U8s Selkent Cup Semi Final
Cray Wanderers U8s Sharks vs. Kent Football United vs. Dulwich United
Semi Final – Game 1
Cray Wanderers U8’s Sharks 3
Kent Football United U8’s 1
Congratulations to the Cray Wanderers U8s Sharks who are through to the final of the Selkent Cup after a tough semi final double over Kent Football United and Dulwich United at the London Marathon Playing Fields. This is a great achievement for Jason Ellis and Phil Russell’s side in their first season under the Cray Wanderers youth umbrella.
They had reached this stage with earlier round victories against AFC Chislehurst and Our Lady Youth Tigers in the 2nd Round and past Parkwood Rangers and Teviot Rangers in the Quarter Final.
They began against a good Kent Football United side who had beaten Cray twice narrowly in the league. Cray had just the six players on duty as a couple of players are cup tied but the Wands started very well against KFU and Cameron Pyle bent an early free kick round the wall but was saved by the keeper.
Then after 3 minutes Cray took the lead with a great piece of skill from Archie Newland who picked up a pass from Oliver Moran and he hit a dipping shot from just over half way with the outside of his foot which flew over the keepers head and into the net.
KFU thought back well though and looked a threat going forward and the no 6 drove a cross shot across goal. Then the no 7 shot wide while for Cray, Cameron Pyle’s left wing corner was pushed over by the keeper.
In the 8th minute, KFU levelled when the goalkeeper’s pass found the no 7 who strode on and took the ball round keeper Liam Ellis and rolled the ball into the net.
A minute later though Cray went back in front with a touch of fortune when Newland hit a speculative shot which went under the keeper and into the net.
There was still time for KFU to come close with a header just wide from a corner but Cray went in 2-1 up at half time.
The second half saw an early siege on the Cray goal from KFU and the no 7 was denied by a good save from the legs of Ellis and the no 8 turned the ball wide.
For Cray from a throw in the ball came to Newland whose volley was saved by the keeper while for KFU the no 8 shot wide.
Cray just needed a bit of breathing space and it came three minutes from the end when Archy Russell set up Pyle with a crashing strike into the top right hand corner of the net.
This helped make the remaining minutes more bearable and Cray held out for a very good win indeed and could now take a breather.
In game two it was Dulwich United who took on KFU who needed to win to remain in with a chance of reaching the final. KFU set off like a house on fire and scored four goals in the first five minutes and that was how the scoreline finished in a 4-0 win for KFU.
Selkent Cup Semi Final – Game 3
Dulwich United U8s 0
Cray Wanderers Sharks U8s 1
Because of KFU’s win, Cray had to win to reach the final and it was a rather nervy affair to begin with as Dulwich looked to restore a bit of a pride after their loss to KFU while Cray started a bit slowly but gradually worked some openings.
Firstly, Newland shot wide then Liam Ellis who now played outfield with Ralfie Nicholas in goal made a good run forward and found Pyle who shot over.
Then Newland was denied by a good save from the Dulwich keeper who was keeping them in the game and blocked the follow up.
Ellis then shot wide and Pyle saw another shot well saved but at half time it was goalless.
The second half was just 12 seconds old when Cray took the lead when Russell found Pyle whose fizzing shot from outside the area was well struck and the keeper just couldn’t get to the ball and there was early relief for Cray.
Cray pressed for a second that would have ended the game but Newland was unlucky to see a shot go over and then curled a shot wide.
Dulwich battled gamely on and the no 8 looped a cross which went just across goal which no-one could get to but Cray were able to see out the game and a deserved place in the Final on May 6th.
There they will face Kennington side, Mighty Royales Elite Galaxy and well established finalists Club Langley Hawks in the Final.
A very infectious team to watch and very well coached they deserve a place in the final three and a guaranteed medal of one colour or another.
Team: Liam Ellis, Ralfie Nicholas, Oliver Moran, Archie Newland, Archy Russell, Cameron Pyle.
Congratulations it appears are also in order for the Cray Wanderers U12s who are winners of the U12B central division after their game at AFC Chislehurst was called off. The Wands were awarded the points and with nearest rivals Bexley winning they have completed their fixtures and cannot be caught.
Well done to Barry Husthwaite, Tony Russell and their great little team who are always a joy to watch and in many ways deserved to win the title last weekend after their 10-0 win against Welling United. They complete their fixtures next Sunday at home to Dulwich Village Orange.
In the Kent League the Cray Wanderers U18s B side continued their incredible end of season of form with their eighth win in the last nine games as they crushed Welling Youth 8-0 at Foots Cray Rugby Club. Six of those games have been clean sheets.
Scorers were Robbie Daye with a hat-trick, Akan Kasab, Joe Barber (penalty), Max Ash, Cameron Grant and goalkeeper Tiwa Fujamade scored from the penalty spot to join the goalscorers. Cray remain nine points behind runaway leaders Dulwich Hamlet on 30 points who lost their first game of the season today.
The U15s returned to winning ways after last weekend’s home defeat to Greenwich Borough with a hard fought 2-1 win at Junior Elite which keeps Cray seven points clear of Phoenix Sports at the top of the table. Cray trailed at half time to Junior Elite but Cray levelled twenty minutes after half time when Tion Cudjoe stabbed home from close range following a Femi Abatan corner.
The game got a bit spikey with yellow cards and there was some controversy as Cudjoe was then sent off for a second bookable offence as was coach Lee Amis to add to the drama. However, despite being down to ten men, Cray showed enough resolve to find a winner when Akola Salami followed up a free kick which was saved by the Elite keeper to make it 2-1 with fifteen minutes to go and Cray did well to see out the remaining minutes.
Back in the Selkent League the U11s Lions were beaten in their Red Shield match 1-5 at Dartford whilst the U11s Sharks lost 1-3 to Eltham Town in the Indigo Shield competition.