is already used for Youth Team games, the Women’s team, Academy side and the club house hosts live music and private events.
From Kent – Via M20 or A2
M20 – Follow the M20 for 16.8 miles then continue on to A20 for 3.6 miles then continue on to Sidcup By-Pass Road/A20 for 1.9 miles. Continue onto Sidcup By-Pass/A20 for 0.3 miles then take a left into the ground entrance and another left for the car park.
A2 – Get on the M2 from A229 for 5.1 miles. After merging onto the M2 after 5.5 miles continue onto Watling Street/A2 for 8.7 miles. Use the left lane to take the M25 (S) slip road to M23 for 0.7 miles. Merge onto the M25 for 2.4 miles then at junction 3, exit towards A20/London (SE)/Swanley for 0.3 miles. At the Swanley interchange, take the 5th exit onto the A20 slip road to London (SE)/Lewisham for 0.8 miles. Merge onto the A20 for 3.5 miles then continue onto Sidcup By-Pass Road/A20 for 1.9 miles. Continue onto Sidcup By-Pass/A20 for 0.3 miles then take a left into the ground entrance and another left for the car park.
From London, North & West
Via A20 – If traveling from London take A3212, A302 and Westminster Bridge Road and at the roundabout take the 3rd exit onto St. George’s Circus/A201 and after 0.3 miles turn left onto New Kent Road/A201 for 0.5 miles. Then keep right staying on New Kent Road/A201 for 0.4 miles and then onto Old Kent Road/A2 for 2.6 miles. Take a slight right onto Amersham Road/A2/A20 then a left onto Amersham Road/A20 for 0.2 miles. Take a slight right onto Lewisham Way/A20 for 1.1 miles and then use the left 3 lanes to turn left onto Rennell Street/A20 for 1.9 miles. Use the right 2 lanes to turn slightly onto Sidcup Road/A20 for 0.3 miles then at the roundabout take the 2nd exit and stay on Sidcup Road/A20 for 3.7 miles. Then take the A222 towards Bromley/Chislehurst/Sidcup for 0.2 miles then at Frognal Corner Roundabout take the 4th exit onto the A20 slip road to C. London/Lewisham for 0.3 miles. Then merge onto the Sidcup By-Pass Road/A20 for 0.6 miles and then onto the Sidcup By-Pass for 0.3 miles. Then take a left into the entrance to the ground and another left into the car park.
From Essex/East Anglia
Via A13 – If traveling from Essex/East Anglia get onto the A13 for 11.6 miles. Use the left lane to take the M25 (N)/M25 (S) slip road to M11/M1/Stansted Airport/Dartford Crossing/A282 for 0.2 miles. At Mardyke Junction take the 1st exit for 0.3 miles and then use the right lane to take the A282 slip road to M25 (S)/Dartford Crossing then keep right at the fork to continue towards A282 for 3.8 miles. Use the right 3 lanes to stay on A282 then follow signs for M20/M23/Gatwick Airport /M25/Channel Tunnel/Dover for 0.6 miles. Continue onto M25 (signs for Dover/M20/Channel Tunnel/M23 for 3.3 miles. At junction 3 exit towards A20/London (SE)/Swanley for 0.3 miles and at Swanley Interchange take the 5th exit onto the A20 slip road to London (SE)/Lewisham for 0.8 miles. Then merge onto the A20 for 3.5 miles, continue onto Sidcup By-Pass Rd/A20 for 1.9 miles and then continue onto the Sidcup By-Pass for 0.3 miles then turn left into the entrance to the ground and then a left into the car park.
If traveling from Sussex/South best get on Hastings Road/Pembury By-Pass/A21 in Kent from A267 and after 9.4 miles continue straight onto Sevenoaks Bypass/A21 for 3.8 miles and then keep right to continue onto M25. After 7.9 miles at junction 3 use the left 2 lanes to take the A20 exit to London/Lewisham/Channel Tunnel/Maidstone/M20 for 0.3 miles. At Swanley Interchange take the 2nd exit onto the A20 slip road to London (SE)/Lewisham for 0.5 miles. Merge onto the A20 for 3.5 miles, continue onto Sidcup By-Pass Rd/A20 for 1.9 miles and then continue onto the Sidcup By-Pass for 0.3 miles then turn left into the entrance to the ground and then a left into the car park.
By Train – Nearest BR Station – New Eltham – 1 mile. Trains from London Charing Cross/London Cannon Street/London Bridge or from Dartford/Gravesend.
From the station walk south-east onto Foots Cray Road/A211 for 0.3 miles then turn right onto Thaxted Road for 0.2 miles. Then turn left towards Sidcup Road/A20 and cross over the pedestrian footbridge and take a sharp and then a slight right towards Sidcup Road/A20 for 0.4 miles and then turn right and then a left into the entrance to the ground.
By Bus – The best bet is to get the 233 from Swanley, Sidcup, Eltham or New Eltham which stops on Thaxted Road but is around 0.8 miles to the ground. The 160 from Carlton Road, Sidcup stops at Montbelle Road and is around a 22 minutes walk to the ground.