Saturday, 30 June 2012


For Part One please click here


One of the oldest football clubs in the world and the oldest Association Football club in London. Cray Wanderers were founded in 1860 (a full thirty three years prior to the old Enfield FC in 1893) when St Marys Cray and St Pauls Cray were just Kent villages. Nowadays they make up the town of Orpington with the club currently playing their home games at Bromley FC's ground at Hayes Lane.

Their home ground at Oxford Road is still used by youth and reserve sides but they can't erect floodlights so since 1998 the first team have not played there.

In 2008 the club revealed plans to develop a Sports Village Complex on wasteground off of Sandy Lane in St Pauls Cray which is a stone's throw from Oxford Road. The planning application is currently lodged with Bromley Council and the club hope to move into the new ground in 2014.

They were members of the Kent League from 1978 through to 2004 when they gained promotion to the Isthmian League. In 2008 they reached the play-off final losing to Tooting and Mitcham United in the final but went one better in 2009 when they beat Metropolitan Police 1-0 to win promotion to the Premier Division.

Since then the historic club have steadily improved and stabilised at Step 4 of the non-league ladder finishing 15th (2009/10), 9th (2010/11) and 9th (2011/12).

Manager Ian Jenkins has been in the hot-seat for over a decade (the success the club have had proves that stability in the key at this level of football) and is a club legend having played over 500 times for The Wanderers. Their Assistant Manger will be a familar face to Enfield FC fans of the 1990's - Joe Francis has also been with the club for over 10 years.

BIGGEST HOME LEAGUE CROWD OF 2011/12 - 369 v Margate

FACT ABOUT THE CLUB - In the early 1900's the club were fully professional and acted as a feeder club for one of South London's most famous clubs at the time in Woolwich Arsenal.

FACT ABOUT THE AREA - In 1872 the Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales listed the population of St Pauls Cray as 532 people with 132 houses in the area.
Adam Wallace takes on The Rock's at Rookery Hill in 2010

Enfield Town fans will know all about The Rocks having played them in league fixtures in 2008/09 and 2010/11. The Division One (North) champions of 2010/11 had a decent season back in the Premier Division with the highlight being a run to the FA Cup 1st Round Proper when they entertained League Two side Macclesfield Town at Rookery Hill in front of 1,207 people. The Silkmen ran out 0-3 winners.

They struggled prior to the turn of the year winning just 6 of 19 matches but there was a marked improvement for 2012 when they won 12 out of 23 games losing just 5 (two to the promoted sides of Billiericay Town and AFC Hornchurch) to gain an eventual finishing position of 10th.

Attacker Sam Higgins is a decent player and will be amongst the goals for John Coventry's side in 2012/13.

BIGGEST HOME LEAGUE CROWD OF 2011/12 - 276 v Canvey Island

FACT ABOUT THE CLUB - The crowd versus Macclesfield Town was just shy of the club's record attendance which was 1,250 versus Working in another FA Cup (4th QR) tie.

FACT ABOUT THE AREA - Hip Hop electro duo Dan Le Sac (from Corringham) and Scroobius Pip (Standford-Le-Hope) hail from the area.


Relegated from the Blue Square South last season and will be looking to bounce back in their first season back at Isthmian level since being crowned champions in 2007. West Ham legend Alan Devonshire took The Beavers from being in the Isthmian League Division One in 2003 to so nearly gaining promotion to the Blue Square Premier losing out in the play-off final to Eastbourne Borough (2008) and Hayes and Yeading United (2009). Devonshire left in the Summer of 2011 to join Braintree Town allowing his assistant Mark Harper to take over.

BIGGEST HOME LEAGUE CROWD OF 2011/12 - 1,069 versus Woking

FACT ABOUT THE CLUB - In 2009 the club received a record fee for striker Ben Wright who moved to Peterborough United after a transfer to Premier League Fulham was rumoured. His move to London Road didn't really work out and played on loan for no less than five clubs in 2009 and 2010. Wright re-joined Devonshire at Brainree Town where he scored 18 league goals last season and recently moved to Forest Green Rovers who have assembled a good squad for the 2012/13 season.

FACT ABOUT THE TOWN - One of the lesser known River Thames crossings operates from Hampton on the North side to Molesey on the South side. The Hampton Ferry operates from March to October.


Harrow have been members of the Isthmian Premier Division for over 30 years having been promoted from Division One in 1979, Since being crowned Champions in 1984 their best finish has been 5th place in 2010/11 when managed by Dave Howell (who was part of the 1984 championship side). Howell has since moved on to Southern League side St Albans City with new manager Dave Anderson steadying the ship last season with a 17th place finish. Anderson is the former boss of Hendon, AFC Wimbledon and Northwood amongst others.

BIGGEST HOME LEAGUE CROWD OF 2011/12 - 617 v Wealdstone

FACT ABOUT THE CLUB - Well travelled stiker and now pundit Steve Claridge played four games for Borough in 2007

FACT ABOUT THE AREA - Most people assume singer Peter Andre in Australian but in fact he was born in Brent, London and his family lived in the Harrow area until he was three years old and moved down under.


The history of football in Hastings is a little complex so hopefully the below will explain it -

The present day 'Hastings United' were formed in 1894 as Rock-a-Nore playing in local leagues until a merger in 1921 (with All Saints) resulted in the club becoming Hastings and St Leonards Amateurs playing mostly in the Sussex County League until 1985. In 1979 the club changed it's name to Hastings Town.

In 1985 the original 'Hastings United' who were formed in 1948 folded following financial problems. Hastings Town took their place in the Southern League albeit in the Southern Division and not the Premier Division where United has finished 16th of 20 teams in their final season.

Town had been using Pilot Field up until 1948 when the lease was granted to the newly formed United club. In 1948 H&SL moved next door to The Firs ground.

Town won the Southern Division to be promoted to the Premier Division in 1992 At the end of the 1998/99 season the club were in adminstration and looked set to either fold or leave the Southern League only for a last ditch bid to save the club being succesful and the club holding onto their Southern League status.

From 2002/03 Town became 'Hastings United' and reverted back to the 1948 club's colours of Claret and Blue. Following the resturcturing of non-league football the club moved to the Isthmian League for 2004/05 and were promoted via the play-offs at the end of 2007/08

Hastings and St Leonards are not to be confused with St Leonards FC (formed as STAMCO in 1971 - Sussex Turney and Molding Company). St Leonards folded in 2003 following one season spent back in the Sussex County League (where they had started out) in 2003/04 after a short spell in the Southern League. The Firs is now used as/for five-a-side pitches. The old Enfield FC visited St Leonards back in 1998 for an FA Trophy tie. Those that went on a game which was played on a Sunday if my memory serves me correctly will confirm much fun was had and a few beers were drunk on the Saturday night.

United have missed out on relegation by one point in 2010/11 and six points in 2011/12 finishing in eighteenth place in both seasons so will want to improve on that for 2012/13.

They are currently player/managed by Sean Ray whom has made over 250+ appearences for the club. Another familiar face for football fans from Enfield will be seen in the dug-out as the first team coach is currently Gary Abbott whom played so many famous games for the old Enfield FC in the 1990's. He recently joined in March 2012 having left a similar role at Cray Wanderers.

BIGGEST HOME LEAGUE CROWD OF 2011/12 - 689 v Lewes

FACT ABOUT THE CLUB - Hastings United played an incredible eight games in their 1971/72 FA Cup campaign and didn't even qualify for the 1st Round Proper. It took them three games to get past Southwick in 1st QR, then a victory over Burgess Hill Town in the 2nd QR followed by two games against Chichester City (first game was 1-1 and the replay 9-1!!) to get through to the 4th QR where Crawley Town won a replay 3-2.

FACT ABOUT THE TOWN - I'll avoid the obvious mentions of 1066 and go for the following fact -On the St Leonard's seafront is a building called Marine Court which was built (1937) in an Art Deco style and was originally called 'The Ship' due to its style being based on the ocean liner RMS Queen Mary. This block can be seen up to 20 miles away, in Eastbourne, on a clear day.

Part Three - Hendon to Lowestoft Town coming soon

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