Hornchurch vs Cray Wanderers – Preview
Hornchurch vs Cray Wanderers – Preview

After the excitement and anticipation of the return of Isthmian Premier League football last weekend after a matchless midweek, Cray Wanderers are on the road on Saturday in the league for the first time since October as Danny Kedwell’s side visit FA Trophy holders Hornchurch.

Both sides won their first games of the season so both bring good form into what should be a great match in Hornchurch’s first home league game since winning the FA Trophy in May.

Cray Wanderers began their league campaign with a classy 3-1 win against Lewes at Hayes Lane last Saturday getting Danny Kedwell’s managerial league career off to a cracking start. Despite being without Dean Beckwith, Charlie Allen and Jack Hanson available for the game.

Cray were able to field ten league debutants in the starting lineup and two first half goals from skipper Anthony Cook and half way through the second half Jamie Yila capped off a fine performance with his first goal for the club to seal the victory.

There were some other top rank performances from the team including Ejiro Okosieme and Freddie Cray at the back, Cameron Brodie in midfield and Adam Coombes up front.   Also substitutes, Anis Nuur, Sadik Balarabe and Fjord Rogers all made an impact when they come on off the bench.

Hornchurch meanwhile won their opening game impressively 2-0 at Horsham last Saturday with Liam Nash scoring both goals in the first half. Mark Stimson’s side are one of the favourites to get promotion this season and certainly got off to a great start.

The Urchins FA Trophy success was one of the most remarkable stories of the unusual 2020-21 season. With no league games being played from November, Hornchurch won nine cup ties from the 3rd Qualifying Round to the Final beating Bowers & Pitsea (3-1, A), Wingate & Finchley (4-1 , H), Tonbridge Angels (1-0, A). Dulwich Hamlet (2-1, A), Kings Lynn (1-1, H won on pens), Maidstone United (5-4, H), Darlington (2-1, A) and at Notts County (3-3) advancing on penalties to face Hereford at Wembley on 22nd May.

Coming from a goal down with fifteen minutes to go, goals from Charlie Ruff, Liam Nash and Ellis Brown won the trophy for the Essex side for the first time.

This will be the first time the teams have played at Hornchurch since the opening day of the 2015-16 season which Hornchurch won 2-1. The most recent meeting was a 1-1 draw on 15th January, 2020 during the null and voided 2019-20 season but the teams do have a habit of meeting early in the season.     

Certainly a tough start to the away fixtures for Cray Wanderers but they can go into the match with confidence following last Saturday and should be a great occasion and one not to be missed.   

Admission costs: £12 adults, £7 concs, £3 U12-£3 1U16s–U12’s U12s-free with an adult.

Images courtesy of Jon Hilliger www.hilligerpix.com