Cray Wanderers end their pre-season schedule on Sunday afternoon as Danny Kedwell’s team visit Ashford United. Kick off is 1pm.

The match sees the Wands up against former Cray player and manager Tommy Warrilow’s Nuts n Bolts side who begin their Isthmian South-East season at home to Burgess Hill Town on 8th August.

Beckenham | England | 24 July 2021 | Eden Park Avenue Beckenham Town v Cray Wanderers Pre-Season Friendly (Photo: © Jon Hilliger / HilligerPix)

It has been a pretty solid pre-season for Cray who have won four and drawn three of their eight pre-season games and hopefully signs that some of the injuries which have been one of the down sides of pre-season are starting to heal ahead of the big kick off at home to Lewes next Saturday.

Bromley | England | 03 August 2021 | Hayes Lane Cray Wanderers v Welling United Pre-Season Friendly (Photo: © Jon Hilliger / HilligerPix)

The Wands last outing was a lively 2-2 draw at home to Welling United on Tuesday night where goals from Lee Lewis and Fjord Rogers put Cray 2-1 in front before Welling levelled early in the second half. There were a number of positives including Rogers’ performance, Cameron Brodie in midfield who looks a major star in the making, Freddie Cray who played in midfield in front of the defence and Lee Lewis who despite being so young plays with a steady maturity that belies his years.

Bromley | England | 03 August 2021 | Hayes Lane Cray Wanderers v Welling United Pre-Season Friendly (Photo: © Jon Hilliger / HilligerPix)

There is no doubt that the start to the season is tough with Lewes, Hornchurch and Worthing in the first three games but it is an exciting challenge and one our fans are looking forward  to after so many months away and watching what is basically a brand new team.

Ashford United will provide tough opposition in the final game for both teams which has moved to  Sunday (8th August) as Kennington who groundshare at the Homelands are at home to Horley in the FA Cup on Saturday. Ashford in pre-season have beaten Rochester 6-1, Margate 1-0, Sheppey United 3-1 and 5-1 at Cuxton on Tuesday night. Ashford drew with Kennington and their only defeats in pre-season were at Dover and at home to Folkestone Invicta. 

The name Ashford United conjures up memories of 13th April 2019 when Cray won 3-1 at home to clinch the Isthmian South-East title but Ashford that season were close to promotion themselves only losing to Horsham in the Playoff final and were lying 2nd when the 2019-20 season was suspended in March 2020. Ashford were 11th when the 2020-21 season was curtailed and you feel they will be one of the main contenders for the Isthmian South-East title this season. Tommy Warrilow is no stranger to Cray Wanderers fans after his short spell as manager during the 2014-15 season where Cray made a remarkable escape from relegation from the Isthmian North with a ten game winning run which saw the club with the Team of the Year for the North division.

Ashford United were reformed in 2011 after the original Ashford Town club who supporters may remember from our early days in the Isthmian League were suspended from competition at the end of the 2009-10 season and after a year hiatus returned as Ashford United in the Step 6 Kent Invicta League and after promotion in 2012-13 they began life in the Southern Counties East League and did well for a few seasons reaching the Kent Senior Trophy final two seasons in row and in 2016-17 won the title on the last day of the season ahead of Crowborough Athletic and also won the Kent Senior Trophy beating Cray Valley PM at Maidstone for a league and cup double.  After an initial season of struggle in 2017-18 in the Isthmian South, a 4th place finish in 2018-19 in the Isthmian South-East saw a dramatic playoff semi-final 3-2 victory at Hastings United and were only beaten by Horsham 2-1 after extra-time in the Final.

This should be a fine game to end pre-season and to get ready for hopefully an undisrupted season after the frustrations of the last two years.  

Directions to Ashford United

Ashford Road



Kent TN26 1NJ

Admission costs:  £5.00 adults, £3.00 concessions  – U16s – free with an adult, £1 if unaccompanied. There will be pay on the day but please see here a link to purchase online tickets via the Ashford United website. Ashford United V Cray Wanderers | Pre Season | Ashford United FC Web (

From the Crays, via the B258 and B2173 head for the M20 slip road signed Dover/Maidstone for 0.6 miles and then merge to the M20.  Travel for 37.9 miles and at junction 10 take the A292/A2070 exit to Ashford/Brenzett.  After 0.2 miles at the roundabout take the 4th exit onto Bad Munstereifel Road/A2070.  After 1.1 miles at Orbital Park Roundabout take the 2nd exit and stay on Bad Munstereifel Road/A2070 for 0.9 miles and then keep right on Bad Munstereifel Road/A2042.  After 0.4 miles take the 1st exit onto Ave Jacques Faucheux for 0.3 miles and then at the roundabout take the 2nd exit onto Ashford Road.  After 1.3 miles, turn left and the Homelands will be on the left after 0.2 miles.

By train the nearest station is Ashford International which is around 3.2 miles from the ground and will require a taxi or bus number 11A from Stop R at the station to Smithfields Crossroads and then a half-mile walk.  Please note however that this is not the most regular service in the world and after 12.00pm there is not another bus until after 5pm and there isn’t one after the game so the bus is probably not a wise option unless you like a hike back. 

For train services please note there are no direct trains to Ashford International from Bromley South on Sunday. Please travel via Orpington direct which takes 56 minutes and run at 05 past the hour and 32 for the return.  

There is a fairly large taxi rank at the station but if you need to book on the way back then Arrow Taxis – 01233 666 666 will return you to the station.

Taxis no – 01233 666999 or 01233 629292

I wouldn’t recommend you walk it from the station unless it is an absolute necessity but from Ashford International station after 0.1 mile turn right at Mill Ct, and after 0.3 miles turn left towards Norman Road/B2299 and after 0.3 miles turn left again to stay on Norman Road/B2299 then at the roundabout take the 1st exit onto Ave Jacques Faucheux /A2042 and stay for 1 mile then at the next roundabout take the 3rd exit onto Ashford Road.  This is a fairly long walk but mostly flat and after 1.3 miles turn left and the Homelands will be on the left after 0.2 miles.

The nearest pub to the ground is the Queens Head on Ashford Road and apparently does a smashing fried breakfast for any early birds.  This is the only pub even remotely close to the ground so you will more than likely need to go into Ashford. On the Hythe Road is the New Fox Inn on Torrington Road and about 0.3 miles from the station is the Riverside Inn.

Not too many chippies on the way to the ground I’m afraid with the nearest to Kingsnorth being Skippers Fish Bar and Café on Stanhope Road (TN23 5EW) so probably best to stick to the wares at the Homelands.

Ashford was at one time an agricultural market town but has been transformed into a major travel and communications hub through its close proximity to the English Channel and since the opening of the channel tunnel and in 1994 the International railway station was completed and is one of the busiest in the UK. 

The ground itself lies just over three miles from Ashford itself in Kingsnorth. This area is a reminder of its rural past and can be classed as agricultural Kent.  In the 1960’s Ashford was earmarked in London as a possible location for a commuter belt for the overspill of people from the capital to live.  With a pretty steady flow of trains from London and access to the M20 it was considered ripe for development.  Many European companies are now based there with the links to the channel and they have one of the busiest designer shopping centres outside of London with the Ashford Designer Outlet which has around 120 shops in the complex.  There is St. Mary’s Church which dates back to the 13th century and also doubles as an Arts Centre.  The Ashford Green Corridor is a large area of Green Space all linked together including parks and fields and is a hive of wildlife and heritage.

I suppose the only down side with a trip to Ashford and football is that the ground is so far away as the whole area has something to offer and has been an upwardly mobile town since the 1960’s with lots to do and see..