Cray Wanderers continue their run of FA Trophy games on Tuesday, 15th December as the Wands make the trip to Clarence Park to face National South league leaders St Albans City in the 2nd Round.  Kick off is 7.45pm. Please note there is no extra-time and will go to a penalty shoot-out if level after 90 minutes.  The winners will be at home to Sutton United in the 3rd Round at the weekend.

This will be Cray Wanderers first trip to a National South club since a 3rd Qualifying Round defeat at Braintree Town in November 2017.

This will be Cray Wanderers third FA Trophy match in a row with a 3-0 win at Whitehawk on 31st October followed by a 3-1 win at Uxbridge on Tuesday evening.  In what was the first competitive match for both sides following the end of the second lockdown, it was a terrific game with all the ingredients needed for a classic cup tie.  

The home side got off to a flyer and went ahead in the 12th minute and could have scored a couple before that but for a couple of Lewis Carey stops but Cray who played with Charlie Allen at right back worked their way into the game and levelled three minutes later with Joe Taylor’s crisp close range finish from Rhys Murrell-Williamson’s volleyed cross.  Cray got on top and Jason Banton capped off a good performance converting a well worked team goal move in the 27th minute.  Taylor scored his second and 13th goal of the season in the 64th minute to give Cray a bit of daylight but there was still time for Carey to deny Toby Little with a fine penalty save ten minutes from time to seal the win for Tony Russell’s team.

With the match being the first for a while, not surprisingly there were one or two knocks during the game but Cray have a good quality side and can travel to St Albans in good heart if perhaps a little undercooked.

Certainly when the draw was made last Wednesday, Cray were pulled out a tough one as St Albans City are the in-form team in the National South and went top of the table on Saturday after a 3-1 home win against Tonbridge Angels. After going behind early on, St Albans fought back to win with goals from Mitchell Weiss, an own goal and a Shaun Jeffers penalty to put the Saints top with 27 points and unbeaten after 11 matches.  St Albans City join the FA Trophy from this round so yet to play in the competition in 2020-21.

St Albans who finished 20th last season are managed by ex-Arsenal player and former Boreham Wood boss, Ian Allinson and so far in the league at home have beaten Hampton & Richmond Borough (1-0) , Ebbsfleet United (3-2) , Chippenham Town (3-0), Braintree Town (2-1) and Tonbridge Angels (3-1). They drew with Hungerford Town (0-0). Away from home, St Albans won at second placed Dartford (1-0), Eastbourne Borough (1-0) and Hampton & Richmond Borough (2-0) also drawing at Concord Rangers (1-1) and Oxford City (0-0). Their only defeat this season came against Isthmian Premier opposition in the FA Cup when after wins against Hitchin Town and Mickleover Sports were beaten 0-2 by Bishops Stortford in a televised tie.  Jeffers is the leading scorer with eight goals.

The club from the historical Hertfordshire cathedral city were founded in 1908 and through the Athenian League became Isthmian League regulars from the 1920’s where they won three league titles right through to 2003-04 where after non-league restructuring were placed in the National South. In 2005-06 St Albans were promoted to the National League via the playoffs but were relegated in their first season.  In 2011-12 after relegation from the National South moved to the Southern League Premier for three seasons gaining promotion to the National South once again in 2013-14 via the playoffs so now in their seventh season back in Step 2.  The club have reached the 2nd Round of the FA Cup three times, the last being in 1996-97 where they lost at Bristol City and also the FA Amateur Cup Semi Final in 1969-70 and the FA Trophy Semi-Finals in 1998-99 losing to Forest Green Rovers.

 The sides have only ever met in cup ties, with St Albans winning 7-0 at Cray in the London Senior Cup in January 1968 but Cray did win 2-0 at home in the same competition in November 1974. The most recent games were also in the FA Trophy where after a 2-2 draw at Hayes Lane on 27/11/2004 (Michael Power & Ross Lover scoring), Isthmian Premier St Albans won the replay against Isthmian South newcomers Cray, 3-2 after extra-time with Matt Woolf and Jamie Kempster scoring for Cray.

This promises to be a tough challenge for the Wands but one the team will relish and showcasing what they can do against a side high in confidence.


Please note that supporters due to FA rules are not permitted to come to the game with attendance limited to home fans only. Please click the link here for details St Albans City FC – One city. One club. One community

Address:              St Albans City FC, Clarence Park, York Road, St Albans AL 1 4NF

Don’t forget there will be a live stream back to Flamingo Park of the game, doors open from 6pm. Please visit their website link here to check their Covid-19 policies and also the relevant entrance to the ground as there are two to gain access. Doors open from 6.15pm for the arrival of players and officials

RED ZONE – PLAYERS, COACHING STAFF, MEDICAL STAFF, MATCH OFFICIALS & MATCH OPERATIONS – via CLARENCE PARK GATE G (Sat Nav AL1 4NF) from 75-90 minutes before the match. All staff must wear a face covering at all times until pitch side and temperature checks given on arrival.

AMBER ZONE – MEDIA, PHOTOGRAPHERS, VIDEOGRAPHERS, NON-MATCH OPERATIONS STAFF – via YORK ROAD GATE F (Sat Nav AL1 4PL) from 45-60 mins, see above about face coverings and temperature checks.

Directions probably quickest via the M11 and M25.  Follow the A12 through the Blackwall Tunnel for 6.8 miles and then take the A406 (N) exit towards M25 (West)/Loughton/M11 and after 0.3 miles merge onto the N Circular (A406). After 0.2 miles use the left two lanes to take the M11 slip road to Cambridge/Stansted Airport for 1.2 miles and then onto the M11 for 6.3 miles. At junction 6 exit onto the M25 towards M1/Watford/Heathrow Airport for 19.1 miles. At junction 22 use the second from left lane to take the A1081 exit to St Albans. After 0.2 miles at the roundabout take the 3rd exit onto A1081. After 0.2 miles at the Bell Roundabout take the 3rd exit staying on the A1081. At the London Colney roundabout take the 3rd exit onto the A1081 and after 0.6 miles at the roundabout take the 1st exit staying on the A1081.  After 0.2 miles turn right onto Drakes Drive going through three roundabouts and after 0.7 miles at the roundabout continue straight onto Ashley Road. After 0.5 miles at the roundabout take the 2nd exit onto Hatfield Road/A1057 and then take the 1st exit onto Beaumont Avenue. After 0.5 miles turn left onto Sandpit Lane and after 0.4 miles take the 1st exit onto Clarence Road and after 0.3 miles turn right onto York Road where the ground will be to the left.

By train, St Albans City can be reached via St Pancras International where there are plenty of trains during the evening and takes 33 minutes to get to St Albans City and also after the game well after midnight.              

Turn left out of St. Albans City station into Station Way and cross Hatfield Road into Clarence Park. Follow the path round to the right of the ground until you reach the main entrance.  

The nearest pub to the ground is the Crown on Hatfield Road with the Robin Hood of St Albans on Victoria Street close by.