Gary Abbott takes sole charge of Cray Wanderers after Michael Paye stands down

Saturday 20th December 2014
CRAY WANDERERS have confirmed that Michael Paye has stepped down from his role as joint-first team manager.

The club welcome second-placed Harlow Town to Hayes Lane tomorrow sitting second-from-bottom in the Ryman League Division One North table, having collected three wins, seven draws and thirteen defeats in the league this season.

They are nine points adrift of safety and have half their season remaining to avoid returning to the Southern Counties East Football League after ten years in the Ryman League.

Chairman Gary Hillman, who issued a statement on the club’s website, said: “Mike informed me last Wednesday (17 December) that he felt joint-management of the first team wasn’t working and therefore, in the interests of the team, it would be best if he resigned his post.

“Unfortunately, despite some good performances recently – only four defeats in thirteen games before Tuesday and reaching the Third Qualifying Round in The FA Trophy – results haven’t been going as well as the team’s performances have deserved.

“This was evident in Cray’s home defeat to Dereham Town, who scored an injury time winner, on Tuesday.”

Paye, who alongside Keith Bird couldn’t prevent the club finishing at the foot of the Ryman Premier League table last season, admitted it was time for a change.

He added: “I’d like to thank everyone involved with the club for all their help and wish the club all the best in the future.”

Paye and Gary Abbott were appointed joint-managers in September 2014, after the club parted company with manager Bird, who is the second manager in the club’s history to suffer relegation.

But Paye, a former Cray Wanderers player, remains a key figure at the club and will continue to play a major role in the proposed new sports village for the club at Flamingo Park in Sidcup.

Abbott, 50, a former Cray Wanderers striker and well-respected figure in non-league football, will now take sole control of the team and faces a challenge to keep the club in the league, starting with a Harlow Town side that arrive in Kent sitting four points behind leaders Needham Market.

But with the players at Hayes Lane, the Wands shouldn’t be in this position in the first place and a back-to-back relegation would be embarrassing.

Visit Cray Wanderers’ website:

Cray Wanderers  v  Harlow Town
Ryman League Division One North
Sunday 21
st December 2014
Kick Off 3:000pm
at Hayes Lane, Bromley, Kent BR2 9EF