Cray Wanderers begin 2022 on New Year’s Day with a trip to East Thurrock United in a match with importance in the lower reaches of the table.  Kick off at the Rookery is 3pm. We have been informed by East Thurrock United that as of New Year’s Eve the pitch is playable but should there been excessive rain overnight then a pitch inspection will be in order.

It has been something of a difficult post-Christmas for Cray Wanderers with the defeat to Margate on Bank Holiday Monday and the following day the departure of Danny Kedwell from the club. Since then, Grant Basey has been appointed interim First Team Manager while a full time incumbent of the role is appointed.

Although, Andy Drury, Dean Beckwith and Fjord Rogers have departed the club many of the players have remained to this point and looking forward to working with Grant and Assistant Manager Gary Alexander in the short-term.

BROMLEY, GREATER LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 27: Cray Wanderers’s Cameron Brodie watches as Margate’s captain, Ben Swift, heads the ball clear during The Pitching In Isthmian Premier League match between Cray Wanderers and Margate at Hayes Lane on December 27, 2021 in Bromley, Greater London, England . (Photo: © Jon Hilliger / HilligerPix)

Monday’s defeat to Margate was the Wands sixth home league defeat and left Cray 21st in the table with 15 points after 18 games. Despite taking the lead through Kyel Reid and Chris Dickson making it 2-2 this couldn’t prevent the sea-siders from winning the game.

BROMLEY, GREATER LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 27: Cray Wanderers’s Kyel Reid scores his team’s first goal to make the score 1-0 during The Pitching In Isthmian Premier League match between Cray Wanderers and Margate at Hayes Lane on December 27, 2021 in Bromley, Greater London, England . (Photo: © Jon Hilliger / HilligerPix)

East Thurrock United have had their own managerial changes during the early weeks of the season with Marc Harrison and Liam Wallace, previously of Tilbury taking over from Paul Martin in November.  The Rocks currently have 17 points in 20th place having played two games more. On Saturday they were beaten 2-1 at Brightlingsea Regent after Jake Gordon gave them a first half lead.

Home form has seen wins against Hornchurch (4-3) and Lewes (2-0) and draws against Bognor Regis Town (2-2), Folkestone Invicta (1-1), Brightlingsea Regent (1-1) and Corinthian Casuals (1-1). East Thurrock were beaten by Bishop’s Stortford (1-2), Enfield Town (0-8), Leatherhead (0-2) and Bowers & Pitsea (0-2). Away from home they picked up wins at Bowers & Pitsea (2-1) and Kingstonian (1-0) and drew at Merstham. They lost Cheshunt, Worthing, Haringey Borough, Potters Bar Town, Carshalton Athletic, Margate, Horsham and Brightlingsea Regent. Alex Hernandez is the leading scorer with 11 goals.  In the FA Cup East Thurrock had a decent run winning away at Cambridge City and Needham Market following a replay before losing at Boston United in the 3QR. They were beaten at home by Kingstonian in the FA Trophy but have advanced in the Essex Senior Cup past Brightlingsea Regent.

The last trip to East Thurrock was on 26th September, 2020 during the shortened 2020-21 season with Cray winning 3-1 with Joe Taylor (2) and Freddie Parker the scorers. East Thurrock were 21st when the season came to an end.


Pic Jon Hilliger

East Thurrock United were only formed in 1969 and the Corringham based side became members of the Greater London League reserves in 1970. After winning the division the league merged with the Metropolitan League and after remaining a reserve side initially in the new Metropolitan London League in Division Two and were promoted to Division One where they played Johnny Biddle’s Cray Wanderers side for two seasons.  After the league merged with the Spartan League they were in Division Two and so missed matches against Jimmy Wakeling’s Cray Wanderers team.

They moved to the Essex Senior League in 1979 and in 1988-89 earned promotion to Division Three of the Isthmian League and won promotion in 1999-00.  A couple of years later they were moved to Division One North and in 2004-05 were moved to the Southern League East and finished second in their first season and were promoted to the Isthmian Premier. They were relegated in 2007-08 to the North and finished second losing in the playoffs to Concord Rangers and also the following season after finishing fifth.  In 2010-11 they were champions of the Isthmian North and met Cray for three seasons in the Premier.  In 2011-12 they reached the 1st Round of the FA Cup losing to Macclesfield Town and the following season reached the playoffs losing to Lowestoft Town.  In 2014-15 they reached the 1st Round of the FA Cup again losing to Hartlepool United and in 2015-16 finished 3rd to reach the playoffs where they beat Tonbridge Angels and Dulwich Hamlet to gain promotion to the Conference South.  They stayed there for 3 seasons before returning to the Isthmian Premier for 2019-20 where they were 11th when the season came to an early end.

It seems a long time since Cray last played an away game after four successive home matches but it is always a good , friendly trip but on this occasion has taken on great importance.


Rookery Hill
SS17 9LB


ADULT £12. – OAP/STUDENT £8. – UNDER 16s £3. – UNDER 12s Free.

NB : ID with proof of age, or a student pass may be requested for concessionary admission.
Admission charges may differ for cup & friendly matches.

PLEASE NOTE, at the moment the club do not offer advance online sales, and only accept CASH payment at the turnstiles.


Directions from M25 Junction 30.  Take a13 towards Tilbury.
Exit A13 at Stanford-le-Hope exit (A1014), (this is just after the BP garage).
Take third exit at roundabout over A13 to join A1014.
Follow A1014 for approx half a mile.
Stay in left lane as you approach next roundabout (London Gateway Port roundabout), to stay on A1014.
After another mile, go straight through traffic lights.
Take next left into Rookery Hill, ground entrance is on your left.

Please note there is limited parking available at the ground so please arrive early if you need to park in the ground. Offsite parking along Rookery Hill, outside ground.

Please be considerate to neighbours/residents when parking and ensure that you do not block any access points.



Your best bet is to get to Barking and the 23 and 53 past the hour will take you to Stanford-le-Hope. Journey time 31 minutes. Returns back to Barking at 06 or 36 past the hour.  It appears at this time that the Underground network is unaffected especially on the District/Hammersmith & City lines but please check before travelling.  

Nearest stations are Stanford-le-hope or Basildon, both on the Fenchurch Street to Southend line. Stanford-le-Hope is about a mile away as the crow flies. Basildon 4 miles. A small cab fare, or jump on the’100′ bus.

By Bus

The ‘100’ bus ( which runs between Chelmsford and Lakeside stops 200 yards from the ground (Corringham Club Corner). Keep car park opposite Corringham Club on your right, and follow Church Road (which becomes Rookery Hill), ground comes up on your right. The 100 bus also runs past Stanford-le-Hope and Basildon rail stations if you are coming via rail.  On New Year’s Day these buses will arrive at 28/58 past the hour Stanford-le-Hope station) and a ten minute ride getting off at the Social Club stop. After the game the last bus back to Stanford-le-Hope Station is 18:19.

Nearest stations are Stanford-le-hope or Basildon, both on the Fenchurch Street to Southend line. Stanford is about a mile away as the crow flies. Basildon 4 miles. A small cab fare, or jump on the’100′ bus (see above).

Nearest pubs: Your best bet is the Bull on Church Road on the approach to the ground close to the St. Mary’s Church where you could pop in for one before going into the ground and the very fine clubhouse.  Not many grounds where you get, church, pub, football ground so close and it is a fine ground. If time there are a couple of pubs in Stanford-le-Hope, The Inn on the Green (Green King pub) and the Rising Sun could be worth a visit.  For Fish & Chips there is the Kingfisher in Lampits Hill in Corringham.

Corringham is a small town linked to nearby Stanford-le-Hope and part of Thurrock Unitary authority. It has a couple of churches, St. Mary’s and the Evangelical church as is a very rural part of Essex and one of the most pleasant trips on the calendar.  If time, Basildon is about 4 miles away but the ground and facilities (+ the Bull nearby) makes this a must do trip if you haven’t been.