Enfield Town vs Cray Wanderers – Isthmian Premier, Saturday 1st April, 3 pm – Match Preview

Pics: Ben Keyes, Ozay Booth

Cray Wanderers go into the final month of the Isthmian Premier season and start with one of the crunch games of the day as Neil Smith’s side in 6th place travel to 5th placed Enfield Town with four points separating the teams.

The Wands go into the game buoyed by four wins out of four in March and last Saturday’s 5-3 win over Horsham saw Cray score five in successive home games for the first time since October 2004. Cray are level with Lewes on 63 points with the Wands having a slightly better goal difference but also in contention in 8th, 9th and 10th are Horsham, Hastings United and Carshalton Athletic on 59 points while Folkestone Invicta (55 points) require a very strong finish and results to go their way.   

Enfield Town who drew 1-1 at home to Hornchurch on Tuesday night are on 67 points and have been in and around the top 5 for much of the season since the autumn and are seven points behind the leaders Hornchurch and play Horsham next Saturday and finish the season at Bishop’s Stortford on 15th April and at home to Aveley on the last day of the season. 

Last Saturday’s exciting game against Horsham saw Nyren Clunis score twice making it three against Horsham this season and gave a superb performance with and without the ball from start to finish.  Harrison Sodje who has seamlessly fitted straight back into the side following his return from Leyton Orient scored his first goal for the club before half time and also Freddie Carter, another player on loan for the season got off the mark with a well taken fourth goal.  Dajon Golding made a huge impact when he came on and scored the fifth goal in the 88th minute.

Cray will have Shaun Rowley available after missing the Horsham game through suspension.  Jalen Jones was away on international duty for Guyana and played in the Golden Jaguars 2-0 win in Bermuda on Saturday and is available to play. The only injuries are to Mitch Chapman who is likely to miss the rest of the season and Sam Skeffington in midfield.  David Ijaha, Clunis, Sam Wood and Anthony Cook have been excellent in midfield in recent weeks and Marcus Sablier on loan from Bromley has looked like a player with great potential after two appearances.

Enfield Town will provide tough opposition but when the sides met at Hayes Lane on 22nd October the teams were well matched and drew 1-1. Marcus Wyllie gave Enfield the lead early in the second half before Dan Bassett levelled on the hour to earn a share of the spoils. Usually games between the sides have tended to be high scoring affairs. 

On Tuesday night, Johnville Renee gave Enfield the lead in stoppage time at the end of the first half only for Liam Nash to level for Hornchurch shortly after.  Andy Leese’ side have been strong at home beating Bowers & Pitsea (2-0), Horsham (2-1), Corinthian Casuals (2-0), Herne Bay (4-2), Hastings United (1-0), Potters Bar Town (4-1), Billericay Town (2-0), Carshalton Athletic (4-1) and Brightlingsea Regent (4-1). Enfield Town drew with Folkestone Invicta (1-1), Canvey Island (0-0), Bognor Regis Town (1-1), Wingate & Finchley (1-1), Margate (0-0) and Hornchurch (1-1). The only defeats came at the hands of Lewes (2-4), Bishop’s Stortford (0-1) and Kingstonian (0-1).  Away from home Enfield won at Brightlingsea Regent (4-0), Margate (5-2), Carshalton Athletic (3-1), Wingate & Finchley (2-0), Haringey Borough (2-1), Bowers & Pitsea (4-1), Billericay Town (4-0), Bognor Regis Town (2-0), Corinthian Casuals (3-0) and Herne Bay (3-1) last Saturday. They drew at Kingstonian, Cray Wanderers, Aveley and Hastings United and lost to Hornchurch, Potters Bar Town, Canvey Island, Folkestone Invicta and Lewes.  Leading scorer is Jake Cass with 17 goals.

Cray can take heart from last season’s visit to Enfield Town where the Wands were fighting for survival against the home side who were pretty much set for the playoffs and drew 3-3 despite a Cass hat-trick with goals for Cray by Sam Wood, Richie Danquah and Soul Kader. The point proved crucial in the Wands staying up at the end of the season.  

The last five games are all going to be like cup finals for Cray Wanderers as they seek to keep on winning to reach the Isthmian Premier playoffs for the first time or at least their highest ever league position.  In other key games Lewes travel to Margate, Horsham host leaders Hornchurch, Carshalton Athletic entertain 2nd placed Bishop’s Stortford, Hastings United are at home to Herne Bay whilst Canvey Island in 3rd visit Wingate & Finchley and Aveley in 4th visit Haringey Borough.  There is still a lot of football to be played but things might start to get clearer after Saturday and the Wands go into April still very much in the race.


Enfield Town FC

Queen Elizabeth II Stadium, Donkey Lane, Enfield EN1 3PL 

Admission Prices

£11 adults, £7 OAP’s/U21s/students, £1 U16s   


From the Cray’s maybe not the quickest but should take 55 mins and a 29.4 miles journey. Head to the A20 and then follow on to the A2213 and follow for 0.8 miles then veer left onto the A2. Keep right to continue on to Blackwall Tunnel Southern approach for 3.4 miles and then once through the tunnel to the Northern Approach/A12 for 6.9 miles. Take the A406 (N) exit towards M25 (West)/M11/Loughton for 0.3 miles and then merge onto the N Circular/A406 for 4.1 miles. Keep right to continue on N Circular Road/Walthamstow Avenue/A406. Follow the A406 for 2.6 miles then take a slight left onto the A10 slip road to C. London/Dalston/Hertford/Enfield/M25/Potters Bar/A111.

After 0.2 miles take the 4th exit onto Great Cambridge Road/A10 for 3.4 miles then turn left onto Carterhatch Lane at the Halfway House pub (now a Toby Carvery), Donkey Lane is first left after the pub.

Train:  Enfield Town, Brimsdown (then a 191 bus) and Southbury are the nearest stations to the ground.  The 317 bus will take you to the ground. Get off at Cambridge Gardens. Walk down Cambridge Gardens and this leads into Donkey Lane. 

You are more likely to go to Enfield Town station which is about a mile from the station. From the station walk east on Southbury Road/A110 towards St. Andrew’s Road.  After 0.3 miles, turn left onto Ladysmith Road and after 0.5 miles turn right up the footpath for 0.2 miles which leads to the ground.  There is no tube station in the immediate vicinity but you could technically head up the Northern Line to say Southgate, Oakwood or Cockfosters but you might have to consult local buses to get you there.  

From London Liverpool Street trains leave for Enfield Town on the hour and half past the hour and takes 33 minutes to get there.  Returns are at 23 and 53 past the hour.

If you are looking for somewhere to drink then the clubhouse at the ground on past visits has been very good and welcoming. There is the Halfway House on Great Cambridge Road which is in effect now a Toby Carvery which might be worth a drop in being so close to Donkey Lane. Otherwise there seems to be a few in Enfield Town to choose from. There’s O’Neills, the Crown and Horseshoes (Greene King, Horseshoe Lane), The Cricketers (Chase Town Place) and the Jolly Butchers (Baker Street) amongst a plethora to choose from but probably best to stick close to the ground.  I know some of you only live for Fish and Chips and the nearest chip shop is Salsar Fish Bar on Southbury Road.

Enfield Town is quite a large town in the London Borough of Enfield which became a Borough in 1965 as a merger of Enfield Town, Southgate and Edmonton municipal boroughs.  The ground where Enfield Town play the Queen Elizabeth II Stadium was completed in 1953 as primarily an Athletics stadium and the Art Deco pavilion is a Grade II listed building.  The area was completely redeveloped in 2007 and a fairly vibrant place to live.  Places of interest are St Andrew’s Parish Church which close to it is the old Enfield Grammar School Tudor building.  There used to be a palace in Enfield built in the 16th Century but the old manor house was demolished in 1928 and the Palace Gardens Shopping Centre was renamed in its honour. The New River runs through the Town Park.  Enfield Town Barclays Bank was the home of the very first ATM cash dispenser began in 1967 and was opened by On the Buses actor Reg Varney.