Cray Wanderers complete their January fixtures on Saturday when the Wands visit Enfield Town in a match between two playoff contenders.  Kick off at the Queen Elizabeth II stadium is 3pm.

Cray come into the match with a neat unbeaten start to 2020 of five matches and are 5th in the Isthmian Premier league table after a 2-1 win against Lewes last Saturday with 45 points.  This was a very good victory after three hard games in a week and showed how far the club has come in a short space of time with a league double over Lewes who have given Cray a hard time in the past.  Enfield Town though are a very good side and are 7th in the table, three points behind the Wands and have been in and around the playoff area for the majority of the season.

The victory against Lewes came courtesy of an enterprising first half hour which saw a well taken goal from Karl Dent who beat the offside trap to latch onto Mitchell Nelson’s through ball and then on the half hour went two up through Jay Leader’s half volley.  Lewes played well themselves and pulled a goal back but despite a fair bit of pressure, Cray could have scored other goals through Rhys Murrell-Williamson who hit the bar twice and through Joe Taylor and Charlie Allen and Cray held on to win.

After a sapping week, the performances of Nelson, Leader, Allen, Phipp, Taylor and Dent deserve special mention and also Lewis Carey who in recent games has made a number of fine saves and seven points out of nine last week was a real team effort and helped move Cray into a playoff place.  Cray do face though a very tough month with the visit to North London to face Enfield Town just the start of a sequence which is followed by Horsham (H), Worthing (A), Kingstonian (H), Folkestone Invicta (A) and East Thurrock United (A) all who have title and promotion aspirations of their own.

Enfield Town last Saturday celebrated their 1000th match with a 3-2 win at Cheshunt in a local derby with Billy Bricknell scoring twice and Sam Youngs on target for Andy Leese’s side.  This was followed up on Tuesday evening with a 1-2 defeat in the Isthmian League Cup, a competition Enfield were the holders of at home to Brightlingsea Regent with ex-Cray Wanderers U18s player, Ken Charles scoring for Enfield Town.

When the two sides met at Hayes Lane in early October it was an early season match classic where Enfield won 5-3 with Muhammadu Faal scoring twice, Charles also scored twice and Joe Payne on target but Cray played well in attack and goals from Taylor, Tom Murphy and Leader made it a cracking finish to the game.  Since then Faal who had scored 24 goals and just behind Joe Taylor as top scorer in the Division has departed to join League One Bolton Wanderers but Bricknell with 14 goals and Charles with 11 have contributed a lot to Enfield’s season.  Enfield Town have also recently made the signing of midfielder Josh Urquhart from Billericay Town adding more experience to the team.


So far their home record has been good with wins against Bishop’s Stortford (5-0), Corinthian Casuals (3-1), Merstham (2-0), Cheshunt (2-1), Carshalton Athletic (2-1) & Haringey Borough (5-3). They drew with Potters Bar Town (2-2), Hornchurch (1-1), Wingate & Finchley (2-2) and Brightlingsea Regent (2-2) and their only defeats came at the hands of Horsham (1-4), Folkestone Invicta (1-3) and Bowers & Pitsea (0-4).  Away form has been decent too with wins at Leatherhead (2-1), Bowers & Pitsea (1-0), Brightlinsea Regent (2-0), Cray Wanderers (5-3), Potters Bar Town (2-1) and Cheshunt (3-2). They drew at Lewes and Kingstonian and were beaten at Bognor Regis Town, Worthing and Carshalton Athletic.  Enfield Town had a good run in the FA Trophy reaching the 1st Round after beating Bishop’s Stortford, Thatcham Town and Maldon & Tiptree before losing at home to Ebbsfleet United.  In the FA Cup, they reached the 3rd Qualifying Round beating Rushden & Diamonds and Braintree Town before losing at Chichester City.

Matches in the past between the sides have been few and far between as Enfield Town were only formed in 2001 by the supporter’s trust of the original Enfield club.  There have been five league meetings with Cray winning one and Enfield Town four times.  The last time the two teams met at Enfield Town was on 11th January, 2014 in a relegation scrap which Enfield won 1-0 with a Bertie Brayley goal. If selected, Aaron Rhule would be the only current Cray Wanderers player who played that afternoon.

Leigh Bremner scores at Enfield Town in a 3-1 Cray Wanderers win in October 2012.

Enfield Town were one of the first supporter owned clubs in the non-league game after dissatisfaction with Enfield not playing their games in the Borough after selling their Southbury Road ground and were playing at Boreham Wood as well as other issues and the new club were accepted into the Essex Senior League. The club were playing at Brimsdown Rovers ground at the time and finished 2nd in their first season and won three trophies.  They won promotion the following season but didn’t go up due to ground grading issues.  In 2004-05 they won promotion again and this time went up to the Southern League Division One East where the original Enfield club were now playing following their relegation from the Isthmian League.  Enfield Town finished third and lost in the playoffs to Wivenhoe Town.

In 2006-07 they were relocated to the Isthmian League Division One North where they finished third again losing to AFC Sudbury in the playoffs.  At the end of that season the famous Enfield club, a scourge of many a Football League team in the FA Cup were dissolved after attempts to merge the two clubs failed to materialise and would re-emerge as the Enfield 1893 club in the Essex Senior League.  They also moved to the Queen Elizabeth Sports Ground in Enfield. In 2009-10 after a fourth placed finish they reached the playoff final losing to Concord Rangers.  Finally in 2011-12 Enfield Town finished 2nd in the North and won promotion via the playoffs beating Needham Market in the final to win promotion to the Premier for the first time.

They have consolidated in the division although they came close to relegation in 2013-14 but  in 2016-17 they had their best season finishing 4th before losing to Dulwich Hamlet in the Semi-Final.   Last season they finished in a creditable 10th place and also lifted silverware winning the Isthmian League Cup beating Hornchurch 2-0 in the Final.

If the pattern of the October meeting is matched on Saturday, this will be another cracking match and one not to be missed as Cray embark on an exciting run of fixtures that whet the appetite for the next few weeks.


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 on to 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.

By 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.

Trains from London Liverpool Street leave on the hour and half past the hour and takes 33 minutes to get there.  Returns are at 22 and 52 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 (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.

This is our second visit of the season to North London following a trip to the borough of Haringey in September and now the short distance north to Enfield.  As a club Enfield Town are relatively young and a different side to the one which were such a pain in the neck for football league clubs in the past. Enfield Town as a place is a market town which up to 1965 was part of the county of Middlesex before becoming part of the Greater London authority.  There is a market which takes place in the town on a Saturday and despite a few difficulties in the past for the market which has been active since the 1300’s is still run by the Old Enfield Charitable Trust. The local church is St. Andrew’s Parish and there is the White House which is now a Doctor’s Surgery which was once the home of Joseph Whitaker founder of the Whitaker’s Almanac. It was also the location of the very first bank ATM machine at Barclay’s back in 1967.