Cray Wanderers vs Thamesmead Town – Preview
Cray Wanderers vs Thamesmead Town – Preview

After a promising pre-season programme Cray Wanderers start their Bostick League Division One South campaign with a local derby against Thamesmead Town on Saturday at Hayes Lane.

The two sides were regular opponents in their Kent League days and they also met in Division One North before The Wands were transferred over last year and now ‘mead have followed suit this summer as the league had a geographical shake up vastly increasing the number of Kent derbies on the fixtures schedule.

Thamesmead who will be playing their home games at Dartford’s Princes Park from this season finished their last campaign at Bayliss Avenue with a seventeenth place finish in Division One North with 54points from 46 games.

Cray finished eleventh last time out in the South Division, with 68 points after a poor run in March cost them their play off chances and manager Tony Russell will be hoping to be challenging at the top again, adding a mixture of youth and experience to the squad in the summer and keeping most of the key personnel from last season.

In their last pre-season games Cray recorded an impressive 4-3 win at Merstham, while Thamesmead beat Folkestone Invicta on penalties to win the Sid Burvil Trophy after a 1-1 draw.

The last time the sides met at Hayes Lane Cray snatched a late 1-0 win and this should be an entertaining opener on the new 3G pitch at Hayes Lane with both sides keen to get off to a positive start and with the extra incentive of it being a derby match.