Games don’t come bigger than this as The Rooks head to Cray Wanderers on Saturday, looking to regain their top spot which they lost for the first time in 12 weeks on Wednesday night.
Whilst Lewes have a game in hand over Wanderers, they are without a doubt the form side in the Bostik League South as proved on Wednesday night when they beat Ashford United 9-1, with eight different scorers, underlining their strength in depth. Cray have still only lost one league game all season, that being back in October at The Dripping Pan when goals from Bouwe Bosma and Jamie Brotherton cancelled out a first half effort from veteran centre-back Jay Leader.
Cray’s home form has been impressive, especially of late. They have won eleven and drawn four of their fifteen games at Hayes Lane, scoring 55 times in the process, although they have conceded 18 (Cray share the best defensive record in the league with The Rooks on 23 goals at the moment). They’ve won nine of their last ten at home scoring forty five goals in the process. That includes big wins against Shoreham (7-0), Ramsgate (5-1) and of course Ashford United on Wednesday night, which may have come at a cost with midfielders Lea Dawson and Karl Dent both retiring, hurt, from the game.
Their strength has come from a settled back four, with Jay Leader and Mitchell Nelson the centre-back rocks, whilst their rapier-quick attacking style through players such Brandon Scott and Aaron Rhule and the goals from Michael Power and new signing from Greenwich Borough Charlie McDonald.
Last Saturday’s win at Chipstead means that Lewes have the best away record in the Bostik League South with nine wins and three draws from fifteen games, scoring 24 and conceding 13. The game marked the last appearance for the Rooks of Liam Wilson who has done an excellent job since coming into the side prior to the game at Sittingbourne, with the Rooks winning five of the six games he started. Wilson heads back to the US to continue his education with the best wishes of the club. Fortunately, Lloyd Cotton has returned from injury and is likely to be available for selection. Stacey Freeman’s comeback has been thwarted by the weather after he was due to get some minutes in the DS game earlier in the week which was cancelled. Alex Malins is still unavailable and Matthew George is still a couple of weeks away from returning.
First versus Second, best home record v best away record, top scorers vs meanest defence. Should be quite a game at Hayes Lane on Saturday, kick off 3pm.
About Hayes Lane
Cray Wanderers will still be calling Bromley’s Hayes Lane home for a few
more season whilst their new ground at Flamingo Park in Sidcup is built. Not
that they are suffering too much at Hayes Lane as the Conference Premier side
has invested heavily in the ground in recent years including the installation
of seating behind the goal in the old wooden stand. At the far end covered terracing
remains. At one side is the modern
looking John Fiorini (Main) Stand. This covered all seated stand doesn’t have
any supporting pillars and sits astride the half way line whilst opposite is a
decent sized, quite steep terrace that gives some excellent views of the
cricket pitch next door if the football isn’t up to much. There is a decent-sized clubhouse which has a
strange exclusion zone outside for drinking beer in, policed by stewards. One of the better grounds we will visit on
our travels that’s for sure.
During the summer, Bromley FC have installed a 3G pitch.
How to get to Hayes Lane
Exit the M25 at Junction 4 and take the A21 towards Bromley and London. After
five miles for left at the traffic lights onto the A232 towards Croydon/Sutton.
At the 2nd set of traffic lights turn right into Baston Road (B265). Continue
straight on this road through Hayes. The road becomes Hayes Lane and after the
mini roundabout the entrance to the ground is down on the right. There is a
small car park at the ground, otherwise street parking. Total travel time from
Lewes for the 53-mile trip from Lewes is around an hour and twenty minutes.
The ground is a fifteen-minute walk from Bromley South
station (not North which is miles away!), frequently served by trains from
London Victoria which is in zone 5. Simply head right out of the station, cross
the road and walk down Westmoreland Road, taking the first left into Hayes Road
and following this all the way down to Hayes Lane where the ground is opposite
you. Journey time is around 90 minutes and an Off-Peak Day Return is
£33.20. Alternatively, a number of buses
run past the ground including the 314 from Eltham, 146 from Bromley Town centre
and 119 from East Croydon which takes around the same time as the train but obviously
Admission at Hayes
Admission is £10 for adults, £5 for concessions (senior
citizens, students and Under18s), and accompanied under 16s are admitted free of charge.
Fancy a beer?
Bromley town centre is a fifteen-minute walk away and has plenty of
drinking establishments for all tastes.
Opposite Bromley South Station is the popular Richmal Crompton pub,
whilst The Tigers Head on the walk towards the ground is a good bet. For something a bit different, Bromley has a
Belgos on Kentish Way at the back of The Glades shopping centre. At the north end of the pedestrianised High
Street is The Partridge which is well known for decent pies.