HAMLET CRAY-VE ONE LAST VICTORY!
So the curtain comes down on another season, one of intense highs and crashing lows, but before those players that have richly entertained the supporters in a rollercoaster season take there final bow there is the small matter of a trip to Hayes Lane, temporary home of The Second-Oldest Association Football Club in the World, or Cray Wanderers as we shall know them. That sobriquet might indeed have been applied to the playing staff of the Wands, for though the young blood is still given its head by Cray, the side is laced with many years of top level Non League experience with the likes of Colin Luckett and the indefatigable Al-James Hannigan, once of the Hamlet bring a wealth of commitment, nous and tenacity hones by their long playing careers. Counted amongst that number until injury sent his career into unwanted hiatus was the legendary Gary Abbott, who even at the ripe age of 42 proved himself as capable as any young whippersnapper of grabbing a healthy return of goals. His loss may have been played an influential role in the demise of Cray's season in its latter days, for like Dulwich they were challenging for promotion early on before drifting loose of the play-off places in the last couple of months. However it was in defence that the Wands truly suffered, a chronic inability to keep a clean sheet outweighing a lightning attack based on a pair of Woods, brothers Jamie and Lewis, older sibling Jamie reaching his century of amber goals with his side's only goal in a 1-3 reverse at Tooting back in December. However in the last few games the goalscoring baton has been passed to Michael Power who returned to the Wanderers from Tonbridge Angels in February and has notched a quartet of goals in the last three outings.
With naught but pride at stake, fans might be excused wandering minds but this encounter promises much. Hayes Lane, Bromley is the venue and kick-off is 3.00 pm.
Elsewhere in Division One South, any one of four clubs could still claim the title though Fleet Town's ambitions for automatic promotion rely on a bizarre set of circumstances more akin to Roy of the Rovers than reality. Maidstone hold pole position and their task is simple, win at Walton Casuals and the prize of promotion and the title is theirs. Fail in that task and they must look elsewhere for favours. Ashford Town's Homelands will welcome all-conquering Tooting, winners of both Surrey and London Senior Cups in midweek, for whom only victory will suffice, a draw not enough unless Maidstone lose by four clear goals. Waiting in the wings is the Lilywhite dark horse, Dover Athletic with perhaps the easiest task of the three, beating Horsham YMCA at the Crabble, but anxiously praying that the Stones lose and the Terrors fail to win. Oh and should all lose and Fleet make up an EIGHTEEN goal goal-difference with a substantial victory at Sittingbourne, then the Hampshire side will claim the title. Simple really!