This friendly between Hollands & Blair of the Southern Counties East Football League (Premier Division) and Cray Wanderers of the Isthmian League (Premier Division) was played on a warm sunny Tuesday evening.
Star Meadow is a simple ground on the edge of Gillingham. It boasts two covered stands for seated fans and a covered shelter for those choosing to stand behind the goal. There is the sports club and a a clubhouse on the site. Parking was found on an adjacent road, with no restrictions. Entrance was £5.00, payable at the ground’s solitary turnstile!
Hollands & Blair were formed in 1970 and they got promoted into the Southern Counties East football league about 5 years ago. Cray Wanderers were founded in 1860 and, as such, can claim to be one of the oldest football clubs in the world. They are constructing a new 1300 seater stadium at Flamingo Park, in Sidcup, on the A20.
Cray Wanderers played in gold and black shirts and black shorts. Hollands & Blair in red shirts and red shorts. There was a small crowd of around 100 people at this game.
The first half was a fierce battle with both sides tackling hard. The Hollands & Blair Number 4 took out an opposite number with one of the hardest sliding tackles I’ve ever seen. The referee spoke to him gently and patted him on the back…. Although after all it is a friendly pre season game!!
Anyway as a result of the competitive edge, there were a number of chances for both sides and the game hung in the balance for the first 20 minutes.
On 27 minutes Hollands & Blair took an unexpected lead. From a free kick a fine header from their number 5 sailed into the net.
The rest of the half saw some some fierce pressure from Cray Wanderers but to no avail. At halftime the score remained 1-0 to Hollands & Blair.
Ten minutes into the second half Hollands & Blair scored a second when a corner led to a crowd around the keeper and somehow the ball ended up in the Cray Wanderers’ net. The players protested, but the referee awarded the goal.
On 68 minutes Cray Wanderers left back broke and crossed perfectly for a finish from Danny Kedwell their striker, who made it 1-2.
Cray Wanderers pushed for an equaliser for the last twenty minutes but Hollands & Blair defended well. The whistle blew with the lower league team holding on for a 2-1 victory.