Saturday 12th November 2022 3pm – The Isthmian Premier League – The Dripping Pan

TODAY’S GAME IS SPONSORED BY KEITH E MORRIS

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Welcome to The Dripping Pan for this afternoon’s Pitching In Isthmian Premier League game against Cray Wanderers. Here is your complimentary e-programme.

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REMEMBRANCE DAY THOUGHTS FROM TERRY MORTON

On Remembrance Day, it is a time for us to reflect, remember and commemorate those who defended our freedoms. 

We decided to speak with supporters club member, and volunteer, Terry Morton, who completed 22 years of service for his country.

In his own words, Terry tells us his story and ultimately, what Remembrance Day means to him.

In 1977, I went to join the Royal Engineers but somehow ended up in the Intelligence Corps. During my career, I travelled widely including Northern Ireland, Germany, the Falklands, Cyprus and the Gulf War. Out of my 22 years of service, I spent eight years and two months deployed on operations. Thankfully, I returned from all of them unharmed.

Others weren’t so lucky, and it’s those that we remember at this time of year. Personally, I remember the two friends I lost in Northern Ireland, but also those who survived and have since passed. “Absent friends” is a toast often heard at reunions.

But I also think of those who died in the two world wars and other conflicts. The term ‘lost their lives’ is often used in place of ‘died’, but the former carries greater weight for me. They truly did lose their lives – their entire life that was before them. Those young men who died on the Somme, at El Alamein or on the Falls Road, never married, had children, walked their daughter down the aisle or watched their grandchildren open Christmas presents. On their death, a branch of their family tree was cut off. Perhaps the great-granddaughter of Private Tommy Atkins would, had she been born, gone on to discover a cure for cancer?

Of course, Remembrance means different things to different people. My earliest memories are of a childhood in the sixties, just 20 years after the end of World War Two. Pretty much every adult I knew, from relatives, to teachers, to neighbours, to shopkeepers, had served, or suffered loss, or survived the Blitz. At family gatherings, I was surrounded by reminiscences of the war. We played on bomb sites pretending to be commandos, or in the park where all the iron railings had been cut off to build battleships.

But things change. War changes. Aircrafts can launch strikes from hundreds of miles away, a drone operator in Kansas can attack a target in Afghanistan and then go home for his tea. We’ve become detached from war. Apart from the price of petrol, it doesn’t affect us. As a kid, if you’d asked my class, “Who has a relative who is in or has served in the military?” every hand would have gone up. Now, in 2022, maybe one would go up.

Of course, that’s a good thing. No sane person wants war and we don’t want children to be exposed to those horrors, but it does create a danger that Remembrance will, over time, be diminished. I hope not. In a time when we can dedicate entire months to causes, it’s always important to spend one day remembering the sacrifice of those who fell and those left behind.

Thank you, Terry, and lest we forget.

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NOTES FROM THE CHAIR

Good afternoon and welcome back to the Dripping Pan for this afternoon’s game with Cray Wanderers. I’d like to welcome the fans, players, management and official from London’s Oldest Football Club to the Pan this afternoon and hope they enjoy our hospitality. There’s obviously a number of links between the two clubs these days, with players, management and directors – it can’t happen often that the Manager and Assistant of both sides have been in charge at the former. Naturally, we welcome Neil Smith and his assistant Tim O’Shea back here some 10 years after they were in charge of the Rooks. Cray Wanderers are one of my nearest clubs to where I live and when their new ground at Flamingo Park opens, it will almost be within a Lew Carey goal kick from home.

The forecast today looks dry which will be a change from recent weeks. On Tuesday night it was hard to believe we managed to get a game on. But thanks to the efforts of our volunteers and staff we got the game on and were treated to a very exciting first half. The torrential rain that coincided with the half-time break quite literally made the second half a damp squib. We showed our defensive qualities in that second period when Folkestone and the elements threw everything at us. It wasn’t pretty but it was effective and we came away with three deserved points.

The games continue to come thick and fast and after today we have two consecutive cup games, against Worthing and Bognor Regis Town respectively here in the next 7 days. Naturally we want to progress in both competitions but we also have to be mindful of the impact the games has on our squad. For Tuesday’s game we may look at bringing some of our Under18s in, although that isn’t as easy as it sounds as many of them are dual registered with other Sussex sides. But rest assured, we will always put a team out, and play to win.

It’s been a year since we lost a true Rooks fan, and in many of our cases, a real friend, in Cynical Dave. He’d have loved some of our performances this season and we welcome some of his friends and family back to the Pan this afternoon.

Keep up the excellent support for the boys and Come On You Rooks!

Stuart

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TONY’S THOUGHTS

Good afternoon and welcome to the Dripping Pan for this afternoon’s game against my old friends, Cray Wanderers.

On Tuesday I arrived at the ground just as the heavens opened up and there was an absolute deluge. I looked out of the dressing room window and the pitch didn’t look great and I thought it would be off. The volunteers, staff and directors were out there, trying their best to get rid of the surface water and the effort was extra-ordinary to get the pitch playable, albeit just about in the eyes of the referee. Whilst we love playing on a greasy surface, the rain led to the ball holding up in many areas which made it hard for us to play the way we wanted to – you could see that in the build up to our second goal when Razz was trying to run into the area but the ball kept holding up.

We controlled the early part, although Folkestone looked dangerous on the counter-attack. JT’s strike to open the scoring was unbelievable – on his left peg from outside the area but Hydie’s third man run to take away the defenders gave him the opportunity – little nuances like that are often unseen by fans but they are the types of things we work on in training so it was really pleasing to see that come off.

Within 90 seconds Folkestone equalised. The officials awarded a soft free-kick and the delivery caught us out because it was quite poor and their guy got a touch at the far post. But we are a different side these days when we do go behind and we kept our heads up and kept calm. A few minutes later we took the lead – Champs quick free-kick to Razz, he beat his man (and the conditions), squared it to Rhys and he smashed it home.

Whilst Folkestone carried threats we felt we were in control – we couldn’t be too brave or gun-ho as we knew they had the quality to punish us. Whilst to most fans the third goal was relatively straight forward for JT, it was actually one of my favourite goals I’d seen this season. We’d spoken to JT about being razor sharp, reacting faster than anyone else and that is exactly what he did after Razz’ shot was spilled by the keeper – a real centre-forward’s goal.

You can’t relax though when you play teams like Folkestone and even though we had a two-goal cushion we knew they had goals in them. They created a lot of good chances which we dealt with but both of their goals were disappointing to concede – the second goal was like the goal that England conceded against Germany in Italia 1990 (kids – ask your Dad) when a shot hits the wall and loops high in the air and over Peter Shilton in goal. The ball took a huge deflection over Lew’s head and whilst it was cleared off the line, their midfielder followed up to score.

So 3-2 at half-time, with the torrential rain starting, and the strong wind blowing straight in our faces, we knew it would be a difficult half. The pitch had become really slow – for a passing team it had become a dilemma – we couldn’t try to pass it out as the ball held up on the pitch, but if we tried to clear long, the wind just sent it straight back at us. Whilst the conditions meant it wasn’t the most entertaining spectacle for fans, it did allow us to control the game – we took time out of the game by holding onto the ball as long as we could.

Theres’s two ways you can manage a game when you are winning – The English way where you take your time over every set piece, or the Continental way where you slow the game down by controlling the ball. If Folkestone tried to counter attack we would have broke quickly.

We managed the game really well and I was really proud of how we adapted our game based on the conditions. We’ve had to dig in a couple of times this season, such as Bishop’s Stortford where we played an hour with ten men and Hornchurch when we had to keep our head and play our game. Folkestone are one of the better sides we’ve played this season despite their league position. We had to put a real shift in and we suffered for that, unable to train on Wednesday with a few players carrying knocks.

Cray have had a good start to the season – they’ve had narrow defeats to the sides at the top of the season such as Hornchurch, whilst picking up points against other form sides such as the win against Aveley last week. I’ve got no doubt today will be a tough game. When you look at their side you can see the balance they have – Derry up front, Bassett out wide (who can forget the worldie he scored against us last season for Carshalton), Clunis on the right who was a legend at Dulwich, David Ijaha was a legend at Whitehawk and some really good talented youngsters from Bromley.

We know that Smudger will have them well set up but we are now seven games unbeaten and come into the game in high spirits. We are getting better week by week but it will be a test today. The biggest challenge we face is getting our boys fit after a punishing last few weeks – we’ve had some horrendous weather in the last few weeks. Thankfully, it looks like we will have good conditions today that will mean we see a decent game with Cray wanting to come at us.

Get behind the boys and Come on You Rooks!

Tony

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As part of the Non-league family, the club was shocked to hear about the injury sustained by Bath City’s Alex Fletcher on Tuesday night in their National League South game against Dulwich Hamlet. Everyone at the club wishes Alex a speedy recovery.

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LEWES 3 FOLKESTONE INVICTA 2 – TUESDAY 8TH NOVEMBER

Lewes returned to winning ways with a hard-fought 3-2 win over Folkestone Invicta at the Pan, reports Tom Harper (pictures: James Boyes).

Tony Russell made one change to the side that drew 2-2 at Brightlingsea Regent in their previous game, with Marcel Elva-Fountaine replacing Johnville Renee at right-back.

The visitors started the game brightly and saw Ronnie Dolan test Lewis Carey early on with a powerful strike from the edge of the area.

They thought they had taken the lead minutes later when Ade Yusuff converted an Ian Draycott cross from close range, only to be denied by the linesman’s flag with Yusuff adjudged to have been in an offside position.

Lewes made the most of this let-off by taking the lead on 14 minutes through Joe Taylor, who evaded two challenges on the edge of the area before firing a powerful strike past Bailey Vose and into the bottom corner.

Folkestone responded well and were level just three minutes later, the unmarked Robbie Dolan controlling a Kadell Daniel free-kick from the left before finishing under the onrushing Carey.

There was to be no let-up in the goal-mouth action though, with Lewes regaining their lead within a minute, Rhys Murrell-Williamson finishing emphatically at the far post despite the best efforts of a covering defender after excellent play down the left by Razz Coleman De-Graft.

The game settled down at this stage, both teams pushing for more goals without creating any further clear-cut opportunities.

The better chances were falling to Lewes and they made it 3-1 on 35 minutes, Taylor reacting quickest to volley past Vose from close range after the goalkeeper had only been able to parry a deflected De-Graft strike.

Folkestone continued to pose a threat going forward and saw Ira Jackson draw a smart save from Carey with a strike from point-blank range, the ensuing goal-mouth scramble then being ended by the linesman’s flag with Yusuff set to finish from almost on the line.

The visitors were able to pull a goal back three minutes before the break, as a deflected Daniel cross was headed off the line by Jamie Mascoll but only as far as Ian Draycott, who finished into the roof of the net from six yards out.

The torrential rain that had been intermittent throughout the first half got even heavier at half-time, but the pitch held up superbly heading into the second half.

Folkestone started it on the front foot, with Carey called into action to brilliantly tip a curling strike from Jackson over the bar.

Lewes were having to weather a storm as the half progressed, the visitors seeing plenty of the ball in the final third as they continued their search for an equaliser in the driving rain.

They arguably should have found one through Draycott, who ran onto a perfectly-weighted Daniel through-ball but shot into the side-netting with only Carey to beat.

The visitors came even closer to levelling the scores with their best chance of the half 15 minutes from time, as Yusuff capitalised on some hesitant defending and made space for himself before seeing his close-range effort superbly saved by Carey.

Lewes had found it difficult to play their usual free-flowing game for much of the second half, but were holding firm defensively and saw out the remainder of the game slightly more comfortably to record an impressive 3-2 win.

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REMEMBERING DAVE “CYNICAL” MCKAY

It’s been a year since we lost the wit, wisdom and veracious support of Cynical. Always remembered, never forgotten.

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A BIZARRE FACT ABOUT TODAY’S MANAGERS

Who doesn’t like a bit of trivia, especially when it is a) about your own club, and b) it is something that you’ve discovered yourself. And this one is a corker.

Today we see Tony Russell and Joe Vines pitting their wits against Neil Smith and Tim O’Shea in the dugouts. Tony and Joe joined us in 2020, having left Cray Wanderers, whilst Neil and Tim joined the Wanderers earlier in 2022 but had previously been the management duo (albeit Smudger being the assistant and Tim the manager) here at Lewes. That’s not something you see every (any) day in football – two opposing sets of management having been in charge at each others respective club.

One to tell the Grandchildren I’m sure.

INTRODUCING OUR VISITORS – CRAY WANDERERS

THE HISTORY

Cray Wanderers have been in exile from the Cray’s since 1973 when they lost the Grassmeade ground in Chelsfield Road, due to housing development. They moved to Oxford Road, on the borders of Footscray and Sidcup, but when that ground was ruled to be unsuitable for Step 5 football (the Wands were then playing in the Kent League) it became necessary from 1998/99 to play first team matches at Hayes Lane, as tenants of Bromley FC.

However, an off the field victory was obtained in March 2018 as approval by Bromley Council was granted for a new Football Stadium/Community Hub at Flamingo Park in Sidcup which on Monday 26th November received a further boost when approval was given by the GLA (Mayor of London) giving the green light to a bright future for the club and community.  The 2018-19 season saw Cray Wanderers now playing in the newly formed Isthmian South-East and were crowned the first champions of the division and despite a season of struggle in 2021-22 Cray retained their place in the Isthmian Premier for the fourth straight season.

The first origins of Cray Wanderers are linked to the construction of the London, Chatham & Dover railway line during 1858 to 1860. During their leisure time, migrant workers kicked a ball around, and that is how the club originated in the St Mary Cray village. The pitch at Star Lane is now a cemetery, and is located beneath the nine-arch railway viaduct that spans the Cray Valley. The industrial belt of the River Cray, especially the paper mills, provided much of the club’s support up till the 1950s.  

Cray Wanderers were a strong force in senior county football at the turn of the century. After being Kent Junior Cup semi-finalists and finalists in 1890/91 and 1891/92 they entered the first ever FA Amateur Cup competition in 1893/94. They had a spell as a professional club between 1895 and 1907. They were a nursery club for Woolwich Arsenal during part of this period. They were one of the founder members of the Kent League in 1894/95, and they won the championship in 1901/02. Other honours included Southern Suburban League champions in 1898/99, West Kent League champions in 1903/04, and Kent Senior Cup runners-up in 1899/1900.

After World War One, Cray switched to the London League where they remained till 1934. In 1930/31 they won the Kent Amateur Cup. Cray rejoined the Kent League in 1934/35, but their four year stay came to grief when 1936 saw the loss of the Fordcroft ground in Cray Avenue, their home since 1898. Cray were forced to drop into a lower level of football, drifting from one temporary pitch to another while the club committee dwindled to a perilously small number. The team struggled badly in the South London Alliance and the Kent Amateur League.

1951/52 heralded a new era, and an upturn in the club’s fortunes, when local businessman Mick Slater took over at the helm. The club was elected to the London League and regained its senior status. Cray moved to a new ground at Grassmeade in 1955. Their stay there was a very successful period in the club’s history. Drawing extra support from the commuter town of Orpington, they played in the London League and then the Aetolian League. They were three times crowned champions, won the League Cup twice, and also won the Kent Amateur Cup three times.

Cray switched to the semi-professional Metropolitan League for five seasons commencing in 1966/67. In 1971/72 a merger of the Metropolitan League and the Greater London League created the Met London League.  

Cray moved to Oxford Road in 1973/74. Johnny Biddle and Jimmy Wakeling proved to be successful managers. In 1974/75 Cray won the Met London League and League Cup, scoring 170 goals in all matches that season. In 1976/77 and 1977/78 Cray won the London Spartan League championship.

Cray decided to return to the Kent League in 1978/79. Success came quickly because Cray won the championship in 1980/81, having been runners-up the year before. Their powerful new team under manager Harry Richardson reached the FA Vase quarter final and 5th round in those two seasons. After that, the 1980s decade brought only one more piece of silverware, the Kent League Cup in 1983/84. After finishing Kent League runners up in 1990/91, Cray had a lean period during most of the 1990s, with the exception of 1992/93 when they won the Kent Senior Trophy.

A new club chairman Gary Hillman arrived in 1994/95 and Ian Jenkins, a Cray player since 1993, was appointed manager in 1999. By now, Cray were tenants of Bromley FC. As champions of the Kent League in 2002/03 and 2003/04, also reaching the FA Vase quarter final, they achieved promotion into the Ryman League Division One. Five years later at the end of season 2008/09 came further promotion into the Ryman Premier League, the highest level of football that the club has played at since the war.

After parting company with long-serving manager Ian Jenkins, relegation into the Ryman Division One North came at the end of 2013/14.  The 2014/15 season started with much optimism but this was soon dispelled with a run of difficult results and three changes in management.  Looking very much like having to suffer back to back relegations at Christmas and with 10 games to go after suffering a home defeat to the eventual League Champions the Wands went on a 10 game winning run, with a team assembled by the then manager Tommy Warrilow to secure survival and became the Ryman North League Team of the Year.

For 2015/16 The Wands were managed by former player Tony Russell. The Wands finished third in the Ryman North Division losing in the play-off semi final. Two years later and now in the Bostik League South they were beaten by Walton Casuals at the same stage after an excellent season saw Cray finish third and as top scorers with 112 goals. 

The 2018-19 season saw Cray Wanderers now playing in the newly formed Isthmian South-East and after a 15 game unbeaten start to the season the team were on their way and were crowned the first champions of the division on Saturday 13th April and Cray took their place in the Isthmian Premier after a five year absence.  Cray were lying 2nd in the division on 7th March, 2020 but the continuing escalation of Coronavirus led to the season being considered null and void.  The 2020-21 season began and the 4th Qualifying Round of the FA Cup was reached for the second time but with the Wands lying 5th in the Isthmian Premier the season was curtailed with the introduction of tier systems and two more national lockdowns.

The 2021-22 season saw the start of a new era for Cray Wanderers as Tony Russell and his coaching team departed the club in March 2021 and in April, former Welling United, AFC Wimbledon and Gillingham forward Danny Kedwell was appointed as new manager. However, Danny departed the club at the end of December and ex-Wands player Grant Basey took over in an interim capacity but ex-Bromley boss Neil Smith was appointed on 22nd March to guide Cray through the remaining league games and managed to stave off relegation and became Cray Wanderers first ever full time manager in May 2022 and the club are looking to prosper on and off the field.  

The move to the new ground is taking shape and grass pitches were laid for Cray Wanderers youth sides to play on while the main stadium is being built and the club are finally playing football at what will be their new home and with 30+ youth teams including for the first time, girls football and the launch of a new academy side the future is looking rosy and bright.

THE SQUAD

Neil Smith – Manager

Cray Wanderers announced on 22nd March the appointment of Neil Smith as manager. Neil came in for the remaining six games of the season and helped to stave off relegation and continues on as manager into the 2022-23 season 

Neil had a distinguished Football League and Non-League career as a player and coach and later as a manager.

He started out in the Tottenham Hotspur youth system and was signed as an apprentice in 1990 but never got a chance to play so initially went on loan to Gillingham in 1991 and remained there for six years making over 200 appearances for the Medway club.  He moved on to Fulham in 1997 for two seasons and scored against Tottenham in the FA Cup. In 1999 he moved to Reading and all three Football League clubs he gained promotion as a player.

He had a short spell at Stevenage Borough and then on to Woking in 2002 for five seasons and became interim manager for a spell. He continued in player management at Welling United and after short spells as a player at Bromley and Maidstone United he called time on his playing career.  

He went into coaching at Grays Athletic, Croydon Athletic and Lewes and then to Bromley in 2011 and was Assistant Manager when Bromley won the National South title in 2014-15. He became first team manager in 2016 and established Bromley as a credible National League force and took them to the FA Trophy final at Wembley in 2017-18. He remained at Bromley until March 2021 until his departure from the club but now takes on a new challenge at Cray Wanderers where he aims to be part of the clubs new Academy and the prospect of the new stadium at Flamingo Park.

Tim O’Shea – Assistant – Manager

Tim joins Neil Smith as Assistant Manager of Cray Wanderers after arriving in March 2022.  Tim is an experienced manager and coach who took the reins at Grays Athletic, Croydon Athletic and Lewes.  

Tim represented Republic of Ireland at Youth level and came through the Tottenham Hotspur youth system and went on to make 3 appearances for the first team between 1983-88 which included a loan spell at Newport County and went on to Leyton Orient for the 1988-89 season. He went on to star at Gillingham as a defender making 112 appearances between 1989-1992. After later playing in Hong Kong he went into non-league football with Farnborough Town and Welling United and from here went into management at Grays, Croydon and Lewes where Neil Smith was a coach

Michael Ademiluyi – Winger

Cray Wanderers are delighted to announce the signing of winger Michael Ademiluyi to the club for the 2022-23 season.  Michael was a consistent performer for Bowers & Pitsea last season making 45 appearances scoring 12 goals including goals in the final three games of the season.

Michael has experience at Isthmian Premier level over the last few seasons having played for Haringey Borough for Haringey Borough for three seasons making 91 appearances. 

Michael came through the youth system at Southend United and following his release from the Shrimpers had spells at Carlton Town, Crowborough Athletic and Erith & Belvedere.

Yahaya  Bamba – Attacking Midfield/Right Back

Cray Wanderers are delighted to announce the signing of Yahaya Bamba to the club.  Yahaya can play either at right back or as a forward player and comes to the Wands from Sevenoaks Town.

Previously with Phoenix Sports, Yahaya made a huge impact when signing for Sevenoaks Town in March last season and scored 10 goals in 9 games to help Sevenoaks steer clear of relegation from the Isthmian South-East.  He made 17 appearances in league and cups this season scoring 3 goals and scored against Cray in a pre-season game in July.  Yahaya made his Wands debut as a substitute against Leyton Orient in the London Senior Cup on 2nd November.

Daniel Bassett – Striker

Daniel is a centre-forward with a prolific scoring record who has signed for the Wands from Carshalton Athletic this summer.  

Daniel played at Egham, Godalming and Staines Town before joining Tooting & Mitcham United where he scored 64 goals in 3 seasons. He then moved on to Hampton & Richmond for the 2020-21 season and had a couple of spells there having briefly joined Braintree Town.  He transferred to Carshalton for the 2021-22 season and finished top scorer for the Robins with 20 goals including a hat-trick against Cray in the remarkable 5-4 Wands win back in January 2022.

Nathan Boamah – Goalkeeper

Nathan Boamah re-joined Cray from Sutton Common Rovers in September.  Nathan was called up from the U18s last season in an injury crisis amongst the goalkeepers and played the last 3 games of the season and made some outstanding saves in the 3-3 draw at Enfield Town and the East Thurrock and Bishop Stortford games.  Nathan’s prowess in goal went viral on social media and was much sought after and signed for Sutton Common Rovers in the summer.  Although he was an unused substitute for the first few games he never made an appearance for the Isthmian South-Central side.  Nathan has now returned and is very mature and composed for his age

Freddie Carter – Defender

Centre-half Freddie Carter has signed for the Wands on a season-long work experience loan from Gillingham.  Freddie joined the Gills U18s setup in March 2021 after signing from Eastbourne Borough but has yet to make a first team appearance for Gillingham.  Freddie made 3 appearances for Faversham Town earlier this season and made his debut for the Wands on 24th September at Hornchuch and had a very composed game.

Mitch Chapman – Midfield

Cray Wanderers are delighted to welcome Mitch Chapman to the club.  Midfielder Mitch signs for Cray from Ramsgate where he spent the last three seasons.  

Mitch is the son of former Millwall, Leyton Orient and Cray Wanderers midfielder Danny Chapman and has also played for Faversham Town, East Grinstead Town, Hythe Town and Ebbsfleet United.

We welcome Mitch to Cray Wanderers and hope he enjoys his time with the club.

Sinn Kaye Christie – Central Defender

Cray Wanderers are delighted to announce the signing of central defender Sinn Kaye Christie to the club.

Sinn comes to Cray from Haywards Heath Town where he made 42 appearances last season. He came through the Leatherhead system and played for their U21s and later had two spells at Merstham and then on to Hasting United and Whitehawk before joining Haywards Heath in the summer of 2021.

Nyren Clunis – Winger 

Cray Wanderers are delighted to announce the signing of Nyren Clunis to the club.  Nyren is a versatile midfielder/winger who signed for the Wands from Kingstonian.

Nyren came through the Dulwich Hamlet youth system and made his league debut in 2009 and went on to make an impressive 486 appearances for Hamlet scoring 117 goals and was part of two promotion winning sides and a former player of the year.  After being released at the end of the 2019-20 season Nyren moved on to Carshalton Athletic and then joined Kingstonian at the start of the 2021-22 season going on to make 44 appearances scoring 3 goals.

Anthony Cook – Midfield/Winger

Club captain Anthony had an influential first season with Cray Wanderers where he played in all 42 league games, scoring twice on the opening day against Lewes and finished club top scorer with 13 goals.  He scored his 100th career goal against Cheshunt in March 2022. 

A stylish midfielder who also played out on the wing made his league debut for Dagenham & Redbridge in December 2007, Anthony via an appearance on Sky TV’s Football Icon series had a spell at Cardiff City as a youth team player. After spells at Concord Rangers, Carshalton and Braintree Town he really came into his own after signing for Chelmsford City where he played for four seasons scoring 22 goals in 93 league games. 

Anthony moved on to Ebbsfleet United for the 2013-14 season but then signed for Bromley in January 2015 where he helped Bromley to the Conference South title before returning to Ebbsfleet in the summer of 2015. He remained at Stonebridge Road until 2018 and then after a loan spell at Woking signed for Dulwich Hamlet in the summer of 2018 and then onto Welling United ahead of the 2019-20 season.

Billy Crook – Midfield

Cray Wanderers are delighted to announce the signing of Billy Crook to the club. Midfielder Billy comes to the Wands from Aveley where he was part of the Millers Isthmian North Championship side after joining from Tilbury in December 2021.

Billy brings experience to the Wands and after coming through the Crystal Palace youth system and joined the professional ranks at Peterborough United. He departed in 2011 going on to Tooting & Mitcham United, Carshalton Athletic, Met Police, Enfield Town and Braintree Town. Billy went on to Dartford in January 2019 and a short spell at East Thurrock United and helped Dartford reach the National South playoff final in 2020-21. He went on to Chelmsford City and then to Tilbury in the summer of 2021.

Tom Derry – Striker

Cray Wanderers are delighted to announce the signing of striker Tom Derry for the 2022-23 season. Tom joins the Wands from Welling United who he joined in December 2021 after earlier spells at Slough Town and Braintree Town. 

Tom is an experienced striker who can also play centre-back who started out in the Gillingham youth system and was on the books for the Gills before going into non-league football. Tom has played for a handful of Step 2 clubs including Tonbridge Angels, Hayes & Yeading and at Leatherhead, East Thurrock and Kingstonian. 

Kellen Fisher – Defender

Cray Wanderers are delighted to announce the signing of full back Kellen Fisher to the club on a one month loan from Bromley FC. 

Kellen made an impressive Wands debut at Potters Bar Town this afternoon and is a player with great potential.  Kellen is a first year pro at Bromley having emerged through their Academy and U23s last season and made a couple of first team appearances for Bromley in the FA Trophy ties vs Dover and Tonbridge Angels.  Kellen had a loan spell at Welling United and this season played the full 90 minutes of Bromley’s league game with Dagenham & Redbridge.

David Ijaha – Midfield

Cray Wanderers confirm the signing of midfielder David Ijaha to the club.  David is an experienced player who had been training with the club from pre-season.

David was a youth team player at Chelsea and Wolves where he played for the U18s before going into the non-league game with Harrow Borough in 2010. He went on to play for St. Albans City, Tonbridge Angels, Hayes & Yeading United and Whitehawk where he made 62 appearances between 2014-16 before being signed by Plymouth Argyle where he made three appearances during the 2016-17 season.

After a short spell at Wealdstone, David returned to Whitehawk for the 2017-18 season and then on to Welling United, Dulwich Hamlet and Dartford at the end of the 2021-22 season and another short spell at Whitehawk.

We welcome David to Cray Wanderers and we hope he enjoys his time with the club.

Jalen Jones – Defender 

Cray Wanderers are pleased to announce the arrival of central defender Jalen Jones to the club. Jalen comes to the Wands from Braintree Town.

Jalen came through the Crystal Palace youth system before going on to Merstham and Worthing and then had a spell in Swedish football with Skelleftea.  

From there Jalen has played for Carshalton Athletic, Cheshunt and Braintree Town and has been capped at full international level by Guyana.

Harold Joseph – Defender

Cray Wanderers are delighted to announce the signing of Harold Joseph to the club. 

Central defender Harold joins the Wands from Enfield Town where he spent two spells re-joining in October 2020 and made 15 appearances last season.

Harold has previously played for Barnet, Stevenage, Hayes & Yeading United, St. Albans City, Royston Town and Welling United.

Ben Krauhaus – Striker               

Ben is a striker with great potential who has joined Cray Wanderers on a month loan from Bromley up to mid September.

Ben has come through the Academy at Bromley and is a regular for the U23s. He made his first team debut in the FA Trophy at Dover last season and has been a key part of the Bromley U18s team the last couple of seasons and historic runs in the FA Youth Cup.  Ben also spent a successful spell towards the end of last season at Walton & Hersham helping them to promotion from the Combined Counties Premier South

Shaun Rowley – Goalkeeper

Shaun Rowley is a newcomer to Cray Wanderers after signing in the summer of 2022. Shaun is a goalkeeper who played for Matlock Town and Carlton Town last season.

Shaun came through the youth system at Shrewsbury Town turning professional in 2005. Whilst with the Shrews he went out on loan to Halesowen, Chorley and Tamworth then signing for Halifax Town in 2018.  From here Shaun went on to Solihull Moors and Kettering Town before joining Matlock in September 2020 spending the latter part of the season with Carlton Town. 

Sam Skeffington – Midfielder

Cray Wanderers welcome Sam Skeffington to the club who re-joins the Wands from Bromley after spending a loan spell with the club last season. 

Sam is an attacking midfielder who came through the Millwall Youth and Development system and played for the U18s and U23s in three years at the Lions.  After a spell on loan at Barnet he signed for Bromley in the summer of 2021 and joined Cray in November making his debut against Folkestone Invicta making 5 appearances in league and cup before returning to Bromley.  

Wands manager Neil Smith noticed Sam’s potential and signed for the Wands for the 2022-23 season and is a great passer of the ball.  

Harrison Sodje – Full Back

Cray Wanderers are delighted to announce the signing of full back/defender Harrison Sodje on a month youth loan from Leyton Orient.  Harrison made his debut for Cray Wanderers against Brightlingsea Regent on 19th October and had a fine game playing the full 90 minutes.

Harrison played for Cray as a young youth player twelve years ago and went on to Chelsea and Charlton Athletic before joining Leyton Orient as a 16 year old two years ago and signed his first professional contract this season.  Harrison has played for Aveley on loan last season and a spell at Heybridge Swifts this season and now spends a month with the Wands to continue to give him competitive games.

Sam Wood -Defender/Midfield

Cray Wanderers club legend Sam Wood re-joined the club almost seventeen years after his last appearances in January 2022 from Dover Athletic.  Sam made an instant positive impact to the side making 13 appearances and scoring 3 goals.   

Sidcup born Sam started out with the Long Lane youth system but came through the ranks at Cray Wanderers emerging from the very successful reserve side and made his Wands first team debut in 2003. Sam was a key part of the side which won the Kent League titles in 2003-04 and also won the Kent Senior Trophy and helped Cray to the last 8 of the FA Vase.  The Wands reached the playoffs in their first season in the Isthmian League Division One in 2004-05 and scored the goal of the season in the 2-0 win against AFC Wimbledon at Hayes Lane in December 2004.  At the end of the season Sam moved on to Cray Wanderers landlords Bromley after 94 appearances and 8 goals and helped them to promotion from the Isthmian Premier in 2006-07.

Sam’s performances attracted the interest of Brentford in the Football League and in 2008 joined the Bees and helped them to promotion from League 2 in 2008-09 making 126 appearances. In 2011-12 he spent a year on loan at Rotherham United and then in 2012 joined Wycombe Wanderers spending 5 seasons including a spell with Wands manager Grant Basey with the Buckinghamshire club making 213 appearances.

Sam was released in 2017 and returned to non-league football with Eastleigh in 2017-18 and then back to Bromley up to 2020 and then on to Dover Athletic in the National League.  Sam’s career turned full circle when he re-signed for Cray Wanderers on 1st February and made his first appearance since 2005 at Potters Bar Town.  

THE RECENT FORM

THE HEAD TO HEAD RECORD

25th Jan 2022Isthmian Premier LeagueLewes2Cray Wanderers0
14th Aug 2021Isthmian Premier LeagueCray Wanderers3Lewes1
18th Jan 2020Isthmian Premier LeagueCray Wanderers2Lewes1
19th Oct 2019Isthmian Premier LeagueLewes2Cray Wanderers3
20th Jan 2018Isthmian League SouthCray Wanderers1Lewes2
16th Sept 2017Isthmian League SouthLewes2Cray Wanderers1

THE LAST VISIT HERE – 25th JANUARY 2022

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THE SUPPORTERS CLUB RAFFLE…THE ST HELENA WAY

Fund raising comes in all shapes and sizes and for all manner of things. It isn’t unusual for a team to look to raise money so they can travel to play overseas but for St Helena, unless they come up with the cash soon, their dream of playing in only their second ever tournament is going to be dashed.

The island is a British overseas territory located in the South Atlantic Ocean, best known as the place where the emperor Napoleon took his last breath. It is a remote volcanic tropical island 1,950 kilometres (1,210 miles) west of the coast of south-western Africa, and 4,000 kilometres (2,500 mi) east of Rio de Janeiro in South America, with a population of around 4,500 people. There’s a fair chance that if you are male, aged between 16 and 35, you could get a game for the national side if you wanted to.

As it is a British overseas territory, the football team is governed by the English Football Association. However, our FA won’t fund the team’s trip to Guernsey for the 2023 Island Games in July. So they have come up with a raffle. And here’s what you could win.

Now I don’t know about you but you can take your Scooter, Flat Screen TV or even a night at the Mantis. Surely what everyone wants is the goat…although I’m not sure how you’d get it over to Lewes. Minor details…

The team made its international debut in June 2019 when participating in the 2019 Inter Games Football Tournament. Previously, St. Helena had played one previous fixture in 1949 against English side Lockheed Leamington on Friday 18 November 1949, losing by the very odd score of 15–3.

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THE FINAL RANKINGS UPSIDE DOWN – NO. 206 GUAM

A shocking two months has seen Guam fall into the five worst Men’s footballing nations, dropping down from 203 in August. I’m sure most of us have no idea a) where Guam is, b) that they had a football team and c) how did they get on when they played North Marianas Islands?

For those familiar with their military geography will know that (deep breath) Guam is an organised, unincorporated territory of the United States in the Micronesia subregion of the western Pacific Ocean, the furthest Westernmost point of the United States of America (Its 170,000 citizens are classed as American Citizens but have no voting rights in the elections) and is one of the most strategic American military bases in the world. Nearly 30% of the total area of Guam is covered by US military bases.

So perhaps it is a surprise they have a national football team at all. But they do, and since 1975 have been FIFA members, their first game being a 11-0 defeat against Fiji. They lost their first 31 games, including a 21-0 defeat to North Korea, 19-0 to China and Iran, and 15-0 against Hong Kong. But 32nd (and 33rd) time lucky, they beat the North Marianas Islands in 2007, the second game a 9-0 win. A year later they went on a four match unbeaten run, beating the North Marianas twice again, a draw against Macau but a win against Mongolia, with Christopher Mendiola scoring the historic goal.

Aside from regular wins in friendlies against North Marianas and Macau, their international has been bleak although in 2015 in the qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup they beat Turkmenistan and India, rising to 151st in the World Rankings, the highest they have ever been. In the most recent World Cup qualifying tournament they beat Bhutan 5-1 on aggregate to reach the group stages but lost all eight games.

They have won their last two games, albeit both against North Marianas Islands (again) back in February, but as their opponents aren’t FIFA Members the wins don’t count towards any ranking points.

Former Newcastle United manager Willie McFaul managed Guam for five years between 1998 to 2003, whereas today it is the job of South Korean Kim Sang-hoon to try and get the Chamarros in shape for the Oceanic Championships. The majority of the squad play in the Guam Soccer League for clubs such as Bank of Guam Strykers, Quality Distributers and Anderson Bombers as well as clubs in the grassroots level in the US such as Christos FC. Captain, top capper (61) and top scorer (22) Jason Cunliffe is the star man in case you were wondering.

Should you fancy a trip to watch them play then be prepared for a 24 hours trip via Tokyo to Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport in Tamuning and then head a few miles north to Dedodo where the 5,000 Guam Football Association (GFA) National Training Center can be found. Aside from watching football, Guam offers plenty of outstanding beaches, golf clubs and four McDonalds.

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DIDN’T WE USED TO PLAY THEM? WHYTELEAFE

In summary…yes we did but then a Liverpool “legend” got involved and the club is no more, or did he?

Whyteleafe F.C. was formed in 1946, replacing another club, Whyteleafe Albion, which had existed before World War II. The new club initially played junior football in such local leagues as the Thornton Heath & District League, before gaining senior status and joining the Surrey Senior League in 1958, at which time they moved to the Church Road ground, which would remain their home until 2021.

Whyteleafe were Surrey Senior League champions on at least one occasion in the 1960s before switching to the London Spartan League in 1975. In 1981 they switched to the Athenian League and then in 1984 to the Isthmian League. In 1989 they were promoted to Division One, a level at which they played for 23 years (albeit with league reorganisations placing the team in Division One South from 2002 to 2004 and again in 2006). In 1999, they reached the First Round Proper of the FA Cup for the first time in their history and held Chester City to a 0–0 draw before losing the replay. At the end of the 2011–12 season the club were relegated from the Isthmian League to the Kent League. After one season of consolidation the club was promoted from the renamed Southern Counties East League back to the Isthmian League at the end of the 2013–14 season.

As the club and its fans looked forward to the 2021/22 Isthmian South Central campaign it was announced that a company called Irama, who had bought the ground six months previously, refused to lease it back to the club, leaving them homeless. Irama, according to records, were based in Singapore but there was strong connections to former Liverpool striker, Ian Rush (perhaps the “IR” in the company name or simply coincidence?) which he always has denied. There were rumours of football academies, both being housed at Whyteleafe as well as Abington Town (who also were bought by Irama), based by well known former Premier League players. More details of the Irama deals can be found here.

Our last visit to Whyteleafe was almost five years to the day, on the 14th November 2017, a 0-0 draw in front of 130 fans only memorable for there being almost no shots on goal by either side in the whole 90 minutes. Previous to that we’d done the double over The Leafe in 2016/17, winning 2-1 at The Pan thanks to goals from Jamie Brotherton and Jack Dixon, and 1-0 away thanks to an own goal.

A new phoenix club rose from the ashes in the summer of 2021, being promoted in their first season to SCEFL1 (Step 6) at the start of this season, bringing football back to Church Road. Who knows, one day we may once again face the Leafe in competitive action.

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BEATLES, BARESI & BAGGIO – TALES FROM THE FOOTBALL TOURIST

With Lewes heading in limited numbers to the wilds of Essex for the game on the 5th November in the wind and rain, I had to head to North Italy for work. OK, the work wasn’t due to take place until Monday in Milan but I always want to be well prepared. Football? I didn’t even think about the fact there were four games across the weekend in the region I could attend. Not once. No sir.

First up was a trip east of Milan into the heart of Lombardy on the fast train from Milan to Venice. Essential reading (La Gazzetta dello Sport), essential refreshment Brescia sits in the foothills and neatly sandwiched between Lake Garda and d’Iseo. It is a wealthy city, located on a trade route from Venice to Milan and onwards. Roughly translated it meant stepping off the fast train from Milan in my jeans and Lewes coat immediately marked me out as an “outsider”. But football is a great equaliser and thus I was sure I’d be welcomed with open arms as I rocked up to the Stadio Mario Rigamonti for the lunch time game against Ascoli.

Brescia to me means Roberto Baggio, wearing the famous blue shirt with the white chevron. The Divine Ponytail played for Brescia Calcio for four seasons at the end of his career, back in 2004, making nearly 100 appearances as the club enjoyed an extended spell in the top division, the club so grateful that they retired the Number 10 shirt when he left. But it isn’t just Baggio who is associated with the city. Legendary AC Milan skipper, Franco Baresi, legendary midfielder Andrea Pirlo and legendary Pope Paul XI all hailed locally although monuments were few and far between in the city centre. What there was though was Europe’s 2nd biggest Beatles Museum. Alas, it was closed on a Saturday and I couldn’t find any specific (or tenuous) link between the Fab Four and the city. A mystery that will be solved on another day.

Brescia are a typical yo-yo club, bouncing between the top two divisions, having last played in Serie A two seasons ago, then losing out in the Play-offs last season to immediately return. This season it has been a slow start, coming into this game three points and four places outside the play-offs, one spot below the visitors from Marche, some 350 miles to the south.

The number one question I’m asked about watching football abroad is how I get tickets. You don’t need an O-Level in Italian to be able to navigate a website these days – most of the major clubs now have English versions, if not then Google is your friend. Twenty Euro gets you a ticket for a decent ticket at Brescia these days. If you want any type of cover (the “Preferencia”) then treble that, but with the sun shining and the mercury hitting twenty degrees, sitting al-fresco wasn’t going to be an issue which is handy as three of the four stands these days are of the Meccano variety. The Italian’s brought in a law regarding ticket purchases a few years ago that every ticket had to have the purchasers name and ID details on. All good as long as you don’t forget to bring the right ID, and only have your Tesco clubcard with you which is hit or miss as to whether they will let you in.

Almost twenty years ago to the day I’d made my first, and only visit, to Brescia back at the time when Baggio was playing here. The club back then didn’t have a website, the city didn’t have a metro and the weather didn’t get the memo about it needing to be dry, let alone warm. Rocking up ten minutes before kick-off and I was stung for €120 for a ticket. I didn’t even get my own toilet roll to throw on the pitch!

These days there’s a smart single line metro which runs from the main station to the ground in just 11 minutes. There’s no five minutes to kick off scrum to get into Italian ground (unless there’s a group of English Football Tourists as there was for this game) – the fans here get in up to an hour before the game, and start their choreographed bouncing around the terraces. That’s the beauty of Italian football – the actual game itself is so often poor, but there’s always so much going on in the stands. Today was no different, with the blue and white wall of fans behind the goal, framed by the majestic hills beyond the ground.

Another surprising feature about watching football in Italy is that you can buy a beer and drink it in your seat without being treated like a criminal. There’s no real queues for the bars – Italy doesn’t really have a beer culture. Create an espresso bar and they’d be queuing around the block. Perhaps that’s why the fans can bounce around the terraces for over two hours straight.

The game itself was a bit rubbish to be honest. The home side took the lead in the 54th minute (Florian Aye if you are really interested), but Ascoli equalised with the last kick/head of the game thanks to Eric Botteghin. The goal led to Brescia’s keeper Luca Lezzerini being red carded for his aggressive remonstrations with the referee over the added time being played.

You can watch the highlights (and see me in the top row of the stand sitting with Billy No Mates) below.

And so it was off to Milan for game two of the weekend and perhaps a final visit to the Italian cathedral of football, The San Siro.

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ON THIS DAY IN FOOTBALLING HISTORY – 12th NOVEMBER

Results

#1. On this day 101 years ago, back in 1921, Billy Walker became the first player in English top-flight football to do what?

#2. On this day in 1881, St Mark's lost 3-0 at home to Newton Heath. Both teams went on to become major English teams. But what city are they from?

#3. On this day in 1982, former European Player of the Year turned down a move from Barcelona to Real Madrid to join which English club?

#4. On this day in 2016, the Rooks beat which team that no longer exists in the Isthmian League South?

#5. On this day in 2013 we travelled to Suffolk for an Isthmian Premier League game. The Rooks lost 2-1 but who did they play?

Finish
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MIDWEEK ISTHMIAN LEAGUE ROUND UP FROM IAN TOWNSEND

Haringey Borough welcomed Kingstonian to Coles Park, and lit up White Hart Lane with a five-goal haul. The hosts were ahead as early as the fourth minute, Kaylen Hinds with his fourth of the campaign- and sixty seven minutes later the same player rounded off Borough’s scoring spree with his fifth of the season and their fifth of the evening. In between those two goals Georgios Aresti and Anthony Mendy made it three-nil at the break, and on sixty nine minutes Chaynie Fage-Burgin added the fourth.

The K’s then awoke from their slumber, albeit rather too late, and in the last twelve minutes Iker Noguera Leon and Amine Sassi got two back to add a little respectability to the scoreline. Borough climb to tenth.

Carshalton Athletic are up to sixth, and for once the Robins didn’t win one-nil. They did only win by one goal, however, although that margin seemed unlikely when they roared into a three-nil lead at Herne Bay inside thirty one minutes. Crossley lema got the first, eight minutes in, Walter Figuera added a second on twenty seven and Alex Akrofi then delivered his first Robins goal- and indeed his first goal of the season. After the break managerless Bay decided to make a match of it. Kieron Campbell pulled one back just before the hour, and Rory Smith narrowed the gap still further with seventeen minutes remaining, scoring from the spot- but the equaliser didn’t come, and Bat remain second from bottom.

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PLAYER SPONSORSHIP

You can sponsor the player of your choice, subject to availability, for the 2022/23 season and get your name in lights, plus a home or away shirt signed by your player and presented to you at a home game. Contact Shrey for more details at Shrey@lewesfc.com.

PLAYERSPONSORPLAYERSPONSOR
Lewis CareySusie ArlettJack Skinner
Tom CarlseMichael McDowellRonan Silva
Marcel Elva-FountaineRhys Murrell-WilliamsonTrevor Norwood
Kenny YaoDeshane Dalling
Tom ChampionTom, Alice & Russ MouldRazz Coleman De-GraftThe Ouse
Will SalmonDeon Moore
Mitchell NelsonBilly BeauzileJoe TaylorStuart Fuller
Ayo OlukogaFraser Middleton-Tozer
Bradley PritchardFinley Jenkins
Alfie YoungJamie Mascoll
Tyrique HydeJohnville Renee
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THE 2022/23 ISTHMIAN PREMIER LEAGUE SEASON

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THE 2022/23 ISTHMIAN LEAGUE PARTNERS

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TODAY’S TEAMS

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LEGALS AND CREDITS

“The Isthmian Football League strongly supports the FA statement that there should be a zero tolerance approach against racism and all forms of discrimination. Accordingly any form of discriminatory abuse whether it by reason of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion and belief, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, sex and sexual orientation or any other form of abuse will be reported to The Football Association for action by that Association.” (The FA 0800 085 0508 / Kick it Out 020 7253 0162).The Isthmian League and all Member Clubs in the League are committed to promoting equality by treating people fairly and with respect, by recognising that inequalities may exist, by taking steps to address them and providing access and opportunities for all members of the community.”

Lewes 2000 FC Limited. Registered in England and Wales with Company Registration Number 03790979. Lewes 2000 FC Limited is 100% owned by Lewes Community Football Club.

Honorary President Terry Parris
Chair Stuart Fuller
Directors Willa Bailey, Tim Bradshaw, Ed Briggs, Scott Currie, Stuart Fuller, Andy Gowland, Lucy Mills, John Peel, Sally Taplin, Trevor Wells
Chief Executive Officer Maggie Murphy
Club Secretary John Peel
Fan Engagement Manager Shrey Nilvarna
Youth Secretary Ryan Sullivan
Operations Manager James Barker

Equality FC Campaign Manager Karen Dobres

Life Members
Peter Brook, Dorothy Brook RIP, Vic Blunt, Pat Dartnell, Gary Elphick, Gordon Fowlie, Peter Hiscox RIP, Billy Nixon, Derrick Parris RIP, Terry Parris, Jimmy Quinn, P. Swaysland, Steve Ibbitson, Jason Hopkinson, Steve White, Martin Elliot, Kevin Fingerneissl, Kevin Powell, David and Barbara Arnold, Roger and Cathy Feltham, Ethel Treagus, Roy Dartnell RIP, Ron Moore, Derek Southouse, Ray Smith, Ken Carter RIP

Manager Tony Russell
Assistant manager Joe Vines
First team coach Nathan White
First team physio Toni Miller
Goalkeeping coach Grant Hall
Match logistics Clive Burgess & Vikram Dogra
First Team Performance Analyst Henderson Russell
Under-18s Manager Dale Hurley
Under-18s Assistant Manager Craig Stevens
Under-18s coaches Jake Legrange and Johnny Buggy

Golden Rook Rob Read
Web Editor Stuart Fuller
Progcast Editor Stuart Fuller, Ashley Adamson-Edwards and Stan Lahood
Club Photographer James Boyes

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NEXT UP AT THE DRIPPING PAN

TUESDAY 15TH NOVEMBER 2022 – 7:45PM

THE SUSSEX SENIOR CUP – SECOND ROUND

TICKETS ON SALE NOW!

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TODAY’S QUIZ ANSWERS

  1. He scored a hat-trick of penalties for Aston Villa in a 7-1 win over Bradford City
  2. The Manchester Derby – they became Manchester City and Manchester United respectively
  3. Charlton Athletic
  4. We beat Whyteleafe 2-1
  5. Bury Town – we lost 2-1