With the season starting to wind down the Easter football programme begins for Cray Wanderers on Saturday as they travel to Three Bridges. Kick off at Jubilee Fields is 3pm.
The Wands will be hoping to end the season with some momentum after a difficult spell of late which has seem them struggle at home so perhaps a change of scenery away from Hayes Lane may help them.
Cray’s last outing on Sunday saw them lose 1-4 at home to Hastings United in a game that at times was a lot closer than the final scoreline suggests. Cray certainly created chances against a strong Hastings side but were unable to take them at key points of the game.
There were positives particularly in the form of Karl Dent who scored a great goal and set up a number of chances in the second half with fine through balls. Brandon Scott looked to be back to the form of earlier in the season with his crosses from the right and trademark runs from out on the wing. Defensively, Cray had a very young side and in the end it was the experience of United centre-forward Frannie Collin who was the difference between the sides.
The Wands opponents on Saturday, Three Bridges have had a difficult season and relegation was confirmed last Saturday but only after giving leaders Tooting & Mitcham United a tough game and only losing to a late disputed goal.
Paul Faili’s team have won three games at home (against Guernsey, Molesey and Whyteleafe) and their leading scorer is Tony Garrod with quite an impressive 14 goals for a struggling side.
Three Bridges though do play good football and it was a very good game when the two sides met at Hayes Lane back on 17th September for the very first league meeting between the clubs. Danny Haynes marked the game with his first league goal for Cray and went on to score a hat-trick in a 3-2 win. Three Bridges goals both came from penalties through Hakeem Adelakun and Allan Tait.
This will be the first league meeting between the sides at Jubilee Fields but there were two previous cup encounters there. In the Ryman League Cup in October 2014, Cray won 2-0 early in Keith Bird’s reign as manager. Last season the two sides met in the Preliminary Round of the FA Cup with Cray winning 1-0 with James Duckworth’s goal consolidated by a master class of goalkeeping from Nick Blue.
With just three more games to go and Cray in eleventh place the Wands will be looking to claim a top ten finish and follow up with two derby games against Greenwich Borough on Easter Monday at Hayes Lane before finishing the season at Faversham Town next Saturday.
DIRECTIONS TO THREE BRIDGES FC
£3 Child (U16)
From A23 (heading North) / M23 (heading South) come off at Junction 10 and head towards Crawley on the A2011 (Crawley Avenue). At the roundabout, take the first left heading towards Three Bridges Train Station (Hazelwick Avenue).
Pass Tesco on your left and head straight over the roundabout (second exit).
As you approach the traffic lights, remain in the right hand lane.
After turning right into Haslett Avenue at these lights, move immediately into the right turn late at the next set of lights.
Turn right at these lights onto Three Bridges Road.
Follow the road round to the left, then turn left after 100 yards into Jubilee Walk (directly opposite the Plough Pub).
Follow the road to the end and turn right (still Jubilee Walk) and head straight.
Jubilee Stadium is at the far end.
Car parking is available inside the ground. However, please note there is NO COACH PARKING available inside the ground (mini bus is fine).
If travelling by coach, there is a car park available at a small office building on the right almost immediately as you enter Jubilee Walk. It is then just a few hundred yards walk to the ground.
The nearest station is Three Bridges which is one stop south of Gatwick Airport. Head out of the station and up until the main road. Turn left onto Haslett Avenue and then use instructions as above. It is no more than a five minute walk.
As we are travelling at Easter please check train travel but at this stage trains are running direct to Three Bridges from either London Blackfriars 08, 22, 38 & 52 past the hour or from London Bridge 12, and 42.
Returns to Blackfriars are at 05, 29, 35, 59 past the hour and to London Bridge 17, and 47 past the hour.
THE CRAY MASSIVE ON TOUR
The nearest pub to the ground is the Plough Inn which is opposite to the entrance to Jubilee Walk and no more than a 2 minute walk from the ground. Apparently their speciality is a great Full English Breakfast. There is also the The Moonraker about a minute from the Plough Inn and opposite the entrance to Station Road is the Snooty Fox which is well worth a pop in whilst you are waiting for your next train. It has to be said there are few club houses as good as Three Bridges in the Ryman South so it will be something of a shame if they will not be in the league next season
For a chippie, there aren’t too many in the vicinity but enough pubs that do good food. Perhaps the nearest is the Master Fryer on Pound Hill Parade about five minutes from the railway station. With Crawley being so close if you have time on your hands you could make the short trip there. For Indian food, Bengal Spices Bangladeshi Cuisine on Haslett Avenue is the closest to the ground. Close to here is the Yasmine Chinese Takeaway on Three Bridges Road. On Pound Hill Parade is The Oriental restaurant which is near the station.
Three Bridges is a neighbourhood of Crawley and is just past Gatwick Airport. The three bridges cross the River Mole and could be well worth a visit to see at least one of them. It is now predominantly known for its railway links but this could be the last time we go there for a while so definitely one to recommend highly.