Wingate & Finchley vs Cray Wanderers – Isthmian Premier, Saturday 4th February, 3 pm – Match Preview

Cray Wanderers begin February’s fixtures on Saturday with 14 games of the Isthmian Premier League season left with a visit to Wingate & Finchley.  Kick off 3pm.

Neil Smith’s Wands side will be looking to maintain a place in the playoff positions and begin the match in 4th place in the table with 47 points from 28 games. Last Saturday Cray led the table for what would have been the first time in the club’s history at half time of the 2-2 draw with Lewes.  Goals from Tom Derry, his eighth goal of the season and Dajon Golding, his second in three matches gave Cray a 2-0 lead but a Lewes comeback in the ten minutes after half time meant a share of the spoils.  

There were still some positives to come out of the game for Cray, the quality of the first goal with the impressive Jephte Tanga and Yahaya Bamba involved with a cross to the far post headed in by Derry will live long in the memory for the Wands fans.  Defensively, Cray were strong in the middle with Jalen Jones and Matt Weaire outstanding and Anthony Cook drove the team on from midfield and Cray perhaps ended the game the stronger and more likely winners. Cray have Freddie Carter available after a spell out with injury with Mitch Chapman perhaps the longer term absentee at this stage.

The top of the league table for much of the season has fluctuated and in the last few days, Hornchurch moved from leaders for the last couple of months down to 5th place and Enfield Town and then Bishop’s Stortford on Tuesday night moved to the top on 50 points, two points clear of Enfield Town and have played three games less than the Wands and 3rd placed Aveley who also have 48 points.  So with three months of the season to go things usually start to take more shape at this stage and all points gained have to be well earned as virtually every team in the league has something to play for either at the top, making a late run from the middle or staying away from the bottom four.

Saturday’s match sees a match between the draw specialists in the league with 21 between them with Cray drawing eleven and Wingate & Finchley ten.  Ahmet Rifat’s side were 1-0 winners at Hayes Lane on 19th November with an Antonis Vasiliou goal but are five league games without a win and moved into the bottom four on Tuesday night after a 0-5 defeat at Lewes and have 21 points from 26 games played.  Wingate & Finchley though are always doughty opponents and will be a tough game against a side looking to rebound quickly so the Wands will have to be at their best to claim three points in North London.

Wingate & Finchley’s home form has seen a win against Brightlingsea Regent (5-0) and draws against Lewes (1-1), Horsham (2-2), Corinthian Casuals (1-1), Haringey Borough (0-0) and Kingstonian (2-2) in their last home match last Saturday. They were beaten at home by Aveley (1-2), Billericay Town (1-3), Hastings United (0-4), Margate (1-2) and Enfield Town (0-2) and Folkestone Invicta (0-2).  Away from home Wingate & Finchley won at Canvey Island (3-0), Cray Wanderers (1-0) and Potters Bar Town (2-0) and drew at Kingstonian, Haringey Borough, Bowers & Pitsea, BIshop’s Stortford and Herne Bay. Their away defeats came at Folkestone Invicta, Bognor Regis Town, Hornchurch, Aveley, Margate and Lewes.  Wingate & Finchley have had a good run in the London Senior Cup and have advanced past three rounds beating Clapton, Woodford Town and impressively Dulwich Hamlet, 5-1 in Round 4 to reach the last 4 of the competition.  Leading scorer so far is Dylan Kearney with 12 goals

Last season’s fixture played almost a year ago on 12th February 2021 finished 2-2 with Chris Dickson and Nazir Bakrin scoring for Cray with Kearney and Kevan Cotter scoring for the home side in a match notable for Cook playing in goal for Cray for the last 80 minutes plus following an injury to Bailey Vose.  

This promises to be a tough game with plenty at stake at both ends of the table and a real battle for ninety minutes.


Maurice Rebak Stadium, Summers Lane, Finchley, London N12 0PD



Adults – £12
Conc (OAP, student, unemployed) – £6
U18s – Free

Cash and card are accepted at all sales points at the stadium.

Programmes: Online  

Supporting ID required for concessions or full price admission will be charged


The simplest way to get to the stadium is to get on to the A406 North Circular Road.

If coming from the West (eg via M1), go past Henlys Corner (taking the left fork after the traffic lights) and then drive for about 1 mile. The exit to take is the one immediately after a BP garage.  Take the slip road and then turn right at the lights onto the A1000.

If coming from the East (eg via A10, M11) take the A1000 turn off. At the end of the slip road turn left at the lights. Go straight over the next set of lights, then after 100m pass through another set of lights.  Then at the next set of lights turn right into Summers Lane. The Stadium is a few hundred metres down on the right hand side.

Car Parking:

Please be aware NOT to park in the Rugby Club next door, as they will close their gates and lock you in. There are plenty of nearby streets, although please note not to park on the kerbs and also some surrounding roads have yellow lines.

The Club car park on matchdays is available for Club Officials (Home & Away), Players, Staff and VIP guests only.

Blue Badge Parking: 4 free spaces are available on the front forecourt



The nearest Underground station is West Finchley Station (Northern Line – High Barnet branch).
The station is a 10/15 minute walk away from the Ground. Alternatively go to East Finchley Station (also on the Northern Line, High Barnet branch) and get a 263 bus heading north towards Barnet. Get off at the bus stop just after the Summers Lane traffic lights

The Northern Line is running a good service this weekend also the Victoria line if you have to connect from Victoria and the tube network via St Mary Cray/Swanley/Bromley South.

National Rail

The nearest station is New Southgate in Travelcard Zone 4, approximately 1.5 miles from the Abrahams Stadium. Trains are operated by First Capital Connect and can be picked up from Finsbury Park (Victoria or Piccadilly Line and then change for National Rail services.)

At the top of the station steps take the right hand gangway which brings you onto Station Road. Head left up Station Road towards the bus stop. The regular 382 service to Millbrook Park goes via Summers Lane and takes about 5-10 minutes. You will need to alight at the Woodgrange Avenue stop, which is a short walk to the ground.

Nearest Pubs:  The nearest pubs are the Elephant Inn in North Finchley which is also a Thai Restaurant around 0.6 miles away with the Tally Ho (Wetherspoons) similarly located. 

If coming into East Finchley then the Old White Lion and the Bald Faced Stag are a bit of a trek on foot but the 263 bus will take you from there close enough to the ground.

For a decent chippie on what will be a coldish day you would think, The Two Brothers Fish restaurant in Finchley is worth a stop off. About 1.4 miles away or a 263 (south bound) bus will take you to the ground.  

Finchley is an area of the LB of Barnet which has three town centres in East Finchley, North Finchley and Finchley Central (Church End) and developed from the late 1800’s with connections to the Great North Railway. The area is quite artistic and has been the site of a number of films and TV locations. Finchley was the home of the Goons’ Spike Milligan and there is a bronze statue in the Stephens House and Gardens in East End Road. It was also the constituency of Margaret Thatcher from 1959-1992 and former speaker of the house John Bercow. Also singer-songwriter George Michael was born in East Finchley and Spice Girl Emma Bunton was born in Finchley. The area has a large Jewish community and the original Wingate club who Cray Wanderers played in the 1950’s were formed in honour of an Israeli soldier Orde Wingate and to combat Anti-Semitism and the current set up was formed in 1991 as a merger of the Wingate and Finchley football clubs.