Margate vs Cray Wanderers Match Preview & Directions


It is a Kent Derby this Bank Holiday Monday for Cray Wanderers as Danny Kedwell’s side travel to Margate. Ko at Hartsdown Road is 3pm.

Cray will be looking to quickly bounce back from Saturday’s defeat at home to Worthing against a Margate side unbeaten after three games on 5 points one behind Cray Wanderers.

BROMLEY, ENGLAND – AUGUST 28: Cray Wanderers’s Fjord Rogers heads the ball out of defence from a Worthing corner during the Isthmian Premier League match between Cray Wanderers and Worthing at Hayes Lane on August 28, 2021 in Bromley, England . (Photo: © Jon Hilliger / HilligerPix)

Despite the defeat against a strong Worthing side there was much to commend the performance and showed good character to come from behind in the first half through Ejiro Okosieme’s second goal of the season. There was little to choose between the teams in the second half and after the Worthing winner Cray finished the game strongly and solid with three at the back.  Cray are fifth in the league table with 6 points from the 3 games played.

BROMLEY, ENGLAND – AUGUST 28: Cray Wanderers’s Anthony Cook rises higher to win a header during the Isthmian Premier League match between Cray Wanderers and Worthing at Hayes Lane on August 28, 2021 in Bromley, England . (Photo: © Jon Hilliger / HilligerPix)

With two games in such a short space of time there may be a slightly different lineup at Margate. Adam Coombes missed the Worthing game after picking up a knock at Hornchurch while Jack Hanson is the one longer injury concern just now.

Jay Saunders  Margate side have started solidly and drew 1-1 at a very good Cheshunt side on Saturday after taking the lead through Vance Bola in the 19th minute. Margate won 1-0 at Wingate & Finchley on the opening day of the season and then drew 0-0 at home to Carshalton Athletic last Saturday. Margate will be at home to Thame United in the FA Cup next Saturday.

Margate were 12th in the Isthmian Premier when the 2019-20 season was suspended early while last season in the admittedly truncated 2020-21 season were 20th after nine games. New additions to the club this season are goalkeeper Pat Ohman,  former Lincoln City and Cambridge United defender Joe Anderson, midfielder Montel Agyemang from Welling United, striker Jake Embery from Maidstone United and striker Vance Bola from Sittingbourne.

The last time the sides met at Margate was on New Year’s Day 2020 and Cray won an exciting game 4-3 with two goals from Joe Taylor and strikes from Lee Lewis and Ben Mundele which started a decent unbeaten run from the start of 2020.

Meetings between Cray Wanderers and Margate surprisingly considering the long, chequered histories of both clubs only really began with Cray’s promotion to the Isthmian League in 2004-05.  We had met briefly in the Kent League in 1937-38 when Margate were for a while Arsenal’s junior team and then in Cray’s run to the 4th Qualifying Round of the FA Cup in 2005-06, Cray who were an Isthmian South side won 3-0 at Margate with two goals from Michael Power and a Ross Lover strike.

On Cray’s promotion to the Isthmian Premier in 2009-10, the clubs met for five seasons with Cray having a good record particularly at Hartsdown Road where they won 4 out of the 5 played The overall record is P. 14 W. 8 L. 6 with no previous drawn game.

Margate were founded in 1896 originally as Margate Town and moved for the vast majority of time in different circles to Cray. They were members of the Southern League from 1933 for three seasons reaching the 3rd Round of the FA Cup in 1935-36 before going to the Kent League before World War II.  After the resumption of football after the war, Margate won two Kent League titles before in 1959-60 with the Kent League disbanded headed back to the Southern League Division One. They won the Division One title in 1962-63 and were relegated from the Premier straight away but returned again in 1966-67.

The 1970’s was often difficult for the club but did have two very contrasting FA Cup seasons. In 1971-72 Margate lost 11-0 at Bournemouth with Ted MacDougall scoring nine for the home side yet the following season in a complete turnaround reached the 3rd Round of the FA Cup beating Swansea and Walton & Hersham setting up a home tie with Tottenham in front of a crowd of 14,500 and Spurs won 6-0.  In the 80’s, the club changed their name for a few seasons to Thanet United after a proposed merger with Ramsgate never took off.

In 1996 under the management of Chris Kinnear things began to take off and in 1997-98 won promotion to the Southern League Premier and in 2000-01 were promoted for the first time to the Conference.  They finished 8th in their first season in 2001-02 and groundshared at Dover during this time with Hartsdown Road being renovated and beat Leyton Orient in the FA Cup. They were demoted in 2004-05 while playing at Ashford were relegated from the National South to the Isthmian league for the first time returning to Hartsdown Road for the 05-06 season. They met Cray for the first time in 2009-10 and Margate generally finished in the upper reaches of the division and in 2011-12 after Chris Kinnear left for a second time the club were managed by two former Cray players, Craig Holloway and Simon Osborn.  In 2015-16 under the management of Terry Brown Margate reached the playoffs beating Dulwich Hamlet in the Semis and after winning 1-0 at Hendon returned to the Conference South but were relegated after one season back to the Isthmian Premier.

This should be a great trip and day out as always to the Isle of Thanet and a great way to end the Bank Holiday weekend.

Directions to Margate FC

Margate FC

Hartsdown Road, Margate, Kent CT9 5QZ

Admission Prices:   Adults:  £12 adults

Concs:  £9 (Males over 65, Women over 60 and Disabled supporters)

Youngsters:  11-17 year olds – £6

Children – Free when accompanied by adult


Please note there will be some delays on the A2 this Monday. A2 eastbound and westbound Bean to Ebbsfleet lane closure, fast lane, and temporary traffic signals on slip roads as part of ongoing major junction improvement works

From Junction 2 of the M25 take the A2 and then the M2 towards Dover. On reaching the end of the M2 take the A299 towards Margate.

Stay on the A299 for sixteen miles, until you reach a roundabout which is the junction with the A28. At the roundabout take the second exit onto the A28 continuing towards Margate. After around four miles you will pass the Margate town boundary sign. The road at this point is dual carriageway but becomes two way. After passing a BP garage on your right and then the Hussar pub, also on the right, you will pass through a set of traffic lights. Take the second right onto the George V Avenue (sign posted Ramsgate A254) and follow this road up and around to the left (passing the Hartsdown Academy School on your right). At the end of the road you will reach a T-Junction where you turn right into Hartsdown Road. The entrance to the ground is further down on the left.

Street Parking
There is a small car park at the ground, but as you would expect this fills up rather quickly. Otherwise there is plenty of surrounding street parking available.


From Bromley South trains leave at 27 & 57 mins past the hour on Bank Holiday Monday taking 1 hr 20 or 1 hr 28 mins to get there. For the return journey there are trains at 04 & 43 mins past the hour.

Margate Railway Station is located just under a mile from Hartsdown Park and is around a ten minute walk. It is served by trains from London St Pancras International, London Charing Cross and a slower route from London Victoria. Margate is unusual in that trains leave for London from both ends of the station. As you come out of the main station entrance, bear right and walk up the station approach. At the roundabout turn right into All Saints Avenue and go under the railway bridge. Turn left into Tivoli Park Avenue and cross the road to walk alongside the park. After 350 yards turn right down a surfaced footpath. The floodlights of the ground can be seen to the right. The path leads directly to the turnstiles at the South East corner of the ground on Hartsdown Road.

If you are looking for a drink there are plenty of pubs in Margate to choose from.  There is a very good clubhouse at Hartsdown Road and very welcoming but if you prefer to take in the sea air there are near the seafront the Cinque Ports and the Mechanical Elephant (Wetherspoons) on Marine Terrace, while strolling up and around are the Fez, The Two Halves, The Bulls Head, The Wig & Pen while for real ale lovers, the Northern Belle on Mansion Street is listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide.

Another real ale pub is the Lifeboat on Market Street. If you looking for nearer and around the ground then on Tivoli Road is the Princess of Wales.   If you want a chippie then again there are loads normally and on the seafront you may find The Atlantis, Peter’s Fish Factory, Garlinge and Alfies.  There is probably not many of our supporters who haven’t at one time or another been to Margate perhaps for a holiday or a daytrip or a Beano at some point so much of the town will not be new to you.

Margate is part of the Isle of Thanet in North-East Kent and has links with Dover in terms of maritime history.  Margate was a major holiday destination for Londoners attracted by its impressive sandy beach.  It is also home of the Dreamland Amusement Park which was opened firstly in 1880 and added the Scenic Railway rollercoaster the oldest of its kind in the UK in 1920. The park was for a short while known as Benbom Brothers after the Dutch owners but reverted back to Dreamland in 1990. It closed in 2006 originally for housing but a campaign to keep it open worked and re-opened in 2015 and then again two years later.  Margate also has an artistic history with the Turner Contemporary Art Gallery named after JMW Turner, the artist who was associated with the town. There is also the Winter Gardens near the seafront which is a live music and comedy venue and there are two other theatres, the Theatre Royal, the second oldest in the country and the Tom Thumb theatre, the second smallest in the country.   You will find a lot to do in Margate and especially good to be going on Bank Holiday Monday rather than New Year’s Day like our last visit.