It’s the start of the football festive season on Saturday as Cray Wanderers travel to Surrey to take on Molesey. Kick off at Walton Road is 3pm.
Cray come into the game in good heart, 15 unbeaten in the league and moved up to 2nd place in the table after last weekend’s results. However it would be wrong to dismiss Molesey who have become very hard to beat in recent weeks and have lost just three of the last nine games. This will also be the first game on grass for Cray for a few weeks since the FA Trophy game at Braintree at the end of November.
Cray played on Wednesday night in the Kent Senior Cup and a young Wands side were beaten by Charlton Athletic. Manager Tony Russell rested seven of his first regulars for the game which could prove to be something of a masterstroke to keep key players fresh over for the four yuletide/New Year fixtures.
Last weekend the Wands made it 10 points out of 12 in December with a thoroughly professional and efficient display to beat Whyteleafe at Church Road, with goals in each half from Michael Freiter and Michael Power. The defence was as watertight as in previous away matches in the league and incredibly have conceded just four goals away from home all season.
Although lying 21st in the league table with 18 points, Molesey will provide tough opposition and Peter Lelliott’s side recently picked up a point from a home game with Carshalton Athletic so will be hard to break down on that evidence. Their last match was at Hythe Town last Saturday and they took the lead through Antonio Kozakis after quarter of an hour but Hythe came back to win 2-1.
When the two sides met at Hayes Lane on 26th August it was one of Cray’s more straightforward results of the season with a 4-0 win against a ten man Molesey with goals from Bradley Stevenson, Freddie Parker, Lea Dawson and Jay Leader. Our last visit to Molesey took place in November 2016 and the game finished in a 2-2 draw with Danny Haynes and Dawson scoring for Cray. The overall record is P. 11 W. 8 D. 2 L. 1.
Their home form at Walton Road has seen four wins against Horsham (2-1) on the opening day of the season, Hastings United (4-3), East Grinstead Town (4-2) and Chipstead (3-0). They picked up points from draws with Ramsgate, Thamesmead Town and Carshalton Athletic. They were beaten by Walton Casuals, Corinthian Casuals, Phoenix Sports, Guernsey and Sittingbourne but most of those have been very close games. Away from home they won at Ashford (1-0) in September and drew at East Grinstead, Herne Bay and Shoreham. They were beaten at Cray Wanderers, Greenwich Borough, Guernsey, Lewes, Horsham, VCD Athletic, Corinthian Casuals and Hythe Town. Top league scorer is Ross Chalke with 7 goals.
In the cups, they were beaten in the FA Cup Preliminary Round at Walton Casuals (1-2) whilst in the FA Trophy were beaten 3-4 at Aylesbury in the Preliminary Round. In the Velocity League Cup they lost 1-3 at South Park in the 1st Round. Molesey are still in the Surrey Senior Cup after beating Croydon on penalties in the 1st Round but face a tough trip to Sutton United in the 2nd Round in January.
Molesey were formed in 1953 and spent their early years in the Surrey Senior leagues and then spells in the Spartan and Athenian Leagues. They moved to the Ryman set up in 1977 in Division Two gaining promotion to League One in 1990 and the Isthmian Premier in 1993 where they stayed for three years. They remained in the Isthmian South until the 2007-08 season when they were relegated to the Combined Counties league. They remained there until the 2014-15 season when they won the Combined Counties League and finished in a creditable ninth place in their first season back in the Isthmian South but last season was more of a struggle but finished relatively safe in 19th place.
This promises to be a fascinating game and a great way to move on to your Christmas activities. Following this game Cray take on Shoreham on Boxing Day (3pm) then face Faversham Town on 30th January finishing off with a trip to Greenwich Borough on New Years Day.
DIRECTIONS TO MOLESEY FC
Address: Molesey FC. 412 Walton Road, West Molesey, Surrey KT8 2JG
Adults – £10
Concession Senior OAP’s – £5
Under 16’s Accompanied by a paying adult are free
Programmes – £2.00
From the A3 Exit at the junction signed Hampton Court. Follow signs for Hampton Court which will take you through Esher and past Sandown Park racecourse. Just before reaching Hampton Court Station, turn left into Bridge Road. Continue across one roundabout, until you get to a bigger roundabout. Turn right into Walton Road and the ground will be on your left after the Lord Hotham pub – number 412.
From the M25 – Exit the M25 at the M3 junction and head towards Central London. Come off at Junction 1 (Sunbury) and follow signs for A308 Kingston. Continue until you come to a set of traffic lights T Junction with the River Thames to your right. Turn right at the lights and then as you pass Hampton Court Station turn right onto Bridge Road and follow directions as above.
The nearest station is Hampton Court – approx. 1.5 mile walk. From the station, cross over onto Bridge Road. Continue across one roundabout, until you get to a bigger roundabout. Turn right onto Walton Road (B369) and walk down this road, through the High Street and past the Lord Hotham pub and the ground should be on the left.
There are direct services from London Waterloo to Hampton Court with trains leaving at 06 and 36 past the hour and takes around 35 minutes. Returns are at 24 and 54 past the hour. Please note that there is disruption coming into London by train due to engineering works over the Christmas/New Year holidays. Charing Cross, Waterloo East, Cannon Street and London Bridge stations are not available on Southeastern Trains due to the Thameslink Programme redevelopment. Your best bet is to go to Victoria and either change at Clapham Junction for a connecting train to Hampton Court or access the underground to Waterloo. A bit round the houses but from North Greenwich underground station catch the Jubilee Line to Waterloo.
The Bus 411 towards West Molesey takes you from Hampton Court Station and stops near the ground. Nearest stop is Spreighton Road. This service runs every 15 minutes up to 8pm and then half hourly to 9.30pm.
THE CRAY MASSIVE ON TOUR – CHRISTMAS BEGINS OUT HAMPTON COURT WAY
The nearest pub to the ground is the Lord Hotham (360 Walton Road) which is located on the street corner and serves real ale. Also on Walton Road is the Europa.
The nearest Fish and chip shop is the Molesey Fish Bar (260 Walton Road), whilst the closest Indian restaurant is the Raj of India (508 Walton Road) and for Chinese food the best bet is the Lee Fung (100 Walton Road).
Molesey is part of Surrey suburbia and is divided into two large villages, East and West Molesey. Molesey FC lies in the west part on the south bank of the River Thames although both villages share one High Street. To the East part of Molesey lies Hampton Court and a large park, Hurst Park and there is a cricket ground there. There is Molesey lock just above Hampton Court Bridge which connects the River Thames with other locks around the river.
Both Hampton Court Palace and the river are well worth a visit if you have plenty of time on your hands. The Palace is open all year round and the former home of Henry VIII attracts many tourists with its vast gardens and impressive buildings. Be wary if you wish to use the maze if you don’t want to miss the 3pm kick off.
This is actually a nice area to visit and still has East Molesey Cricket Club whilst it used to many years ago have a racecourse there which stretched the length of the Thames but is now part of the Hurst Park site. The area received world-wide attention during the 2012 London Olympics where Bradley Wiggins won the gold medal during the Cycling road time trial which passed through East and West Molesey before finishing at Hampton Court.