Whitehawk vs Cray Wanderers – Isthmian Premier – Saturday 20th January, 3 pm – Match Preview & Directions


Cray Wanderers complete a run of away fixtures on Saturday 20th January as the Wands head to Whitehawk to end a cold week. Kick off at the Enclosed Ground, 3 pm.  With the recent freezing weather any updates as to the status of the game will be posted here.

Cray’s game at Folkestone on Tuesday night was postponed so will be looking to bounce back from last Saturday’s defeat at Billericay Town.  The Wands are 17th in the table on 25 points and six points ahead of 19th placed Cheshunt who have played two games fewer.

Gary Lockyer who netted at Bognor Regis Town on 9th January is top scorer with 9 goals but the Wands will be hoping that Nyren Clunis and Jack Holland can soon return from injury helped by a free midweek. Neil Smith was disappointed with the postponement on Tuesday as was looking to bounce back and is now looking for more goals throughout the team.

After Saturday, Cray have back to back home games with Fisher in the London Senior Cup and Wingate & Finchley in the league and just looking to get back to winning ways after four games without a win.

Whitehawk also had their home game with Kingstonian called off on Tuesday and last Saturday were beaten 1-5 at playoff contenders Wingate & Finchley with Ryan Worrall scoring in the second half so both teams will be looking to bounce back from defeats. Whitehawk are 14th in the league table with 29 points.

Shaun Saunders side were promoted to the Isthmian Premier last season and the teams played at Hayes Lane on 29th November and drew 2-2. Charlie Lambert put Whitehawk in front but Anthony Cook and Gary Lockyer put Cray ahead at the break. Whitehawk levelled through Ben Pope in injury time.  There have been just two previous trips to Whitehawk for the Wands. In the 2012-13 season in the Isthmian Premier. Whitehawk won 2-0 at home on 26/2/13 en route to winning the league that season.  The teams also met in the FA Trophy Preliminary Round on October 31st 2020 at Whitehawk with Cray winning 3-0 with goals from Rhys Murrell-Williamson, Charlie Allen and Freddie Parker.

At home, Whitehawk have beaten Horsham (3-1), Haringey Borough (2-1), Bognor Regis Town (3-2) and Margate (3-2) and drawn with Hastings United (0-0), Wingate & Finchley (3-3), Hashtag United (1-1) and Dulwich Hamlet (1-1. Their only defeats came over Christmas/New Year against Lewes (1-2) and Billericay Town (0-1).  Away from home, Whitehawk have won at Billericay Town (3-1), Canvey Island (2-1) and Horsham (1-0). They drew at Folkestone Invicta, Enfield Town, Cray Wanderers and were beaten at Margate, Chatham Town. Potters Bar Town, Carshalton Athletic and Wingate & Finchley.  In the FA Cup, Whitehawk beat Sevenoaks Town after a replay and Redhill before losing at Worthing in the 3QR.  In the FA Trophy, Whitehawk reached the 3rd Round after beating Ascot United, Kingstonian and Lewes before losing at Hythe Town. Charlie Walker is the leading scorer with 15 goals in league and cups.

After the cold chill a trip to Brighton is usually a very good tonic and the weather is expected to get a bit milder after the weekend and should be an enjoyable game with both sides looking to move up the table.


TerraPura Ground, East Brighton Park, Wilson Avenue, Brighton BN2 5TS

Ticket prices: £13 (£12 in advance), OAPs/Students/NHS £8 (£7 in advance), U18s £5 (£4 in advance); Under 13s free (must be accompanied by a paying adult):  Dogs welcome (must be on a lead at all times)

Printed Match programme: £2.50

By car:

As the traffic into the centre of Brighton on the A23 can be quite slow at times, the route outlined below avoids this.

From London:

At the end of the M23, continue onto the A23, heading towards Brighton. After passing the welcome to Brighton & Hove signs, just before you reach a roundabout which is the junction with the A27, bear left (signposted Lewes/Newhaven). Go straight over the first roundabout and take the right turning off the second roundabout onto the A27 towards Lewes/Newhaven. After around four miles as you pass Sussex University on your left, leave the A27 just before the AMEX stadium by taking the slip road (the left hand lane) sign posted Falmer/Rottingdean (B2123). At the top of the slip road turn right at the roundabout, crossing back over the A27 and continuing towards Rottingdean, passing the AMEX stadium on your right.

Carry on this road across the South Downs until you reach a set of traffic lights which is the Woodingdean junction at the Downs Hotel. Turn right here, towards the city centre/racecourse. Drive out of Woodingdean and at the next traffic lights turn left into Wilson Avenue (signposted Whitehawk FC and East Brighton Park). Drive down hill towards the sea, passing the entrance to the Stanley Leisure Centre on your left. At the bottom of the hill, just before the traffic lights, turn left into the entrance to East Brighton Park (signposted Whitehawk FC and East Brighton Park). Follow the narrow road round to the end. Just past the entrance to a caravan park, you will see the entrance to Whitehawk FC.

There is a car park at the ground that holds 100 cars. The entrance road up to the ground is quite narrow, so it may be an idea to find street parking on the residential streets off Wilson Avenue and walk over to the ground.

By Train:

Please note there are no direct trains to Brighton from London Bridge or Victoria on Saturday 20th January.  You will need to get to East Grinstead and then catch a rail replacement bus to Three Bridges for connections to Brighton.  Please check www.nationalrail.co.uk for information.

Brighton railway station is situated around two and half miles away from the ground. Either get a taxi or bus to the ground.  

By Bus:

From stand B at the front of the railway station, take the Brighton and Hove Bus No 7 (to Brighton Marina) or No 27 (to Saltdean) and get off at Roedean Road. Roedean Road is just round the corner from the entrance to East Brighton Park. After being dropped off, walk up Roedean Road to the traffic lights (keeping the gasometer on your right) and turn left into Wilson Avenue (signposted Whitehawk FC). Cross the road into the entrance to East Brighton Park (signposted Whitehawk FC/East Brighton Park). Follow the narrow road to the end, passing an entrance to a caravan park. Please take care along this road as it has no footpath and at night it is unlit.

Subsequent note for those going by bus and on the No 7. If you get off at the Marina Terminus please be prepared for a very steep climb up East Brighton Park.

Nearest pubs: The Club house or Brighton Bier bar is highly recommended as one of the best in non-league football so perhaps best unless you want to hang around Brighton all day to sample the wares including local beers at the ground. 

If you don’t mind a climb and you get to the Marina then the Master Mariner which overlooks all the boats might be tempting but bear in mind it might be a bit chilly there in January. Also The New Bush (1 Arundel Road) could tempt you but I would suggest the club house might be best.

Whitehawk lies to the East of Brighton and consists of a fairly large housing estate built in the 1930’s and added to over the decades and lies north of the Brighton Marina which was redeveloped in 1979. For those that arrive early you may be able to spot a chalk carving of a White Hawk on the hill at Sheepcote Valley. Like much of Brighton, the area is high on conservation and greenery and in 2012 the Racehill Community Orchard was set up and in 2018 won an award. Although at one time regarded in the 5% of deprived areas in the country much funding has been received to boost the area. Certainly a day out unlike many we would have had this season