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Horsham v Cray Wanderers preview
Horsham v Cray Wanderers preview

Cray Wanderers begin the first of five successive away matches on Tuesday evening as Neil Smith’s side visit Horsham.

Kick off at the Camping World Community Stadium at 7.45 pm.

Both teams after Saturday are level on 24 points with Horsham one place above Cray in 8th on goal difference.

Cray will be looking to get back on track after Saturday’s 0-1 defeat to Wingate & Finchley which was the first league defeat in six league games and ended a three game winning run at home in league and cup.

In a game of few chances with perhaps the best for Cray falling to Nyren Clunis and Dan Bassett which were saved, a 78th minute goal from substitute Antonis Vasiliou won the game against a Wands side down to ten men for the last few minutes.

Away form for Cray though has been good with just two narrow defeats late in the games at Billericay Town and Hornchurch and performances have been strong. With four more games away from home to follow in the next couple of weeks in the midst of a World Cup Finals it promises to be a lively time to be a Wands fan.

Hopefully the injury situation for Cray is easing with Harold Joseph the longer term absentee, David Ijaha played the last half hour on Saturday and Sam Wood’s return was welcome but Mitch Chapman is suspended for the trip to Horsham.

Dom Di Paola’s Horsham side come into the game on the back of a 4-1 home win against Herne Bay on Saturday with goals from Tom Day, Lucas Rodrigues, Harvey Sparks and Jack Mazzone.

Last season, the first completed since 2018-19 when they were promoted from the Isthmian South with Cray Wanderers, Horsham finished 11th in the Isthmian Premier whilst reaching the 1st Round of the FA Cup losing at Carlisle United and winning the Isthmian League Cup beating Margate in the Final.

The two games last season saw Cray winning 3-1 at Hayes Lane on 8th December with goals from Kyel Reid, Chris Dickson and Jamie Yila. It finished 2-2 at Horsham on 26th February with Dickson and Cameron Brodie scoring for the Wands.

Home form has been good and have beaten Corinthian Casuals (5-0), Bognor Regis Town (4-0), Lewes (2-0), Kingstonian (1-0) and Potters Bar Town (3-2) and Herne Bay (4-1 with the only defeats to Carshalton Athletic (1-3) and Bishop’s Stortford (0-2).

Away from home Horsham have yet to win but did draw at Margate, Wingate & Finchley and Bowers & Pitsea and were beaten at Haringey Borough, Enfield Town, Hornchurch and Billericay Town.

In the FA Cup, the Hornets were beaten at Herne Bay and in the FA Trophy after beating Aveley were beaten at Folkestone Invicta in the 1st Round.

Horsham have advanced in the Sussex County Cup after beating Steyning Town last Tuesday. Their defence of the Isthmian League Cup was ended by Whitehawk who won 3-2 at Horsham.

Games between the Hornets and the Wands are always worth a watch and there has been some very competitive encounters down the years and with the sides closely bunched in the table could be another.

Admission: £12 adults, £8 concessions, £2 U16s.

Pictures supplied by Ozay Booth.