Tony Rickson previews Cray Wanderers v Sittingbourne

Written by Tony Rickson on 11th December 2017

Tough times for Sittingbourne with games against three top teams in Bostik League South in ten testing days before Christmas.

They travel to Cray Wanderers on Wednesday evening, go back to South London on Saturday to visit Greenwich Borough, and then meet leaders Lewes at home the following Saturday.

Their preparations were hardly helped by the decision which seemed to surprise everybody to call off Saturday’s home match with Guernsey just after the scheduled kick-off time.

The referee decided a frozen goalmouth could be dangerous to the players, frustrating for all concerned, especially Guernsey who had spent a lot of time and money on the trip.

Sittingbourne’s players had a training session instead and will at least have had a decent rest period as they were last in action last Tuesday when they lost at Walton Casuals.

Wednesday’s opponents Cray, meanwhile, were warming up with an impressive 4-1 home defeat of fellow promotion contenders Hythe Town.

That followed a 5-1 thumping of Ramsgate in their previous home game.

Cray have the best home record in the division and haven’t lost a league game this season on the all-weather pitch they share at Bromley.

They’re also unbeaten in their last 13 league games and will go second in the league if they win their games in hand.

Sittingbourne and Cray know all about each other, having battled out a keenly-contested 0-0 draw in October at Woodstock.

That match ended with players from each side sent off and a mass confrontation on the pitch. But both clubs will be keen to ensure there’s no repeat of that indiscipline on Wednesday.

Sittingbourne’s team for the match with Guernsey on Saturday showed two changes from the side that lost at Walton, with Ollie Brown replacing Tyrone Guthrie in midfield, and Chris Elliott coming in for Tom Loynes, who is recovering from a hernia operation.

The last time Sittingbourne played at Cray was the first day of last season, and they secured an impressive 3-3 draw. Miles Cornwell scored twice, one of them a screamer, with Cray forcing a draw with two late goals.

Tony Rickson

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