Hornchurch vs Cray Wanderers – Isthmian Premier – Tuesday 9th April, 7.45 pm – Match Preview & Directions

Cray Wanderers play the first of two away matches this week on Tuesday 9th April as Neil Smith’s side travel to Hornchurch to face the new Isthmian Premier Champions.  Kick off 7.45 pm.

Cray will be looking to bounce back from Friday night’s 1-3 defeat at home to Hashtag United but the Wands away form has been much better than at home in recent weeks and have only lost one of the last six games on the road.  

On Friday night Tom Bonner scored to put Cray back in the game after going 0-2 down at half time with fifteen minutes to go but couldn’t turn the match around and Hashtag added a third near the end making it four games without a win.

The Wands are 16th in the league table after the weekend’s games on 47 points but are safe from relegation and with games to follow against Horsham (A), Bognor Regis Town (H) and Dulwich Hamlet (A) to finish the season can wind down the season without too much stress.

Congratulations are in order for Hornchurch who on Saturday were confirmed as Isthmian Premier Champions with five games to spare after a 2-1 win at home to Chatham Town, the Urchins nearest contenders.  Femi Akinwande put Hornchurch ahead in the 64th minute for his 22nd goal of the season before Chatham equalised two minutes from time.  However, there was still time for Liam Nash to score his 20th goal of the season four minutes into added on time to win the game and title.  Hornchurch have 88 points from 37 games and also have scored the most goals (88) and conceded the fewest (29) so there can be no doubt that Hornchurch are deserved champions.

When the two sides met at Hayes Lane on 15th October, Hornchurch were 4-1 winners with goals from Liam Nash (2), Tom Wraight and Ollie Muldoon with Nyren Clunis scoring for Cray.  The last meeting at Hornchurch was a dramatic night on 26th April, 2023 in the playoff semi-final which finished 3-3 after extra time as Cray twice came from behind to take the game to penalties with goals from David Ijaha, Nyren Clunis and Sam Wood after Sam Higgins (2) and Liam Nash put Hornchurch 2-0 and 3-2 up. Ultimately Cray were beaten on penalties but produced a fine performance and came close to reaching the final which Hornchurch lost at home to Aveley.

Daryl McMahon took over as manager at the end of January after Steve Morison’s departure. At home Hornchurch have beaten Margate (4-1), Hashtag United (3-0), Dulwich Hamlet (2-1), Hastings United (4-1), Bognor Regis Town (4-1), Folkestone Invicta (4-2), Enfield Town (2-0), Potters Bar Town (3-0), Canvey Island (2-0), Cheshunt (1-0), Haringey Borough (3-0), Billericay Town (4-1), Concord Rangers (1-0) and Chatham Town (2-1). Hornchurch drew with Carshalton Athletic (1-1), Whitehawk (0-0), Lewes (1-1) and Horsham (1-1) with the only defeat being against Wingate & Finchley (1-2) on 30th March. Away from home Hornchurch won at Horsham (2-1), Wingate & Finchley (4-1), Haringey Borough (2-1), Cray Wanderers (4-1), Cheshunt (6-0), Kingstonian (3-0), Enfield Town (2-1), Folkestone Invicta (2-0), Dulwich Hamlet (3-2), Concord Rangers (3-0), Bognor Regis Town (2-1) and Whitehawk (4-0) and drew at Lewes, Carshalton Athletic and Billericay Town with the only defeats at Chatham Town and Hastings United. 

Cray generally have tended to fare better at Hornchurch in recent seasons winning four times there in the Isthmian Premier years with the last win being in August 2021 (2-1) than at home but definitely will be a tough but exciting challenge for the Wands and should be a great game and occasion.


The Stadium

Bridge Road



Admission costs:  £12.00 adults, £7.00 concessions – £3 1U16s–U12’s + free with an adult.  Cash or contactless payments accepted.


(Any tickets purchased online for the original fixture on 2nd March will be valid for the game)

Programme:  Printed, £2

Hornchurch Stadium is actually located in Upminster, Essex – just north of the Dartford River Crossing and is easily accessed via car or public transport.

By Tube:  Upminster Bridge underground station (District line) is close to the ground. Turn right out of the station, walk under the railway bridge and take the second right turning into Bridge Avenue.

By Train. Services from London Liverpool Street/Stratford or via the Elizabeth Line require a change at Romford for trains to Upminster or you can go by train from West Ham station. The Jubilee line is running so you can get there from London or North Greenwich.

If you want to catch a bus, the 248 or 370 to Romford Market goes to Upminster Bridge Station or Upminster Windmill which is nearer still to the ground.

By Car:

Take the M25 to junction 29 on the A127 towards London. Come off at the next major turn-off (signposted to Upminster) and turn left into Hall Lane. Follow this road for about a mile and a half, passing Upminster station on your left, until you come to a major crossroads with traffic lights. Turn right at the lights into St Mary’s Lane. Continue down the hill and take the second turning on the left (Bridge Avenue). The stadium is found about 200 yards down Bridge Avenue on the right.

Car parking is available at the ground on a first come first served basis. When full, street parking is available along Bridge Avenue and opposite the ground in Brookdale Avenue.


Nearest BR station is Upminster which is on the Fenchurch Street to Southend/Shoeburyness line. Turn left out of the station and follow the directions above.

Nearest Pubs: If coming into Upminster Bridge Tube station The Windmill on Upminster Road (Green King Brewery) will be ideal for those getting there early or for a quick one after the game. If you prefer Upminster station which probably has a bit more amenities then the Junction on Station Road (Green King Brewery) looks your best bet or nearer Upminster Park is the Crumpled Horn on Corbets Tey Road or for those with specialist tastes the Upminster Tap Room Micropub is in Sunnyside Gardens.  Your nearest Fish & Chip shop is George’s Atlantic Fish Bar on Upminster Road not far from the Windmill pub.

Upminster lies in the London Borough of Havering and just about seems to straddle the East London/Essex border. A very agricultural area back in the day, the Upminster Windmill is one of the few remaining windmills in Greater London, has a preservation order on it and acts as a museum. Also for those with an interest in agriculture then the Tithe Barn Museum in Hall Lane close to Upminster Station is worth a visit.  If you end up in Hornchurch which is a little bit more of a way away from the ground so give yourself plenty of time if you choose this route.