Cray Wanderers begin their Christmas fixtures on Saturday as the Wands are in Isthmian League Cup action and travel to Worthing in a 1st Knockout Round match.  Kick off at the Bibby Financial Services Stadium is 1.30pm.  If the match is drawn it will go to a penalty shoot-out with no extra-time.

This is the Wands first game in the competition since the 2013-14 season where Cray lost at Maidstone United and travel to a Mackerelmen side who are in good form and joint top of the Isthmian Premier.

Cray will be looking for a reaction following last Saturday’s 2-7 defeat not far down the road at Bognor Regis Town and will be raring to go to get back on track.  Injuries have played a huge part in the 2019-20 season for Cray and certainly lacking Barney Williams, Tom Phipp, Ben Mundele and the absent Bradley Pritchard were always going to find it difficult against Bognor but can take credit for keeping on going and played well in the second half after a difficult opening period. Joe Taylor kept up his fine scoring season with two goals taking his tally to the season to 24.

The Wands will be sending a pretty full strength side to Worthing with maybe some U18s players making the trip for experience but the message is that following last Saturday the match has taken on more importance just to get back on track and Cray have usually bounced back well following defeats so far this season.

Worthing come into the game in excellent form and of course played Cray at Hayes Lane as recently as November 2nd where the sides played out an exciting 2-2 draw.  Joe Taylor scored one of the best team goals of the season to put Cray ahead at the break but Ricky Aguiar volleyed a fine equaliser early in the second half.  There was late drama as Jay Leader and Aguiar scored own goals in added on time and a draw was a good result in the end.

Since then Worthing have been unbeaten in the league and their 3-2 win at home to Enfield Town on Tuesday night moved them level on points with Folkestone Invicta at the top and have won five of their last six league games since the 2-2 draw with Cray.  Home form in the league has been good with Adam Hinshelwood’s side beating Lewes (3-1), Bognor Regis Town (3-0). Kingstonian (2-1), Corinthian Casuals (2-0), Margate (2-1) and Enfield Town (3-2). They drew with Leatherhead (5-5) and Carshalton (1-1) but lost to Hornchurch (0-6) and East Thurrock United (2-3).  Away from home they are unbeaten since an opening day defeat at Folkestone  (0-2) but won at Margate (2-0), Merstham (3-1), Cheshunt (2-1), Wingate & Finchley (3-2), Bowers & Pitsea (2-1) and drew at Potters Bar Town, Cray Wanderers and Haringey Borough.

Both sides join the Isthmian League Cup for the first time this season as the opening rounds were for the Step 4 clubs and now we are into the 1st Knockout round (Last 32) as all the Premier Division sides compete from this round. Neither side has won the competition in the past and perhaps Cray’s best run came in 2010-11 when they made it through three rounds beating Whyteleafe, Folkestone Invicta and Thamesmead Town (on penalties) before losing to Leatherhead at Hayes Lane.

Meetings between the two sides have been rare with just the six matches played and one FA Trophy tie in November 2016.  One of those games was one of the biggest games in the Wands history on 28th April 2009, in the Ryman South Playoff semi final at Hayes Lane, a Jamie Wood goal before half time settled a tense contest and sent Cray through to the Final against Met Police which the Wands ultimately won.  Of the five league games Cray have won one, Worthing one and three draws.

Founded in 1886 Worthing spent their early years in the Sussex League where they won eight league titles up to the 2nd World War and played in the Corinthian and Athenian leagues after that.  They have been members of the Isthmian League since 1977 and have played in all divisions finishing runners up in the Premier twice during the 80’s.  They were relegated from the Premier in 2006-07 and remained in the South until the 2015-16 season when they finished third in the table.  In the playoffs they hammered Hythe Town 7-0 at home and then comfortably beat Faversham Town 3-0 at home in the final to gain promotion back to the Premier for the first time since 2007.  Since then the Rebels have finished 14th, 16th and last season finished 9th.

If anything like the league game on November 2nd this should be a great tie to watch and prepares us also for the league game at Worthing and another trip on February 8th.


Bibby Financial Services Stadium

Woodside Road




Adult — £10.00
Concessions — £8.00
12-16 year-olds — £3
6-12 year-olds — £1
Under 6 — Free



From the Cray’s your best bet is via the A23.  From the M25 after 3 miles at junction 5 use the left 2 lanes to take the M25 exit to M23/Gatwick Airport/Heathrow Airport/M4 and after 0.8 miles continue onto the M25 for 11.7 miles.  At junction 7 use the left 2 lanes to take the M23 (South) exit to Brighton/Crawley/Gatwick. After 1 mile merge onto the M23 continuing on for 13.8 miles and then onto the A23 for 15.7 miles.  Use the left two lanes to turn slightly left and after 0.3 miles at the roundabout take the first exit onto the A27 slip road to Worthing.  After 0.3 miles merge onto the A27 and after 7.9 miles take the 2nd exit onto Upper Brighton Road/A27. After 2.2 miles turn left onto Sompting Road and then at the roundabout take the 2nd exit onto Sompting Avenue/B2223.  After 0.3 miles turn left onto Broadwater Road/A24 and then after 0.3 miles turn left onto Northcourt Road.  After 0.3 miles at the roundabout continue straight on to Bulkington Avenue and after 0.2 miles turn into Woodside Road and the ground will be on your right.


Away supporters are advised to take advantage of the parking at Worthing High School in South Farm Road, BN14 7AR.

Turn right out of the school gates and proceed to the mini-roundabout, whereupon a right turn will take you into Bulkington Avenue. Take the next available left down here and you will be in Woodside Road, the football club will be on your right.

Parking at the High School is free of charge.

Train:  Please take caution before travelling as flooding was affecting travel into Sussex and Brighton on Friday 20th December.

Directions – Worthing station is around half a mile to the ground.  From Railway Approach head towards Cross Street and take a right onto Cross Street and then a right onto South Farm Road and after 0.1 mile turn left onto Henty Road and after 0.2 miles turn right onto Woodside Road and the ground will be on the right.

Trains go direct from London Victoria at 16 & 46 minutes past the hour and takes about 1 hr 20 to get there.  Returns are at 05 and 35 past the hour. If you wish to leave from London Bridge trains at 15 & 35 past the hour require a change at East Croydon or Haywards Heath.  Returns at 05 or 35 require a change at either Gatwick Airport or Haywards Heath.

The nearest pub to the ground is possibly the Brooksteed Alehouse on S Farm Road while in the High Street is the Corner House Free House and Garden.  There are plenty of other options in Worthing.  If you have time there are plenty of Fish and Chip shops in Worthing with the Worthing Fisheries highly rated on George V Avenue.