The curtain is brought down on July on Saturday as game seven of pre-season sees Cray Wanderers head to the North East Kent coast to face Herne Bay. Kick off at the MBS Stadium is 3pm.
Please note this game is in memory of Martin Collins, an ex-Herne Bay player and coach and also a local entertainer who passed away in June and gate takings and fundraising during the day will help towards Martin’s funeral costs.
The game also sees Danny Kedwell return to one of his former clubs where he played in the 2004-05 season scoring 28 goals before signing for Welling United the following season.
The Wands have been without a game since last Saturday following the cancellation of the scheduled Sittingbourne match where Cray drew 1-1 with Beckenham Town. Andy Drury capped off a fine performance with a well taken goal early in the second half. There were some good displays from the likes of Jamie Yila, Anis Nuur, Jack Turner and Harvey Brand but Cray were also without some key players like Anthony Cook, Charlie Allen, Jack Hanson, Ejiro Okosieme and Fjord Rogers. The week break may allow some players to return or get on the way to returning with the start of the Isthmian Premier season just two weeks away. Cray have two more scheduled pre-season games following Herne Bay with a home game with Welling United on Tuesday 3rd August and a visit to Ashford United on Sunday 8th August. Pre-season has been a bit stop-start with three games getting cancelled but overall the form has been pretty solid the last few weeks.
Herne Bay are unbeaten in their pre-season so far and Ben Smith’s team begin their Isthmian South-East season with a visit to Hastings United on Saturday 14th August. The Bay have added a member of Cray Wanderers 2018-19 Isthmian South-East championship winning team, midfielder Tom Phipp so will need no introduction to Wands fans. Also recently arrived are goalkeeper Jordan Perrin and attacking midfielder Adem Ramadan. Herne Bay finished 15th in the 2018-19 season but in 2019-20 were lying 5th and in the playoff places when the season was abandoned and were 10th in the early weeks of the 2020-21 season before its curtailment.
Cray and Herne Bay met for 26 straight seasons between 1977-78 and 2003-04 in the Kent League. During that time Cray won three Kent League titles and Herne Bay won four but progress up the league was denied as Winch’s Field at the time didn’t meet the requirements to go further. We had earlier met in the Aetolian league back in the early 60’s for five seasons. The last time the teams met at Herne Bay was on 20th October 2018 with the Wands winning 2-1 with Tom Phipp amongst the scorers. Cray also won 6-0 at home on 2nd February, 2019 with Junior Dadson scoring four goals.
Herne Bay have been members of the Isthmian League since 2012-13 after they were Kent League Champions in 2011-12 and also reached the FA Vase Semi Final. After a first season of struggle they have acquitted themselves very well in the Isthmian South and South-East. They finished 8th in the 2014-15 season in the Isthmian South.
With the league opener with Lewes just two weeks away, this is will be a great opportunity to get some valuable game time, a trip to the Kent coast and also to help towards the memory of Martin Collins.
DIRECTIONS TO HERNE BAY FC
Address: Herne Bay FC. MBS Stadium, Stanley Gardens, Herne Bay, Kent CT6 5SG
Admission prices: Adult £5
Concessions: £3, £1
Tickets are available to purchase in advance here: https://hernebayfc.ktckts.com/brand/match-tickets
Herne Bay is one of the really great away days of non league football and a good atmosphere is generated there on match days and a club many of our long-time supporters may remember from the Kent League days,
The district has excellent road links with the M20 (M25/M26) and M2 motorways providing easy links from London. Herne Bay is a short drive from Canterbury, via the A28/A281 and A290.
Virtually all visitors will come via the A299 Thanet Way from the west. Take the junction for Herne Bay, going straight on at first roundabout and then left at the second (s/p Seafront). Follow this road until you pass under the railway bridge. Take the next left into Spencer Road and then the first left after about 200 yards into Stanley Road. The ground is on the left hand side. There is plenty of parking at the ground in the surrounding streets free of charge.
If you are coming by train then it is a ten minute walk from Herne Bay station (on the London Victoria to Ramsgate/Margate line). Turn right out of the station and follow Station Road northwards. Take the first right into Spencer Road and then after 500 yards take a right into Stanley Road for the ground.
If going from Bromley South on Saturdays there are direct trains to Herne Bay at 57 minutes past the hour. You can catch the 27 past the hour which means a change of train at Rochester. Trains arrive at Rochester at 53 past the hour with about a 10 minute wait at platform 2 for your connecting train
For the return direct trains are again hourly leaving at 20 mins past with the 44 past requiring a change at Faversham.
The district is well served by Stagecoach East Kent buses from Canterbury Bus Station. For timetable enquiries, telephone +44 (0) 8707 433 711. For Herne Bay take either the 6, 6A, 6B or 7. For all enquiries, telephone +44 (0) 8717 818 181 or check out the National Express Timetable
The nearest bus stops to the ground are:
Canterbury Road – 5 minutes from the ground via Spencer Road
Herne Bay Rail Station – 10 minute walk via Spencer Road
The nearest pub to the ground is possibly the Heron on Station Road close to the Railway Station. If time on your hands there are a number of pubs close to the sea front including the Four Fathoms (Kent Pub of the Year), the Divers Arms, The Firkin Frog (Micro pub), The Saxon Shore while the Smugglers Inn in School Lane is highly recommended..
For Fish and Chip lovers, you should find something for your liking in Herne Bay unless you are particularly fussy. If you have time to go to the sea front then you have Happ Fryer, Deans Plaice and Shakey Shakey amongst many choices.
Herne Bay is a seaside town on the Kent East coast and was during Victorian times one of the most popular holiday destinations and boasts a fine pier and promenade. Herne Bay was home to the first freestanding purpose built Clock Tower built in 1837. Despite the risk of flooding the town remains upbeat and many tourists visit there or do the walk along the coastline to and from Whitstable which is about five miles away.
Also a popular destination for Anglers and also has sailing, rowing and yachting clubs. Many of you may have made trips there over the years and maybe never had a chance to watch football there. It is a really good trip for first time visitors and even though it is January it should still be well worth going.