Kent Youth League U18s – Division North
Cray Wanderers U18s 0
Welling United U18s 3
The Cray Wanderers U18s brought their season to a close with a defeat at home to Welling United.
Jon Loveridge and Colin Luckett’s side more than held their own in the first half and could have led at the break but Welling took more control in the second half scoring three times although the last two goals came in the last four minutes.
The match played on a very decent playing surface at Foots Cray Rugby Club took a little while to warm up as both sides played some good football in patches but the final ball was often lacking.
It was Cray who created the first shooting chance when Agbor Sobeh played a fine ball out to the left and Cafarr Karim’s turned and shot wide from the edge of the area.
Welling are the league leaders and had a good spell of pressure after that and a quick break from a Cray free kick saw Oliver Milton drive a cross shot over the bar. The Milton saw a free kick saved by Cray keeper William Rodriguez.
Unfortunately though for Cray their plans were hampered when Rodriguez had to leave the field with a knee injury and an outfield player, Zak Loveridge went in goal.
Welling continued to threaten and Sesan Orimulusi blazed a shot over the bar and then Milton down the right forced Loveridge to make a good stop with a low shot.
Before half time though Cray had weathered the storm and had a good ten minutes leading up to the break.
First Cray had a good chance when down the right, Anthony Akala took the ball round the keeper but elected to square the ball across to Karim and Welling had to clear. This was followed by a shot from James Ayetine going wide of goal.
Cray came closest yet four minutes before the break when a left wing cross from Karim was volleyed over the bar by James Ayetine. Then with Cray continuing to enjoy a good spell saw a shot from Sobeh go just wide of goal.
Half Time: 0-0
The interval probably came at the wrong time for Cray as they were playing well and the second half saw Welling up their game considerably and came close within seconds of the restart when the no 8 pulled a shot wide from close range.
For Cray, James Ayetine saw a cross deflected off the Welling no 3 which forced the keeper to scurry to grab the ball, then Welling almost scored when Joseph Cooper was presented with a chance but miskicked in front of goal and the ball went wide.
A goal for Welling looked on the cards and it arrived in the 57th minute. The Wands were beginning to concede free kicks in dangerous positions and from one of these, Welling scored when the no 11 put over a fine cross into the box and Cooper outjumped the Cray defence to steer a header into the net.
Cray almost drew level when from a corner down the left, the ball was worked to Jude Ayetine who hit a shot which stung the hands of the impressive Welling keeper.
Welling were beginning to dominate and missed chances to score again but Cray almost punished them when against the run of play, Jude Ayetine made a tremendous run which took him into the penalty area and he hit a well struck shot which the keeper tipped round the post superbly.
As the half wore on, Cray despite a lot of effort and tenacity just began to run out of steam and the Wings ended the game well.
Welling were unlucky not to score when from a free kick twenty five yards from goal out on the left, Milton fired in a shot which thudded back off the left post.
The last few minutes saw Welling add a bit of gloss to their dominance with another couple of goals.
In the 86th minute, Welling made it 2-0 when a ball was played forward down the right and after hesitation at the back, Milton stole in and with a neat feint rolled the ball past Loveridge for a goal he had been threatening from the beginning.
The scoring was completed in the 89th minute with a third goal for Welling when Milton saw a shot parried away well by Loveridge but Orimolusi following up had a tap in practically from the goal line.
Team: Will Rodriguez, Joshua Boadu, Agbor Sobeh, Lexus Beeden, Joshua Luckett, Jude Ayetine, Basil Idris, Zak Loveridge, Malik Ogunbuji, Anthony Akala, Caffar Karim, James Ayetine, Giles N’Dri
Elsewhere in the Kent Youth League, the in-form U14s travelled to face Kent Football United.
Kent Football United 1 Cray Wanderers 2
Thank you to Lee Amis for his match summary
KFU started the game well with four corners in the first five minutes but were unable to score. The home side played well for a side at the bottom of the table and were very competitive and took the lead from a break away when the centre forward was played through, took the ball round Bobby Pavoux and slotted the ball into the net.
Cray trailed at half time and the feeling was that maybe they had underestimated their opponents and hadn’t done themselves justice in the first half.
The second half was a different story and Cray totally dominated the game after changing to a 3-4-3 formation. The Wands were now starting to create chances and drew level in the 57th minute. Max Gayle picked the ball up on the half way line and went on a strong run and put in a cross from the right hand side of the box across the six yard box. Taku Zhanghaza lost his marker to tap in to make it 1-1.
From here Cray got stronger and stronger and the home side were beginning to tire. With five minutes to go, Cray won a free kick deep in the KFU half and Tion Cudjoe played the ball from our 18 yard box. Femi Abate controlled the ball and smashed the ball into the top right corner to make it 2-1 Cray. The Wands then saw out the rest of the game to win the game.
Cray have one more game next week and want to finish the season on a high.
In the U16 Division Central, another in-form side, the U16s drew 2-2 at Chatham Town to maintain a decent run late in the season.
In the Selkent League, the dominant U11s Cray Acorn Wanderers were 7-0 winners against Meridian VP at Foots Cray Rugby Club.
Nathaniel Fashanu continued his rich vein of form with four goals with Joshua Egleton, Archie Panyi and Elijah Oshevire getting on the scoresheet.