Saturday 30th August 2003

Jenkins set to sign defender as they bid for title defence

Cray Wanderers manager Ian Jenkins is set to bolster his championship winning squad by signing a defender from one of their Go Travel Kent League Premier Division rivals, writes Stephen McCartney.

Cray Wanderers face Sussex County League Division One side Pagham at Hayes Lane on Sunday (31 August) and Jenkins is hoping the opposition will be stronger than the side they faced in the Extra Preliminary Round last weekend.

Cray made the trip to Saltdean United, who play in Division Two of the Sussex County League, and goals from Ricky Bennett, Paul Dimmock, David Gray and Ross Lover eased their passage into the next round with a comfortable 4-0 victory.

Jenkins, 36, a builder from Sidcup, said:  "I had Saltdean United watched before we played them in the Extra Preliminary Round.  They were not a good standard and our 4-0 win was comfortable.

"Our opponents in the Preliminary Round on Sunday, Pagham are in the same league as Saltdean United, but play in the first division, which is their top flight."

Cray go into Sunday's FA Cup tie in a healthy position in the Go Travel Kent League Premier Division.  They sit in third place with two wins, and a draw, three points behind league leaders Maidstone United.  Greenwich Borough are sitting in second place, and are maybe surprising a few people this season, but it's good to see a brighter future for the Harrow Meadow club.

Jenkins said: "We haven't played anyone of a good standard yet.  We are in a pretty strong position in third place.  We have improved the squad this year and we should be up there at the end of the season contending for the championship."

Jenkins praised three of his first team squad for their good start to the season; Jamie Kempster who made the switch from Maidstone United, striker Ricky Bennett and former Bromley defender, David Gray, who has found the net four
times in five games.

Jenkins said:  "I am confident we can win the league again, but I expect Thamesmead Town and Maidstone United to be challenging as well."

Jenkins' side train at Coldharbour Lane Leisure Centre in Sidcup and Jenkins is hopeful for a healthy crowd at Hayes Lane for Sunday's FA Cup tie.

Cray Wanderers  vs  Pagham,  FA Cup Preliminary Round, at Bromley FC, Hayes Lane, Sunday 31 August (kick off 1.30pm)