Kingstonian vs Cray Wanderers – Isthmian Premier, Saturday 3rd December, 1 pm – Match Preview

Pics:  Ozay Booth/Jon Hilliger –

Cray Wanderers continue their week of away games across Surrey/South London as Neil Smith’s side travel to Imperial Fields to face Kingstonian on Saturday.  Please note Kick off is 1 pm.

Cray will be looking to maintain a decent away record this season in the league and are unbeaten in five league games and lie 9th in the table on 26 points oalafter 18 games.  The Wands come into the game after an exciting game in the London Senior Cup on Wednesday night where Cray were beaten 4-3 and after being 4-1 down with less than fifteen minutes to go almost turned the game around by the end. Cray scorers at Champion Hill were Yahaya Bamba who scored his first goal for the club, Anthony Cook and Sam Wood.  Certainly the finale to the game has matched Cray’s resilience this season and in the last couple of league games have picked up points at Horsham and Carshalton, both higher in the table despite being 0-2 down at Horsham and missing players at Carshalton through suspension to earn draws. Dan Bassett’s goal at Carshalton was his 8th goal of the season. Nyren Clunis played for Kingstonian against Cray Wanderers last season.

For the Wands first league trip to Imperial Fields since 2016, Cray will be without Kellen Fisher and Mitch Chapman through suspension and have David Ijaha and Freddie Carter missing through injury but recent loanee arrival Jephte Tanga impressed in the last couple of games, also Bamba gave positive performances as a starter and deserved his goal on Wednesday night.

Kingstonian come into the game on the back of a win in the Surrey Senior Cup on Wednesday night after a 3-1 home win vs Corinthian Casuals with goals from Jack Strange, Nodirbek Bobomurodov and Tyrese Owen.  Their last league game was a goalless draw at Aveley last Saturday.

Kingstonian currently lie 17th in the table on 19 points but like Cray have drawn quite a few matches and have a very decent home record in their first at Imperial Fields after relocating from Corinthian Casuals during the summer.   Spencer Knight took over the managerial reigns from Lee O’Leary in mid November and the K’s have picked up home wins against Carshalton Athletic (2-1), Brightlingsea Regent er(3-0), Folkestone Invicta (2-0) and Billericay Town (2-1). They drew with Wingate & Finchley (2-2), Enfield Town (0-0) and  Bognor Regis Town (2-2) with the only defeat to league leaders Potters Bar Town (1-3). Kingstonian have yet to win away from home but did draw at Margate, Herne Bay, Bowers & Pitsea and Aveley and were beaten at Hastings United, Horsham, Canvey Island, Haringey Borough and Bishop’s Stortford. In the FA Cup, Kingstonian were beaten at Sevenoaks Town in 1st Qualifying Town and in the FA Trophy were beaten at home by Wingate & Finchley on penalties and were beaten at Leatherhead in the Velocity League Cup.

Kingstonian finished 10th last season and did a league double over the Wands with close game ending 2-1 at Kingstonian on 20th November, Gus Sow and Elliott Buchanon scoring for K’s with Anthony Cook for Cray and at Hayes Lane in Neil Smith’s first game in charge towards the end of last season in late March also 2-1 where Cook also scored with goals Daniel Ajaikaye and Walter Figueira on target for Kingstonian.       

BROMLEY, GREATER LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 26: Kingstonian’s goalkeeper, Julian Schwarzer, rushes out as Cray Wanderers’s captain, Anthony Cook, passes the ball past him rolling it wide of the far post during The Pitching In Isthmian Premier League match between Cray Wanderers and Kingstonian at Hayes Lane on March 26, 2022 in Bromley, Greater London, England . (Photo: © Jon Hilliger / HilligerPix)

BROMLEY, GREATER LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 26: Kingstonian’s Ezechukwu Ebuzoeme puts Cray Wanderers’s Sam Wood under pressure during The Pitching In Isthmian Premier League match between Cray Wanderers and Kingstonian at Hayes Lane on March 26, 2022 in Bromley, Greater London, England . (Photo: © Jon Hilliger / HilligerPix)

The K’s were formed in 1885 and in 1919 just after World War I became an amalgamation of two clubs Kingston Town and Old Kingstonians. In 1929 the club were accepted into the Isthmian League where they have but for a short period spent a lot of their history. In 1932-33 they won the FA Amateur Cup beating Stockton 4-1 in a final replay at Darlington. They reached the final again in 1959-60 at Wembley where they lost to Hendon.

Their golden era came in the late 90’s under the astute management of Geoff Chapple and the team were promoted to the Conference as Champions of the Isthmian Premier in 1997-98. They remained in the Conference for three years earning a reputation as a great cup side winning the FA Trophy two years in a row in 1999 and 2000 in the last finals at the old Wembley beating Forest Green Rovers and Kettering Town. 

The following season, despite relegation, they reached the 4th Round of the FA Cup beating Brentford and Southend along the way before losing after a replay at Bristol City. They had one or two struggles back in the Isthmian and were relegated to Division One in 2004-05 therefore meeting Cray Wanderers in league football for the first time. They gained promotion in 2008-09 as Champions with Cray going up in the playoffs. They’ve been in the Premier since then and twice reached the playoffs under Alan Dowson in 2009-10 losing to Boreham Wood in the Final and in 2013-14 in the semi-finals to AFC Hornchurch. From the 2018-19 season Kingstonian ground shared with Corinthian Casuals after leaving their Kingsmeadow ground at the end of the 2016-17 season after one season groundsharing at Leatherhead in 2017-18 and have now moved to Tooting & Mitcham United FC from the start of the 2022-23 season. Kingstonian were 10th when the 2019-20 season ended in March after runs to the 2nd Round of the FA Cup and FA Trophy and were 6th last season before being curtailed and 10th last season.

December is always an exciting month and with a trip to Bognor Regis Town on Wednesday followed by home games with Haringey Borough and Billericay Town before Christmas with the added excitement of the World Cup Finals knockout rounds, Saturday’s trip to Kingstonian adds to the expectation level.


Please note from this season Kingstonian groundshare at Tooting & Mitcham United FC

Imperial Fields

Bishopsford Road



Admission: £12 adults, £8 Seniors (60 & over), carers, £6 students (upon presentation of student card), Juniors, free

Printed programme:  Yes

Tram: Take the tram to the Mitcham Tramlink stop, then walk up Tramway Path and turn left on to London Road. Walk past the Fire Station and Imperial Fields is a short walk further along, situated on your left once you have crossed the bridge.

Bus: 118 or 280 to Bishopsford Road bus stop.

Tube: Morden Station (Northern Line) then take the 118 bus from bus stop C, five stops to Bishopsford Road.

Train: The nearest stations are Mitcham Junction or Tooting.

From Mitcham Junction train station, take the tram one stop to Mitcham and Imperial Fields is a short walk from the station. From Tooting train station, catch the 280 bus to Bishopsford Road bus stop.

Car: There is plenty of parking at the stadium, but best to arrive early, to ensure a parking space is still available.

From the M25 take Junction 8 (A217) and follow signs to Sutton. Continue on A217 to Rosehill, take the 3rd exit at the roundabout and follow signs to Mitcham onto Bishopsford Road. Imperial Fields is situated approximately one mile down the road on the right hand side, opposite the petrol garage.

Nearest pubs:

Possibly best to stick to the club house as very good but the nearest pub would be the Surrey Arms on Morden Road. If you find yourself in Mitcham then you have on London Road, the White Lion of Mortimer, the Kings Arms and the Gardeners Arms should all be able to satisfy you and not far from Mitcham Junction station but perhaps slightly going away from the ground. 

Imperial Fields is in Morden which is part of the London Borough of Merton and the Northern Line’s final destination South or first going north.  Morden adjoins Merton Park and Wimbledon to the North, Mitcham to the east, Sutton to the south and Worcester Park to the west.  Morden Hall Park is a National Trust park is on the banks of the River Wandle and adjacent to the Town Centre and houses Morden Hall, a manor house which dates back to the 1770’s.  With very good transport links this makes it a very good trip for a London Underground enthusiast and those that like to do the Northern Line walk or pub crawl.