Hashtag United vs Cray Wanderers – Isthmian Premier – Saturday 16th December, 3 pm – Match Preview & Directions

Pics:  Ozay Booth

Cray Wanderers play their first away league game since November 4th on Saturday as the Isthmian Premier’s oldest club take on the youngest with the first ever league match against Hashtag United.  Kick off at the Len Salmon Stadium at 3 pm.

The Wands come into the game unbeaten in five league games and in 16th place on nineteen points but have drawn the last three matches all at home.  Last Sunday, Cray looked to be in prime position for victory against Haringey Borough after leading 3-0 at the break with goals from Tom Bonner, Anthony Cook and Ellis Brown.  However, there was a late twist as Haringey scored three late goals to take a point although in hindsight perhaps a point for each side wasn’t quite what they were looking for at the start.

There were some positives particularly the first half performance on Sunday for Cray who were without Nyren Clunis and Yahya Bamba and have become harder to beat in recent games.  This time last season the Wands were in the middle of a good league run from October to February which took Cray into the playoff places and in a very tight league this season a similar consistent run of form over a busy period of games over Christmas and January could do the same again.

Hashtag United are newcomers to the Isthmian Premier after winning the North Division title last season with 98 points and Jay Devereux’s side have settled in well and lie 8th in the table on 26 points.  Last Saturday, United were 3-1 winners at home to Canvey Island and on Monday night also won 3-1 at home to Braintree United in the Essex Senior Cup with goals from ex-Wand Alex Teniola, Matthew Wooldridge and Camilo Restrepo.

So far in the league at home, Hashtag have beaten Wingate & Finchley (2-0), Billericay Town (2-1) and Canvey Island (3-1).  They drew with Dulwich Hamlet (2-2), Folkestone Invicta (0-0), Kingstonian (2-2) and Chatham Town and the only loss came to Hastings United (1-2).  Away from home Hashtag won at Concord Rangers (4-1), Carshalton Athletic (1-0) and Horsham (2-0), drew with Bognor Regis Town, Whitehawk, Margate and Cheshunt and were beaten at Hornchurch and Enfield Town.  In the FA Cup, Hashtag beat Brentwood Town at home but were beaten in the 2QR at home to Needham Market and in the FA Trophy were beaten at South Park in the 3QR.  In the Isthmian League Cup, Hashtag advanced past Concord Rangers and in the Essex Senior Cup won at Hornchurch and at home to Braintree Town.  Alex Teniola is the leading scorer with 7 goals.

Although the teams have never met in league football the two sides have played in two pre-season friendlies. In July 2021, Cray won 4-1 at Hayes Lane but Hashtag were 3-1 winners in July 2022 in the Jersey Bulls Cup Tournament.

Hashtag United were formed in 2016 by You Tuber Spencer Owen as a club playing Saturday exhibition games which were filmed and became big hits on Instagram and Twitter (now X). 

In 2018 the club decided to join the non-league pyramid and in 2018-19 at the first attempt were Eastern Counties League Champions and earned promotion to the Essex Senior League.  They were 2nd when the 2019-20 season was abandoned and after being top in the 2020-21 shortened season were promoted to the Isthmian North on points per game.  Hashtag finished 8th in their first season in 2021-22 and last season won the title to take their place in the Isthmian Premier.

With Cray in the middle of a very busy run of home games with the next four following Saturday at Hayes Lane this gives the chance for a change of scenery and a challenge to relish for the players and fans.


Address:  Len Salmon Stadium, Crown Avenue, Pitsea, Essex SS13 2BE

Admission Prices

Adults £12

Concessions £7 (12-17, seniors 65+, students with valid ID)

U12 £3

U16 must be accompanied by an adult (max 3 under 16 in a party to one adult)

Card and cash payment on the gate and the club do not sell tickets in advance as a general rule.  The turnstiles can be found at the far end of the main stand.



Coming from London / M25

Head towards either A13 or A127

From A13

Take the turn off for Pitsea.

At the roundabout take the first exit so that you pass Tesco’s on your left. At the next roundabout take the third exit (Ashlyns)

Go straight at the next roundabout (approx. 20 metres). Follow the road until the next roundabout and take the second exit and then take the first left into Kenneth Road.

Follow the road to the end and turn right and then immediate left into the grounds.

Visitors car park is at the far end of the clubhouse building.

Access to clubhouse via pathway between clubhouse and football pitch then side door beside patio area.


Take the Canvey Island turn off and follow the road to join A13 then follow above.

Coming from A127

Take the Wickford turn off and take the third exit at the roundabout.

Follow road going straight over two roundabouts

At third roundabout turn left (Ashlyns) then follow above

There is a car park at the stadium but it does get full well before kick-off on busy matchdays.  Out of respect for local residents please do not park in nearby streets but instead use the Eversley Leisure Centre which is less than 10 minutes walk away.  This is located in Crest Avenue and if you follow the pathway through the end of the carpark into Crown Avenue that leads into the ground entrance.

Nearest station:  Pitsea

Trains go from London Fenchurch Street or perhaps easier to get to West Ham and there are four trains an hour for services heading to Shoeburyness.  Trains leave Fenchurch Street on the hour/30 mins past the hour, 23 & 53 or from West Ham at 02, 09, 32 or 39  past the hour. Returns are 04, 10, 34 or 40 mins past the hour.  Please check trains before travelling for any industrial action.

The ground is around 1.3 miles from the station and will take just shy of half an hour to walk it. The quickest way is on leaving the station walk west on Station Approach towards and then a right onto Pitsea Hall Lane for 0.1 miles.  At the roundabout take the 1st exit onto Broadway Link/B1464 again for 0.1 mile. At the next roundabout take the 1st exit onto High Road/B1464 for 0.2 miles. At the next roundabout take the 1st exit onto Rectory Road for 0.3 miles. Then turn right onto Delhi Road for 0.3 miles and then turn right onto Crest Avenue and then a left onto Manor Avenue for 0.1 mile. This is followed by a right towards and onto Cobden Walk and then a left onto Crown Avenue for the ground.

If you are looking for a pre-match drink in Pitsea then the social club at the ground is really excellent and as the ground is a little way from the station might be a better bet.  If you’ve time to spend around Pitsea then The Gun Pub on London Road might be what you are looking for.  If you like seafood then Winkles Seafood stall is located at the Great Chalvedon Hall Public House and is in Rectory Road but perhaps still a bit under a mile to the ground.

Pitsea is a small town lying within Basildon and commuters travel to work in London, Southend and within Basildon.   The area has gone through a period of regeneration from 2010 with the Station Lane Development. The main landmark is the St Michael Tower which is all that remains of St Michael’s Church which fell into disrepair.  There is also Great Chalvenden Hall, a 16th century home which later belonged to Basildon Council which is now a pub (see above). Next to the railway station is Cromwell Manor, a 15th century house which used to be known as Pitsea Hall.