Soccer Shorts: Cray Wanderers surprised to win Ryman League Division One North team performance of the season award

Saturday 20th June 2015

ASHFORD UNITED have unveiled the signing of striker Paul Booth, who scored 16 goals for Ryman League Division One South side Folkestone Invicta, before dropping down a division to score 14 goals for Tunbridge Wells, last season.

But midfielder Gary Clark has left the Southern Counties East Football League club for the time being due to injury.

“Gary sustained an injury at the end of last season with a broken wrist but has also since suffered a groin injury that will keep him away from competitive football for up to six months and he will not feature this season,” said a club statement.

Ashford’s new reserve side were voted in at the Kent County League AGM and will play in the Kent County League Division Two East division with home matches being played at Homelands Stadium on the 3G pitch.

“This new team will give players that are over 18 to feature as a pathway to the first team and will also allow recovering first team players to have match games in their quest to regain fitness,” said the statement posted on

CRAY WANDERERS have scooped the Ryman North team performance of the season at the Ryman League Annual Awards last Saturday.

The Hayes Lane outfit retained their Ryman League Division One North status by winning a club record ten games on the spin under former boss Tommy Warrilow at the end of last season.

The club are now managed by Tony Russell, who guided VCD Athletic to Ryman Premier League status by winning their last six league games of the season.

A club statement said: “This is a tremendous accolade and our excellent 10 game record winning run at the end of the season therefore fending off relegation was the catalyst towards winning the award.

“Many thanks to the Ryman League and Macron for this prestigious award and one which was a real surprise to receive.

“Also received tying in with the Team Performance of the Season award, a presentation award was given for April’s Ryman North Manager of the Month which was of course won by Tommy Warrilow.  In a strange quirk of fate new manager, Tony Russell won the Ryman Premier Manager of the Month for April as VCD Athletic staged their own great escape.”

Meanwhile, Ryman League fixtures for its three divisions are expected to be published on Friday 17 July 2015. 

DARTFORD boss Tony Burman has signed former Colchester United winger, Jack Simmons, 20, from Ryman Premier League side Canvey Island.

Simmons signed for the Gulls in October 2014 from Leiston and made 32 appearances, scoring 5 goals.

Burman told “I met Jack a couple of times over the past few weeks and again been very impressed with his attitude and desire to improve as a player.

“He is an exciting left-footed midfield player who can also operate down both wings and I feel he will be another good addition to the squad.”

Simmons will make an emotional return to Canvey Island as the relegated Vanarama National League South Darts open their pre-season campaign at the Essex outfit on Saturday 11 July.

DULWICH HAMLET have tied down manager Gavin Rose to a new two-year contract.

A club statement said: “Under his stewardship as the club’s longest-serving manager, Dulwich has enjoyed a period of sustained success, securing the Ryman South title and the Isthmian Charity Shield (in 2013) and making two appearances in the League Cup Final.  Rose himself became the first manager to win the divisional Manager of the Year award.

“During his tenure, Rose has aimed to sign local players, helping to foster a family atmosphere and truly local environment at the club.”

The Hamlet finished in fourth-place in the Ryman Premier League last season but lost a high-quality play-off semi-final 2-1 at Margate, who went on to beat Hendon in the play-off final to secure promotion into Vanarama National League South.

EBBSFLEET UNITED’s vice chairman Peter Varney has praised the club’s commercial operation under general manager Dave Archer following work to wrap up a host of sponsorship agreements before July has even begun.

Kit sponsorship renewals and deals, alongside new business-partner agreements and a host of matchday, perimeter board and player sponsorship, programme advertising and other such income generation, have provided the Vanarama National League South club with a very solid basis on which to mount their on-field challenge next season.

And with a couple of further new and extended deals still to be announced, Varney has commended Mr Archer and his team for attaining business income that clubs several steps higher would be proud of.

Mr Varney told “Dave, Dean Pooley, Matt Faithorn and Cheryl Wanless have done a tremendous job in selling out all our sponsorship inventory by the end of May and many are at increased levels.

“We are lucky to enjoy the support of many high-profile companies and I can assure our supporters that such companies do not renew their agreements on a whim. As a club we have to deliver their objectives or they wouldn’t renew and Dave and his team are doing that. And bear in mind the level of some deals are on a par with Football League Championship clubs.”

ERITH TOWN joint-manager Joe Ford says he wants to enjoy next season after finishing in the bottom two of the Southern Counties East Football League table last season.

Ford, who manages the Dockers alongside his father Martin, told “Me and Martin are very happy with where we are at the moment. The squad is taking shape and that’s that. 

“In terms of aims for next season, just to enjoy it really! There is so many politics involved in football nowadays that I think people forget about the enjoyment side of things.  We all want to turn up and enjoy our football, don’t we?

“Listen, if myself, Martin and Marc can get a squad of players enjoying their football and get them looking forward to coming to football every week, playing with passion and a bit of pride then we will be happy and I would hope that brings positive results.

“We had that mentality towards the end of last season and look where it got us, no one gave us a chance of finishing off the bottom but we did – it’s amazing what a good changing room can do and that’s essential for us as I am sure it will be for most clubs.

"Last season has now gone, yes what we ended up achieving in the end was brilliant, not just staying up but matching and beating some good sides along the way; but if we were to be very critical we also lost games we shouldn't have lost and that needs to be put right this coming season.

“We have a great pre schedule planned and the fixtures that Paul Carter our club secretary has managed to arrange are fantastic. We will be taking on some tough sides - the hard work starts now and we all can't wait to get going!"

FOLKESTONE INVICTA striker Ian Draycott scooped the Ryman League Division One South Golden Boot trophy after scoring 43 goals last season.

Draycott was also named in the Ryman One South Team of the Year – along with Faversham Town 25-goal midfielder Wayne Wilson, which was chosen by the 24 managers in the division.

GREENWICH BOROUGH will meet local residents on Avery Hill Road to discuss their plans for a new stadium, which was exclusively revealed by last weekend.

The meeting will take place at Anstridge Hall, Anstridge Road, London SE9 2LL on Thursday, 25 June at 7:00pm.

A statement from the Southern Counties East Football League club, said: “Following requests from local people Clive Efford MP has organised a public meeting to give residents the chance to have their say on the future of the former GAA Sports Ground in Avery Hill.

“The meeting will allow people to hear more about plans from Greenwich Borough FC to restore the site as a sports field.

“Please come along and hear more about these plans and what can be done to help protect the sports field.”

HENDON pay tribute to their manager Gary McCann when they will host Championship side Queens Park Rangers at Harrow Borough’s Earlsmead Stadium on Tuesday 28 July.

“Admission will be on a Pay What You Want basis, as per the game with Wingate & Finchley last season,” said a club statement on

“This is our chance to show our appreciate to Gary for all his efforts for the club so far, not only as manager for the past ten years, but also for his 196 appearances in goal, the first of which was over 18 years ago.

“We hope that as many of you as possible will come to the game, and if you only come to one pre-season game during the summer, please make it this one.”

The Middlesex outfit finished runners-up to Maidstone United in the Ryman Premier League last season but were defeated in the play-off final by Margate, who won the game courtesy of Ryan Moss’s tap in.

McCann celebrated double cup success as the club won both the London Senior Cup and Robert Dyas Isthmian League Cup last season.

IDE HILL beat Consett & District Sunder League side Consett Top Club 2-0 today, thanks to a brace from Tom Wright to win the Yuk Cup on their annual tour match of the North East.

LEWISHAM BOROUGH (Community) secretary Ray Simpson has revealed the reasons why the club play Baldon Sports annually.  The two sides meet each other on Wednesday 29 July to contest the Dave Leach Memorial Trophy.

Mr Simpson said: “This is the fifth time that the two teams will be competing for the trophy with Lewisham having won the first two years and Baldon the last two.

“Club director and fixture secretary for Lewisham, Richard Leach is involved with Baldon Sports on a Sunday.  Five years ago his father passed away and as a tribute to him and his sister Julie (director of hospitality) we play each other for the Trophy, which both of them present to the winners along with a man of the match award.”

MAIDSTONE UNITED boss Jay Saunders says he has given Ben Greenhalgh permission to speak to other clubs.

The midfielder, who re-signed at the start of last season, has attracted the attention of clubs in National League South and the Ryman Premier League.

Saunders told “I’ve had calls from managers interested in speaking to Ben. He wants to be playing week in, week out and we both agreed that opportunities next season would be limited.

“I expect that over the weekend he’ll have some offers on the table and if the right one comes along, we’ll wish him well and thank him for his efforts last season.”

The former Welling United and Inter Milan player made 46 appearances during The Stones Ryman Premier League championship winning campaign, scoring nine goals.

TONBRIDGE ANGELS have scooped £1,000 and a trophy after winning the Ryman Premier Fair Play Award. 

A club statement said: “At the Ryman League’s annual banquet and ball held at the Hilton London Wembley, the club proudly accepted the award that marked a considerable achievement in what at times was a difficult season on the pitch.”

Steve McKimm’s first season in charge of the club saw the Angels finish in the bottom five in the Ryman Premier League table.

Meanwhile, the Ryman League Cup will be known as The Alan Turvey Trophy in honour of Alan Turvey, who has stepped down after an astonishing 33 years of the Isthmian League.

Vice chairman and company secretary Nick Robinson won the election to take over as chairman by 47 to 25 votes against John Moules.

Mr Robinson has also been an official of the League for more than three decades.

Last Updated: 17:50 Saturday 20 June 2015