Cray Wanderers return to league action after sitting out the Bank Holiday weekend for the FA Cup with a first ever league visit to Potters Bar Town FC. Kick off at the Pakex Stadium is 3pm.
Tony Russell’s side had a smooth passage into the 1st Qualifying Round of the FA Cup after a 5-0 win against Hythe Town at Hayes Lane last Sunday. On a very hot late August afternoon, three first half goals, two cracking strikes from Tom Murphy and a cool finish from Joe Taylor had what promised to be quite a tough assignment at the start of the game practically won by the interval. After the break a Bradley Pritchard strike and another goal in the last minute from Taylor sealed the win and Cray will next meet Bedfont Sports from the Isthmian South-Central at Hayes Lane next Sunday. Cray start the game in 14th place in the admittedly still very early stages of the league season.
Despite injuries and absences from the likes of Jay Leader, Tom Phipp, Karl Dent and Andre Coker in recent games this has given the chance for some fine home-grown players to be used and Lee Lewis, Freddie Parker and Neil Spencer who made a lively cameo appearance on Sunday have all stepped up to the plate early in the season. The loan signing of central-defender Harry Hudson from Watford has been an astute piece of business judging by the authority shown in the first couple of games and the club also signed defender Geofrey Okonkwo who made his debut towards the end of Sunday’s cup tie. If you include Charles Etumnu who did so well in the game against Corinthian Casuals the squad has been utilised to the full early on in the season.
Potters Bar Town have made a decent start to only their second season in the Isthmian Premier and stand 9th in the table with seven points from their five games played. They began the season with an impressive 2-0 win at home to Carshalton Athletic and also won 3-1 at East Thurrock United on 17th August so Lee O’Leary can rise to the occasion. The Scholars over the Bank Holiday weekend were beaten 1-4 at home by a strong Folkestone Invicta side on Saturday and on Bank Holiday Monday picked up a useful point at Enfield Town in a 2-2 draw with goals from Joshua Hutchinson who has five goals already this season and a goal from Bradley Sach. Their only other game was a 0-2 defeat at Cheshunt.
Potters Bar Town were formed one hundred years after Cray Wanderers in 1960 and were known as Mount Grace Old Scholars after a team was set up for ex-Mount Grace School pupils until 1991. They spent their early existence in the Hertfordshire County League Division One and in 1981-82 were promoted to the Premier Division. In 1991 after being promoted to the South Midlands League Premier and in 1996-97 to the Spartan South Midlands Division North where they came second and the Quarter Finals of the FA Vase.
In 2004-05 the club were promoted from the South Midlands Premier and into the Southern League Division One East where they spent one season before being moved to the Isthmian North for 2005-06. They remained there before being moved back to the Southern League Division One Central for a couple of years thereby missing Cray Wanderers in the Wands two season stay in the North. They returned to the North and were promoted in 2017-18 behind champions Hornchurch and in their first season in the Isthmian Premier finished in a respectable 16th place.
Potters Bar Town are one of three clubs in the division that Cray have never played along with Bowers & Pitsea and Bishops’ Stortford and should be a great game to watch as the first month of the season winds down and autumn begins to loom over the horizon.
DIRECTIONS TO POTTERS BAR TOWN FC
The Pakex Stadium Parkfield,
Watkins Rise (off The Walk)
Admission Prices: Adults: £12.00
Concessions: £8.00 (Over 65’s & students)
Travelling By Car
Directions from M25
Come off at Junction 24, take A111 exit (Southgate Road) towards Potters Bar. Continue to traffic lights then turn right at A1000 on to High Street. After passing BP garage on left and a pedestrian crossing turn left into the Walk after 200 metres turn right into Watkins Rise and the ground is to your right
Please do not park in Mayfair Lodge Care Home car park – as you may be clamped
Please use the Car Park adjacent to the ground. You may also park on one side of the entrance part to Watkins Rise, but ensure you allow access for Emergency vehicles.
Travelling By Train to Potters Bar Station
Trains go to Potters Bar via London Kings Cross station. Trains run half hourly on a Saturday at 28 & 58 past the hour and takes 17 minutes to get there calling at Finsbury Park and then Potters Bar. Returns to Kings Cross are at 02 & 32 past the hour.
The ground is 10 minutes’ walk from Potters Bar Station. Exit the station and turn right and almost immediately right again into The Walk. Ground is around a mile on the left hand side.
For buses no’s 84, 298 or 313 will take you close to the ground.
As you are fairly close to the High Street there are a number of options available. There is the Cask and Stillage (19 High Street) and the Oakmere House Harvester, while fairly close and if time on your hands there’s the Old Manor and the Admiral Byng on Darkes Lane and going a bit out of your way are the Strafford and the Builders Arms. Also the Chequers on Coopers Lane if you really want to make a day of what is our first ever trip there.
On Barnet Road is the Fish & Chip Shop (no fancy name required) which is highly rated For Indian food there are the Pubali Tandoori in the High Street and Tamarind on Barnet Road but these won’t be open until after the match as will the China Style restaurant also on Barnet Road.
Potters Bar is a commuter town in Hertfordshire about 13 miles from central London. It is situated on the Great North Road one of a couple of routes out of the City of London which will take you to the North of England. Much of the town was owned by the Byng family and own the Wrotham Park Estate between Potters Bar and Barnet.
Potters Bar was also the scene of a couple of serious railway incidents, in 1946 and a derailment in May 2002 cost the lives of seven people and injured another 11.
For Golf enthusiasts there is a Golf course in Potters Bar which was used by the great Tony Jacklin who hailed from the town as did clarinettist Acker Bilk who lived partly in Potters Bar and in Somerset. Also actor Martin Freeman comes from the town.