The epic adventure that is the Cray Wanderers 2015-16 season continues tomorrow as the Wands travel the relatively short distance to Tilbury for a 7.45 pm kick off at Chadfields.
This is Cray’s last scheduled midweek league match of the season and follows hot on the heels of Saturday’s dramatic finish where Dereham Town went ahead in the 90th minute only for Omone Sodje to earn Cray a point two minutes into stoppage time. Despite a number of setbacks with injuries and suspensions Cray moved six points in front at the top of the table and this is great testament to the character and resilience of Tony Russell’s side that they have overcome adversity to still lead the table albeit with having played more games than the chasing teams. There were some very good individual displays on Saturday with Sodje looking very sharp as did Leigh Bremner. Despite carrying a knock going into the game, Lewis Tozer was also particularly impressive at the back and the team played some good football and would have been something of an injustice for Cray to go home with nothing to show for the long trip to Norfolk.
Gary Henty’s Tilbury side have made a very respectable start to the season and currently lie 7th in the table with 28 points from their 14 games. Our paths have already crossed this season back on the 11th August when a ten man Cray side came from 2-1 down to win 3-2 in the last ten minutes. Andre McCollin gave Cray a half time lead before Cray were reduced to ten men and a Kurt Smith penalty and a Neil Richmond strike gave the Dockers the lead. However two memorable goals from a Grant Basey blockbuster free kick and a superb Jack Lodge volley gave Cray the three points.
Through history Tilbury and Cray have met a few times in league and cups mainly in London League days in the 1930’s and late 1950’s. Tilbury have been part of the Ryman North since the 2006-07 season following promotion from the Essex League and reached the playoffs in 2011-12 season losing to Needham Market in the semi final. Last season’s encounters ended a win apiece with Tilbury beating Cray 2-0 in November whilst Cray had a memorable 4-1 win at Hayes Lane on 19th April which confirmed Cray’s safety from relegation.
Tilbury is always a difficult place to win and this should be a very competitive game and the fans could be in for a treat if it is as good as the game back in August. Cray are back in Essex for their next two away league games at Witham Town on Saturday (31st October) and then at Harlow Town on 7th November.
DIRECTIONS TO TILBURY FC:
St. Chads Road,
SAT NAV CODE: RM18 8NL
The ground is located to the north of Tilbury Town Centre and is easily reached from the main roads. If coming by car then you will almost certainly arrive on the A13. About 2 miles after the turning for Lakeside take the exit for Tilbury Docks (A1089). Follow this road until the roundabout with Asda on your right. Take the first left into Dock Road and follow this past Tilbury Town Station, then take the first exit at the mini-roundabout into Calcutta Road. At the traffic lights take a left into St Chad’s Road and follow for 3/4 mile.
After you pass Lady Tattoo on your left hand side, take the next left and the ground is there. There is a small car park at the ground, otherwise it is street parking.
The nearest station is Tilbury Town which is on the C2C line from Fenchurch Street. It is a 20 minute walk (as per driving instructions above), £3 in a cab or the number 66 bus drops you a few yards away from the ground.
Tilbury is a port town in the borough of Thurrock and has a ferry terminal link with Gravesend which dates back many centuries. The stretch of river is around 700 metres in length and should take less than ten minutes to sail. It also has a fort which was built by Henry VIII to help protect London from foreign invaders and is now an English Heritage site.
If you are coming across the Gravesend to Tilbury ferry then in theory a bus meets the ferry and will take you to Tilbury Town station. If it has already departed then it is a 20 minute walk into the town centre.