Ashford United v Cray Wanderers preview
Ashford United v Cray Wanderers preview

Saturday sees a return to league action following the FA Cup break last weekend with a cracking top of the table clash as Cray Wanderers travel to Ashford United.

Kick off at the Homelands is 3pm.

Cray who are in second place in the admittedly very early stages of the season will be looking to bounce back from their rather unlucky defeat to Metropolitan Police in the FA Cup last Saturday.  Despite fine goals from Junior Dadson and Michael Power in the first half, Cray took their leave from the Cup as the home side fought back in the second half but Cray played their part in the game and perhaps just couldn’t grab that third goal when on top.

A return to the league sees Tony Russell’s side looking to maintain their 100% start to the season and yet to concede a league goal.  There are four teams with maximum points to begin the season showing the quality in this league is high.

Ashford United are in fifth place and have had a free week after going of the FA Cup in the Preliminary Round.  They too got off to a fine start to the season with a 3-1 home win against a very good Hythe Town side at home and followed this up with a 3-0 win in Guernsey and a 2-0 win at home to Faversham Town on Bank Holiday Monday.  They lost their first game of the season in their last match 0-1 at Whitstable Town on 1st September. Top scorer is Ambrose Gnahore with 2.

Gary Alexander’s side were one of the heavily fancied teams to do well at the outset of the season and you feel they will have a huge part to play in the league this season and Cray will have to be at their very best to beat a Nuts n Bolts side which may well feature ex Cray captain Lea Dawson in midfield.

Last season was very much a case of Ashford getting acquainted with the Bostik South following promotion from the SCEFL Premier and finished 21st with admittedly a very young, inexperienced side but some quality reinforcements added during the summer make them very strong contenders this season for at least a playoff place.

The two meetings last season couldn’t have been anymore contrasting showing football’s unpredictable nature.  On 17th January 2018, Cray caused a stir with an astonishing 9-1 win against Ashford on an evening game at Hayes Lane.  When the two sides met again on 25th February, the tables were turned with Ashford winning 2-1 with two goals from Daniel Ajakaiye with Brandon Scott scoring for Cray.

This is one of the eye catching games of the day in the Bostik South-East tomorrow and one that will test Cray’s unbeaten start to the season but one the Wands will relish.