The Christmas fixtures might be finished but there is still the small matter of the Bostik South-East New Year games to come and on Saturday, the curtain comes down on 2018 for Cray Wanderers as they make the relatively short trip to Sevenoaks Town on Saturday, 29th December. Kick off at Greatness Park is 3pm.
Cray Wanderers returned to winning ways after three matches without a win on Sunday with a 2-1 victory against Sittingbourne at Hayes Lane. A goal in each half from Bradley Pritchard and Ben Mundele was less than Cray deserved for a good performance which saw the woodwork hit four times and although Sittingbourne pulled a goal back three minutes from the end, Cray were able to see out the victory.
There were a number of plusses for Tony Russell’s side but perhaps the best sight for Cray fans was the return of Aaron Rhule for the final ten minutes for his first outing since September. Tom Phipp could also return after serving the last of his three match ban on Sunday although Junior Dadson picked up a foot injury early in the game and likely to miss the match.
Cray’s lead at the top became eight points after Hastings United defeated Sevenoaks Town on Boxing Day but no-one at Cray Wanderers is getting carried away by the lead and with so much football still to be played there are a number of teams below Cray in form who could yet have a say in the final reckoning come May 2019.
It has been an excellent 2018 for Sevenoaks Town having won promotion to the Isthmian League for the first time in their history as Champions of Southern Counties East Premier Division winning the title by six points from Whitstable Town. This was on the back of a successful 2016-17 season which saw Sevenoaks win the SCEFL Cup for the first time.
Micky Collins side began the season with just one point from their first five league games but hit a good run of form from September going six unbeaten settling currently in 12th place with 21 points. At home they picked up wins against Hythe Town (2-0) and Ashford United (1-0) and drew with Haywards Heath Town (2-2). They were beaten at home by Horsham (1-2), Hastings United (2-3), Phoenix Sports (1-2) and Guernsey (0-2). Away form has been decent with wins at VCD Athletic (3-1), Greenwich Borough (1-0), Whyteleafe (3-2) and Ramsgate (3-1). They picked up points at Whitstable Town and East Grinstead Town and were beaten at Faversham Town, Three Bridges and in their last two outings at Sittingbourne and a narrow defeat at Hastings on Boxing Day. Top scorer in the league is Frankie Sawyer with 6 goals.
Competitive matches between Cray Wanderers and Sevenoaks Town are few and far between with the most recent league meetings not until August 2003 in the Kent League. Then Cray were 3-0 winners at Sevenoaks Town on the way to winning the title and promotion. Scorers were Jamie Wood, James Taylor and Phil Turner. The only other league meeting went the way of Cray, 2-0 at Hayes Lane in September 2003. The two teams did meet last season in the Preliminary Round of the FA Cup at Hayes Lane with Sevenoaks causing a bit of an upset by winning 3-2 with two goals from Tom Young and a Billy Bennett winning the game with consolation goals for Cray from Luke Medley and Freddie Parker.
This should be a great way to round off your 2018 football wise before seeing in the New Year in the wonderful and scenic setting of Sevenoaks and a great way to beat those post Christmas blues.
DIRECTIONS TO SEVENOAKS TOWN FC
Sevenoaks Town Football Club
Sevenoaks, Kent TN14 5BX
The quickest way from the Cray’s is via A224. Once on the A224 after 2.9 miles at Hewitts Roundabout take 3rd exit onto Orpington By-Pass/A224 for 1.2 miles. Then at the roundabout take the 2nd exit onto London Road/A224 continuing to follow for 2.3 miles. At the roundabout take the 1st exit onto Morants Court Road/A224 for 1.7 miles and then at the roundabout take the 1st exit onto Maidstone Road/A25. Follow the A25 for 1.4 miles and then turn left onto Mill Lane and then turn right for the ground.
Also from the M25 exit at Junction 5 onto the A21 and then almost immediately take the turn off for the A25 in the direction of Riverhead. Continue on this road for two miles, passing the junction with St Johns Hill. When you pass a Shell garage on your left hand side take the next left into Mill Lane for the ground. There is a small free car park there.
The nearest train station is Bat & Ball which is 5 minutes walk away. Exit station into Chatham Hill Road, then turn left onto Seal Road and follow. Mill Lane is next left after the Shell petrol station.
Trains to Bat & Ball from Bromley South and St Mary Cray run twice an hour on a Saturday. From Bromley South at 23 & 53 and from St Mary Cray at 01 and 31 past the hour. Returns leave Bat & Ball at 25 and 55 past the hour.
For pubs there are plenty in and around Sevenoaks to choose from particularly the High Street, The Sennockian (Wetherspoon, 139-141 High Street), The Chequers (real ale pub, 73 High Street), The Halfway House (London Road) and the Vine Restaurant (11 Pound Lane) may well be worth a visit. If making a day of it there are plenty of lovely slightly out of town places to visit like Otford, Kemsing, Westerham and Seal with plenty of eating and drinking venues often in idyllic rural settings. For Fish and Chips the best recommended in Sevenoaks is the St Johns Fish Bar in St Johns Hill but again you will find other places in and around Sevenoaks if you are wandering around.
Sevenoaks is a wonderful part of Kent and not too far from our neck of the woods and so much to see and do. Originally a market town these days is a commuter hub with many commuting into Central London. The home of Knole House, a 1,000 acre deer park with several million trees and south of Knole House is Riverhill House, a 16th Century home.
Named after the seven oak trees that lined the Cricket ground on the Vine six of these were blown down during the Great Storm of 1987 which damaged so much of Kent. Gradually over the years these trees have been replanted and a new site at Sevenoaks Common has recently been used.