It is FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round day on Saturday and sees the Wands at this stage of the competition for the 16th consecutive season. The draw has thrown up a cracking contest at the Wands travel to Faversham Town for the second meeting with the Lilywhites in a week. Kick off at Salters Lane is 3pm.
The two teams served up a tremendous encounter at Hayes Lane last Saturday with Cray winning the game 1-0, and with this being a cup tie this should be just as entertaining a game with lots at stake. Both teams reached this round following victories over Combined Counties Premier Division sides in the Preliminary Round. Cray eased through 4-0 at Badshot Lea whilst Faversham came from behind to beat Epsom and Ewell 2-1 at Salters Lane.
The Wands followed up that win with an impressive 3-1 victory at Chatham on Bank Holiday Monday, coming from a goal down to win with some style. Goals by Brandon Scott, Jonte Smith and Anthony Adesite, his second goal over the Holiday period saw Cray win at a ground they have struggled at in recent years. After the initial difficulties of the Sittingbourne game on the opening day, Cray have played very well since and although early days and with players looking to return to fitness, it has been a satisfying start to the season. The pace of Scott has been a huge factor in the last four games and has scored twice so far. Smith on loan from Welling notched his first goal for Cray and looks a genuine goal threat up front. Defensively Cray are very sound and on Monday, Karl Dent out on the left had an outstanding game.
Faversham bounced back from the defeat at Hayes Lane emphatically beating near neighbours Herne Bay 6-3 at home with Sam Bewick and Dean Grant scoring twice in a game that was 4-3 at half time. Ray Turner’s side are hard to beat at home and have been Playoff finalists twice in the last four seasons so are an established side in the Ryman South.
The two teams have only met once before in the FA Cup, at the same stage in September 2013 with Faversham winning 3-0 at Hayes Lane when Cray were a Ryman Premiership club.
DIRECTIONS TO FAVERSHAM TOWN FC
Shepherd Neame Stadium
SAT NAV CODE ME13 8ND
From junction 6 of the M2 (A251) follow the signs for Faversham. At the junction with the A2 turn right and the ground is on the right after approximately half a mile. The entrance is in Salters Lane, opposite Mill House Residential Home. If using SAT NAV please when turning off at Junction 6 at the top please turn left not right as it tells you to.
If you are coming by train then exit the station and follow the road around to the left on Forbes Road. This will become “The Mall” and when this road reaches London Road, turn left and the ground is 300 yards on your right hand side.
There are trains to Faversham that leave Bromley South at 23, 53 and 58 minutes past the hour and take around about just over an hour to get there.
This weekend is quite a special one for the Market Town of Faversham with the Annual Faversham Hop Festival taking place. It is a celebration of everything Kent is so great for, good food, tremendous ales, live music, morris dancing, parades and all sorts going on. If after the match you feel like going along to revel in this Kentish celebration it comes highly recommended. There are also plenty of hotels and B & B’s to stay in if you want to carry on again on Sunday.
Otherwise if you want a drink in Faversham, well it probably is the brewing capital of the country with the Shepherd Neame Brewery founded in 1698 believed to be the oldest family run brewery in the UK. This is in Court Street and about a mile from the ground.
The nearest pubs to the ground are the Crown and Anchor in the Mall which is on the approach to London Road and the ground. There is also the Elephant Inn also in the Mall and the Railway Hotel near the station. Across the road from the ground is the Reads Restaurant.
There are quite a few Fish and Chip shops in Faversham with the Park Fish Bar on East Street close to the Brewery perhaps the most highly rated.
There are two Indian restaurants fairly close to each other in Preston Street, The Prince of India (ME13 8PA) and The Spice Lounge on East Street. The nearest Chinese restaurant is Yeungs Li’s about five minutes from the station.
Faversham lies next to the Swale river and was a major seaport and lays claim to have been the capital of Saxon England. There was an Abbey in the town but was practically destroyed in 1538 and there are historical links to nearby Canterbury.
Gunpowder was made there from the late 16th century but the factories were closed in 1934 and never re-opened. Since then the town has been renowned for its hops and brewing and its market believed to be the oldest in Kent still in existence.
Faversham Town are also the only football team besides the England national team to have three lions on their badge.