Cray Valley Paper Mills F.C.

Cray Valley Paper Mills Football Club is a football club currently based in Eltham, in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, England. They are currently members of the Isthmian League South East Division and play at the Badgers Sports Ground.

Cray Valley Paper Mills
Cray Valley F.C. logo.png
Full nameCray Valley Paper Mills Football Club
Nickname(s)The Millers
Founded1919
GroundBadgers Sports Ground, Eltham
Capacity1,000[1]
ChairmanFrank May
ManagerKevin Watson
LeagueIsthmian League South East Division
2020–21Isthmian League South East Division (season curtailed)

HistoryEdit

The club was established in 1919 and joined Division Two of the Sidcup & Kent League.[2] Playing in green and white, the colours of the mill's vehicles, Their first match was played on 20 September 1919, a 1–0 win against Hamilton House.[2] The club won the division at the first attempt, earning promotion to Division One.[2] They later joined the Kent County Amateur League, winning Division Three of the western section in 1936–37.[2] The club left the league at the end of the 1954–55 season.[3]

Cray Valley subsequently joined the South London Alliance. They were Division One champions in 1979–80 and won the Premier Division two seasons later.[4] The club won Division One again in 1983–84, and finished as runners-up in the Premier Division in 1988–89.[4] In 1991 they joined Division One of the Spartan League.[5] When it merged with the South Midlands League to form the Spartan South Midlands League in 1997, the club were placed in Division One South. Despite finishing as runners-up in the league's first season, they left to become founder members of the London Intermediate League.[5] However, in 2001 they left to rejoin the Kent County League, becoming members of Division One West.[5][6]

In 2002–03 Cray Valley won Division One West, earning promotion to the Premier Division.[5] Two seasons later they won the Premier Division.[5] After finishing third in 2010–11, they moved up to the Kent League, which was renamed the Southern Counties East League in 2013.[5] When the league gained a second division in 2016, the club became members of the Premier Division.[5] In 2016–17 they won the London Senior Cup, beating Metropolitan Police 2–1 in the final, becoming the lowest-ranked team to ever win the trophy.[7] They were also runners-up in the Kent Reliance Senior Trophy in the same season.[8] However they were disqualified from the first round of the FA Vase for fielding an ineligible player, former Crystal Palace defender Matthew Parsons.[9] The club reached the London Senior Cup final again the following season, but lost 4–1 to Balham.[10]

The 2018–19 season saw Cray reach the FA Vase final for the first time,[11] in which they lost 3–1 after extra time to Chertsey Town at Wembley Stadium.[12] They were also Southern Counties East League Premier Division champions, earning promotion to the South East Division of the Isthmian League.[12] In 2020–21 the club reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, losing 1–0 at Havant & Waterlooville.[13]

PlayersEdit

Cray Valley have had several prominent players appear for them, including former Charlton forward Kevin Lisbie[14] and former Bournemouth player and Bangladesh national team manager Jamie Day.[15]

GroundEdit

The club originally played at the sports ground of the paper mills in St Paul's Cray.[2] However, the mills closed in 1981 and the club then played at numerous grounds until moving permanently to the Badgers Sports Ground in Eltham.[2] In 2016 Greenwich Borough agreed a 30-year lease to share the ground.[16][17] The ground includes a 100-seat stand on one side of the pitch and a small covered area on the other.[18]

HonoursEdit

  • Kent County League
    • Premier Division Champions 2004–05
    • Division One West champions 2002–03
    • Division Three (Western Section) champions 1933–37
  • South London Alliance
    • Premier Division winners 1980–81
    • Division One champions 1979–80, 1983–84
  • Sidcup & Kent League
    • Division Two champions 1919–20
  • London Senior Cup
    • Winners 2016–17
  • London Intermediate Cup
    • Winners 2002–03, 2003–04, 2009–10[4]
  • Kent Intermediate Shield
    • Winners 2004–05[4]
  • Kent Junior Cup
    • Winners 1921–22, 1977–78, 1980–81[2]

RecordsEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ The Ryman League South Guide 2016/17[permanent dead link] Lewes F.C.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Cray Valley (PM) FC - Our history 1919-2015 Archived 27 December 2016 at the Wayback Machine Cray Valley Paper Mills F.C.
  3. ^ Kent County Amateur League 1951–1960 Non-League Matters
  4. ^ a b c d Honours Archived 27 December 2016 at the Wayback Machine Cray Valley Paper Mills F.C.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i Cray Valley PM at the Football Club History Database
  6. ^ Kent County League 1998-2004 Non-League Matters
  7. ^ Results London Football Association
  8. ^ Ashford lift Kent Reliance Senior Trophy Kent Sports News, 9 April 2017
  9. ^ Matthew Parsons: Cray Valley wishes to apologise for allowing this situation to occur Kentish Football, 6 November 2017
  10. ^ Balham 4-1 Cray Valley (Paper Mills) - I just think there were too many below par performances, admits Cray Valley boss Kevin Watson Kentish Football, 9 May 2018
  11. ^ Cray Valley PM reach FA Vase final at Wembley after two-legged win over Canterbury City South London Press, 23 March 2019
  12. ^ a b FA Trophy Final BBC Sport, 19 May 2019
  13. ^ Havant & Waterlooville 1–0 Cray Valley Paper Mills BBC Sport, 8 November 2020
  14. ^ Lisbie: ‘Change is needed at Charlton’ The Football League Paper, 6 January 2018
  15. ^ Jamie Day scores for Cray Valley in the Southern Counties East following Gillingham exit Kent Online, 8 October 2017
  16. ^ Greenwich Borough sign 30-year lease to play at Cray Valley's Badgers Sports Ground Kentish Football, 1 January 2016
  17. ^ Return to the Royal Borough has meant a busy summer for Greenwich Borough The Non-League Football Paper, 5 August 2016
  18. ^ A Guide for First Time Visitors to Cray Valley (PM) Football Club Cray Valley Paper Mills F.C.
  19. ^ Cray Valley (Paper Mills) 1-0 Canterbury City - If we're not better next week we won't progress, admits Cray Valley boss Kevin Watson Kentish Football, 17 March 2019

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 51°27′2.192″N 0°2′4.891″E / 51.45060889°N 0.03469194°E / 51.45060889; 0.03469194