Horsham vs Cray Wanderers – Isthmian Premier – Tuesday 22nd November, 7.45 pm – Match Preview & Directions
Pics: Ozay Booth/Jon Hilliger
Cray Wanderers begin the first of five successive away matches on Tuesday evening as Neil Smith’s side visit Horsham. Kick off at the Camping World Community Stadium at 7.45 pm.
Both teams after Saturday are level on 24 points with Horsham one place above Cray in 8th on goal difference.
Cray will be looking to get back on track after Saturday’s 0-1 defeat to Wingate & Finchley which was the first league defeat in six league games and ended a three game winning run at home in league and cup. In a game of few chances with perhaps the best for Cray falling to Nyren Clunis and Dan Bassett which were saved, a 78th minute goal from substitute Antonis Vasiliou won the game against a Wands side down to ten men for the last few minutes.
Away form for Cray though has been good with just two narrow defeats late in the games at Billericay Town and Hornchurch and performances have been strong. With four more games away from home to follow in the next couple of weeks in the midst of a World Cup Finals it promises to be a lively time to be a Wands fan.
Hopefully the injury situation for Cray is easing with Harold Joseph the longer term absentee, David Ijaha played the last half hour on Saturday and Sam Wood’s return was welcome but Mitch Chapman is suspended for the trip to Horsham.
Dom Di Paola’s Horsham side come into the game on the back of a 4-1 home win against Herne Bay on Saturday with goals from Tom Day, Lucas Rodrigues, Harvey Spakrs and Jack Mazzone. Last season, the first completed since 2018-19 when they were promoted from the Isthmian South with Cray Wanderers, Horsham finished 11th in the Isthmian Premier whilst reaching the 1st Round of the FA Cup losing at Carlisle United and winning the Isthmian League Cup beating Margate in the Final.
The two games last season saw Cray winning 3-1 at Hayes Lane on 8th December with goals from Kyel Reid, Chris Dickson and Jamie Yila. It finished 2-2 at Horsham on 26th February with Dickson and Cameron Brodie scoring for the Wands.
Home form has been good and have beaten Corinthian Casuals (5-0), Bognor Regis Town (4-0), Lewes (2-0), Kingstonian (1-0) and Potters Bar Town (3-2) and Herne Bay (4-1 with the only defeats to Carshalton Athletic (1-3) and Bishop’s Stortford (0-2). Away from home Horsham have yet to win but did draw at Margate, Wingate & Finchley and Bowers & Pitsea and were beaten at Haringey Borough, Enfield Town, Hornchurch and Billericay Town. In the FA Cup, the Hornets were beaten at Herne Bay and in the FA Trophy after beating Aveley were beaten at Folkestone Invicta in the 1st Round. Horsham have advanced in the Sussex County Cup after beating Steyning Town last Tuesday. Their defence of the Isthmian League Cup was ended by Whitehawk who won 3-2 at Horsham.
Horsham were a good team at Sussex County League level in the 1930’s winning the league six times. They won the Athenian League in 1972-73 and joined the Ryman League where they remained for all but one season. They first met Cray in competition in 2004-05, the Wands first in the Ryman League Division One where they met in the Promotion Play-Offs Semi Final with Horsham winning 3-1 before they lost in the final at home to Bromley. The following season they did get promoted to the Ryman Premier for the first time finishing runners up to Ramsgate. In 2007-08 they had a good FA Cup run to the 2nd Round where they took Swansea City to a replay, both games were televised. We would meet again in 2009-10 after Cray’s promotion to the Premier for three seasons before they were relegated and after three more seasons in the South were relegated to the Southern Combination. In 2015-16 they were promoted from the Southern Combination and then consolidated for a couple of seasons in the Isthmian South. After playing a couple of seasons at the Sussex FA HQ at Lancing in the newly formed Isthmian South-East a tremendous run during 2018 made them the main challengers to Cray Wanderers in the division and finished in 2nd place behind the Wands. In the playoffs they achieved dramatic victories against Hastings United and Ashford United and were promoted to the Isthmian Premier. They began life at the new Camping World Community Stadium at Hop Oast during the 2019-20 season and are now nicely settled in their new home. They were 6th in the table that season before the season was null and voided, 9th in the very short 2020-21 season and 11th last season.
Games between the Hornets and the Wands are always worth a watch and there has been some very competitive encounters down the years and could with the sides closely bunched in the table could be another.
DIRECTIONS TO HORSHAM FC
The Camping World Community Stadium, Hop Oast, Worthing Road, Horsham, West Sussex RH13 0AX
Adults – £12
Seniors (over 60) – £8
Under 18s* – £8
Students* – £8
Under 16s – £2
Under 5s – FREE
Pay on the gate or purchase tickets online at https://horshamfc.ktckts.com
*on day of match (proof of age may be required)
Arriving by car
Where possible, supporters travelling by car should arrange to share with others.
The quickest route from St. Mary Cray: Take Court Road/Orpington by pass/A224 to M25 in Chelsfield. At Hewitts Roundabout take 2nd exit onto M25 heading to Sevenoaks/A21 for 0.8 miles. At roundabout take the 2nd exit onto M25 slip road to M23/M3/M4/Gatwick/Heathrow/Hastings/Sevenoaks/A21. After 0.4 miles merge onto M25 for 3 miles.
At junction 5, use left two lanes to take the M25 exit to M23/Gatwick/Heathrow/M4 for 0.8 miles. And continue onto M25 for 11.7 miles. At junction 7, use left 2 lanes to take M23 (S) exit to Brighton/Crawley/Gatwick for 1 mile then merge onto M23 for 13.2 miles. At junction 11, take the A264 exit to Horsham.
After 0.3 miles take at roundabout 3rd exit onto A264 then after 0.3 miles at Tollgate Hill roundabout take 2nd exit, staying on A264 for 1.4 miles. At the roundabout take 1st exit onto Horsham Road/A264 and follow for 0.6 miles. Then at Kilnwood Vale roundabout take 2nd exit onto Crawley Road/A264 for 1.3 miles and then at Moorhead roundabout take 2nd exit onto A264 for 0.7 miles.
Then at Rusper Road Roundabout take 2nd exit and stay on A264 for 1.30 miles then at Great Daux roundabout take 1st exit on to A24 for 0.6 miles. Then at Robin Hood roundabout take the 2nd exit and stay on A24 for 3 miles. Finally at Hop Oast roundabout take 1st exit onto Worthing Road/B2237. After 0.2 miles turn right and the ground will be on the left.
Please note that parking in the Stadium Car Park will be limited on matchdays to Players, Match Officials, Home and Visiting Club Officials and Invited Guests. There are a small number of reserved spaces for drivers displaying Blue Parking Badges which are subject to availability and must be booked through the Club office in advance.
All supporters arriving by car will be directed to the Hop Oast Park & Ride, which is located opposite the access lane to the Stadium. The Post Code is RH13 0AR. It is five minutes’ walk to the Stadium and qualified marshals will be on hand to assist you across the main road. When big attendances are expected, information will be published on additional parking arrangements nearby with a free shuttle service to the Stadium.
There is strictly NO MATCHDAY PARKING in Worthing Road, Denne Park, Salisbury Road, Horsham Golf & Fitness or the access lane to the Stadium.
**Please note that, where big crowds are anticipated, supporters are requested to use the RSPCA car park from where there will be regular shuttle busses to the ground
Horsham Railway Station is served by frequent trains from London, Gatwick, Crawley and the South Coast. There are up to five Metrobus services an hour to the Stadium from Bus Stop L (see information above).
Trains to Horsham go from London Victoria and leave at 05, 35 and 41 past the hour. Trains at 41 past the hour stop at more stations en route and takes 1 hr 18 mins. Best to check National Rail enquiries before travelling. Please note the last direct train back to Victoria on a Tuesday night is at 22.20. The 22.25 train requires a change at Gatwick Airport as does the 23.27 train.
You can also get there from London Bridge with trains at 00 and 30 past the hour with the last direct train at 22.25.
The most convenient means of travel to the Stadium is by bus.
Metrobus run up to four services an hour on Route 98 to the Stadium from Roffey, Southwater and Horsham Railway and Bus Stations, with more extensive hourly services on Route 23 from Crawley and Worthing. Travel time from Horsham Bus Station is five minutes. Subject to demand, the Stadium will be served by double-decker vehicles on matchdays.
Supporters should ask the driver for “Golf Club for Horsham FC.”
Nearest pub: If you have time on your hands for our first trip on a Saturday to the new ground then The Bear, 17 Market Square RH12 1EU about half a mile from Horsham station looks to be the best rated but plenty of choices elsewhere.
Horsham is a market town in West Sussex lying in the Weald between the North and South Downs. Any early visitors may wish to visit the Carfax which is an pedestrianised square which includes a war memorial, a bandstand and traditionally has a market on a Saturday.