Horsham vs Cray Wanderers – Saturday 15th December, 2018, 3pm – Match Preview and Directions.
Cray Wanderers are back on the road on Saturday looking to maintain a 100% record away from home in what promises to be an early Christmas cracker against Horsham at Culver Road. Kick off is 3pm. This match pits league leaders Cray Wanderers against 3rd placed Horsham in one of the matches of the day in the Bostik South-East.
Despite drawing their last two matches at home, the Wands have maintained an 11 point lead at the top as teams under them are taking points off each other in what is a very tightly bunched race for the playoff places. Such a case occurred on Tuesday night when Horsham could have gone second but were beaten by a last minute goal in a 2-1 defeat at Three Bridges but last Saturday had an excellent 4-2 win at Hythe Town.
Cray last time out did well to pick up a 1-1 draw against a tough Phoenix Sports side at Hayes Lane, on a wet and cold afternoon and after a bit of a sticky first half, Joe Taylor’s debut goal for Cray two minutes after half time cancelled out Alex Teniola’s plundered goal. In a good second half performance Taylor was unlucky not to claim a hat-trick as he saw an effort headed off the line and saw a header saved by Steve Phillips before Junior Dadson hit the crossbar in the last minute. The character in the side is very strong and Cray are still 15 games unbeaten from the start of the season already an Isthmian league record for the club and a great achievement. Cray will be without Tom Phipp who serves the second of a three game ban.
Horsham have been one of the great stories of the season so far as well as an eight game unbeaten run from the end of September which took them from the lower reaches of the table to third place they also had two excellent cup runs reaching the 3rd Qualifying Round of the FA Cup and FA Trophy.
Dominic Di Paola’s team began with three defeats in their first four league games but since then have put together an impressive record especially at home where they have won their last six league games as well as good cup wins against the likes of Carshalton Athletic, Corinthian Casuals and Potters Bar Town. At home they beat Herne Bay (1-0), Phoenix Sports (3-2), East Grinstead Town (3-1), VCD Athletic (4-0), Greenwich Borough (2-0) and Whitstable Town (4-0). They only lost twice at home early in the season against Sittingbourne (1-2) and Haywards Heath Town (4-5). Away form has been good too, winning at Sevenoaks Town (2-1), Ashford United (3-2) and Hythe Town (4-2). They picked up a point at Ramsgate (0-0) and their only defeats came at Whyteleafe, Hastings United and Three Bridges. Top league scorer is Chris Smith with 7 goals.
In the FA Cup they beat Carshalton (away), Corinthian and Heybridge Swifts before losing to Poole Town after a replay. In the Trophy they got past Bury Town (away), Ware, Corinthian Casuals and Potters Bar Town before losing at home to Bath City in the 3rd Qualifying Round.
Last season Horsham finished in 15th place but often showed glimpses of what they could do including a New Year victory at home to Lewes. The two league meetings last season both went the way of Cray with the Wands winning 3-0 with two goals from Marcus Evans and a Michael Power penalty in September 2017. When the two sides met at Hayes Lane on a freezing and snowy Sunday afternoon in March, Cray won 4-3 with Charlie MacDonald scoring twice, Karl Dent and Junior Dadson on target for the Wands. There have been 14 previous league meetings with Cray winning 6, drawing 4 and losing 4. Perhaps the biggest meeting between the sides was in the Isthmian Division One Playoff Semi Final in May 2005, Cray’s first season in the league where Horsham won 3-1 but were beaten in the Final by Bromley
Of course both sides share a desire to return home and Horsham are well on the way to doing so as their planned new ground, at Hop Oast is beginning to take shape and looks hopefully for the Hornets like they could be playing there next season. Cray of course will have to wait just that bit longer for the new stadium at Flamingo Park but the crucial thing is that preparations can now begin and the dreams can now become a reality.
This has the makings of a great game on the 3G surface and a real test of Cray’s unbeaten record but one they will relish.
DIRECTIONS TO HORSHAM FC (at Lancing FC for 2018-19 season)
Address: Culver Road, Lancing, West Sussex BN15 9AX
Matchday admission prices for 2018/19
Adults – £9
Seniors (over 60)* – £5
Under 18s* – £5
Students* – £5
Accompanied Under 16s – FREE
Unaccompanied Under 16s – £1
DIRECTIONS TO LANCING FC
Please don’t forget there is a coach going to Lancing on Saturday departing Hayes Lane at 11.15am (£10.00) if you prefer this option to driving or taking the train. Please see earlier post for details.
From our neck of the woods, use the M23 then the A23 until you reach the A27 where you need to go Westbound (Worthing) until you reach the roundabout at Lancing Leisure Centre. Turn left at the roundabout into Grinstead Lane. 500 yards on the right is the Harvester restaurant, turn right after the restaurant into Grinstead Avenue, left at the mini roundabout into North Road. Pass the shops until the next mini roundabout and turn right into Culver Road.
Car Parking is strictly forbidden on Culver Road itself and cars may be removed
The stadium and offices are located in a residential area and cul-de-sac, and there is limited parking at the ground. We request that for matches, events and courses the alternate car parks (located just one minutes’ walk away) are used. These are located on North Farm Road and Queensway, as well as street parking along North Road and at Lancing Station/Asda.
All car parks are pay-and-display (£0.50 per hour, Mon-Fri 9am-5.30pm, Sat 9-12am), and have disabled bays
Nearest Railway Station:
Lancing (5 minutes walk)
Exit station and turn left past the Merry Monk pub into North Road, then left into Culver Road. The ground is on the right at the end of Culver Road. The Sussex FA is signposted off North Road.
There are direct trains to Lancing from London Victoria which leave at 47 minutes past the hour. Otherwise you can change at Hove via at 16 mins past the hour trains. Trains back to Victoria leave at 39 past the hour. You can also get there from London Bridge via Brighton or East Croydon at 05 and 35 past the hour. On the way back you change at Haywards Heath or Brighton. As there have been engineering works on the Brighton mainline, it may be best to check National Rail Enquiries but there shouldn’t be any major engineering works on this weekend.
The nearest pub to the ground is the Britania Harvester on North Road and you’ll probably see it if coming in by car. On Culver Road is the Lancing and Sompting British Legion Club but you may have to be a member or you’ll be talked into becoming a member if you wish to go in. It does have very good reviews. Also close are the Crabtree Inn on Crabtree Road and the New Sussex Hotel which is quite highly rated on South Street and fairly near the seafront. Handy if you wish to stay the night.
Near the station is the Merry Monk pub but this it appears is now called the Railway and seems to have fairly average reviews so perhaps if pushed and waiting for your train maybe pop in but might be best to go nearer the ground.
For food you have the Harvester nearby and there is the Miller and Carter, a steakhouse on Manor Road. There are four recommended chippies in Lancing, Taylors on North Road which is fairly close to the ground. There is the Penhill Fish Bar on Penhill Road, Mick’s Chips on Manor Road near the A27. On Crabtree Road is the Four Seasons which is an all round takeaway and apparently specialises in Peri-Peri Chicken.
On North Road is the Naaz Indian Restaurant and Takeaway and the Forbidden Palace Chinese Restaurant is in South Street.
This will be the second time we have played down against Horsham at Lancing which is the headquarters of the Sussex County FA. It is in West Sussex and is made up of a cluster of villages. There is a college there and an airport which is the oldest licensed airport in the UK founded in 1911 and its Toll Bridge is a Grade II listed building. Shoreham by Sea is close by and many lovely Sussex resorts. Whatever you do unless you’ve time on your hands don’t stop in Horsham as is just over twenty miles away from Lancing.