Margate vs Cray Wanderers – Monday 26th December, 1 pm – Match Preview & Directions

Cray Wanderers play the final Isthmian League game of 2022 on Boxing Day as the Wands head to Margate for a local derby.  Please note kick off is 1 pm. This will be Cray’s first Boxing Day trip to Margate since 2012 and the first of a double header of Kent derbies with Herne Bay to follow at home on 2nd January.   

BROMLEY, GREATER LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 29: Cray Wanderers’s Jalen Jones rises higher to head the ball during The Pitching In Isthmian Premier League match between Cray Wanderers and Margate at Hayes Lane on August 29, 2022 in Bromley, Greater London, England . (Photo: © Jon Hilliger / HilligerPix)

Neil Smith’s side come into the game in good league form with just one defeat in 13 league games and moved up to 4th last Saturday after a dramatic last kick of the match victory at home to Billericay Town. Goals from Anthony Cook from the spot, his 7th of the season and a Dan Bassett strike taking him to 10 put Cray two nil up before a Billiericay fight back made it 2-2. Two substitutes helped Cray get over the line with Tom Derry making it 3-2 with a smart header and after Billericay levelled again, Sam Skeffington swiped home a shot in the 10th minute of stoppage time to win the game for Cray. 

The win moved Cray on to 36 points which is the same amount of points amassed by the end of last season so a considerable improvement as a year ago the Wands were in the bottom three. Also Cray are the only side to have played the expected quota of 22 games at halfway through the season so have the points on the board. 

Although Margate lie 16th in the table, Andy Drury’s side had an unbeaten run through November into December in league and cups but were beaten at home by Hastings United on Tuesday evening. Sam Blackman’s goal levelled the game before half time after Ben Pope put Hastings ahead but the visitors won with a Kane Penn strike.  

When the sides met on August Bank Holiday Monday, Cray were 1-0 winners with a first half goal from Danny Bassett.  Cray Wanderers fans may remember last season’s player of the year Cameron Brodie, Freddy Barton and Ethan Kaiser all play for Margate and Harry Hudson who had a spell with Cray during the 2019-20 season as well as Drury who was player Assistant Manager until December last year.

BROMLEY, GREATER LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 29: Cray Wanderers’s Daniel Bassett opens the scoring for Cray Wanderers to make it 1-0 during The Pitching In Isthmian Premier League match between Cray Wanderers and Margate at Hayes Lane on August 29, 2022 in Bromley, Greater London, England . (Photo: © Jon Hilliger / HilligerPix)

At home Margate have beaten Herne Bay (4-0), Canvey Island (2-0) and  Bognor Regis Town (2-0) and drawn with Kingstonian (1-1), Horsham (1-1), Haringey Borough (3-3) and Billericay Town (0-0). Margate were beaten by Enfield Town (2-5), Hornchurch (1-3) and Hastings United (1-2).  Away from home, Margate won at Bowers & Pitsea (2-0), Corinthian Casuals (1-0) and Wingate & Finchley (2-1), drew at Bishops Stortford and lost at Brightlingsea Regent, Cray Wanderers, Aveley, Lewes and Carshalton Athletic.  In the FA Cup Margate won at Aylesbury United before losing at Dulwich Hamlet in the 2nd QR and in the FA Trophy were beaten at Billericay Town in the 3QR.  Margate have advanced past a couple of rounds of the Velocity League Cup after beating Chichester City and Folkestone Invicta and in the Kent County Cup are through to the Quarter Finals after beating Faversham Town and Sheppey United.

With hopefully the big freeze well behind us and recover from any Christmas Day excesses this should be a great game down at the coast and way to bring the curtain down on 2022.


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

Match Programme:  Yes


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.


Please note that as per usual on a Boxing Day there will be no rail services to Margate as well as there being industrial action that day. Please see here directions to the ground if you find yourself close to the station as quite near the seafront.

Margate Railway Station is located just under a mile from Hartsdown Park and is around a ten minute walk. 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.

Please note if you are looking for a drink at Margate on Boxing Day it might be better to go to the clubhouse as some bars may not be open in the morning with the game kicking off at 1pm.

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.

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.