Cray Wanderers Academy Report – New Generation Pro Team 2 vs Cray Wanderers Academy
AoC Sport London Football Men’s Regional League F – Wednesday 15th March, 2023
New Generation Pro 2
Cray Wanderers Academy 3
Alfie Murphy 1 min, 53, Harry Day 90
Cray Wanderers Academy Team – 15/3/23 – Back row l-r: George Chambers, Jabari Anthony, Fraser George, Reggie Rye, Harry Day, Bobby Parker, Lennie Rye,
Tom Dunn, Euan Martin – Front row l-r: Frankie Forrester, Alfie Murphy, Shaquon Thompson, Nasser Islam Nouar, Ayodej Erinle
After less than a year as an established side, the Cray Wanderers Academy team are Champions of the AoC Sport London Regional League and have done so in style after 9 wins out of 9 and one win away from becoming invincibles.
The Academy team was only established in the summer and started from scratch by Neil Smith with assistance from Tim O’Shea and behind other club Academies in the league in terms of longevity. However the team have gelled very quickly and in winning every game had before their penultimate league at New Generation Pro at Club Langley had scored 60 goals and close to 7 goals a game.
When the teams met earlier in the season Cray won 15-3 and it looked like a similar scoreline might be replicated after the Wands took the lead in the opening minute through Alfie Murphy. New Generation though were very resilient and levelled in the 22nd minute and then took the lead on the half hour and led at the break. Cray made it 2-2 in the 53rd minute through Murphy’s second goal of the game and both teams came close to a winner until the last minute when top scorer Harry Day was on hand to fire home from three yards following a save from the goalkeeper.
A few of the players have made their mark already this season in the Wands run to the 3rd Qualifying Round of the FA Youth Cup and Ayodejie Erinle, Reggie Rye and Alfie Murphy played for the 1st team against Sheppey United in the Kent Senior Cup so have had a successful season.
For this game played at Club Langley FC, Cray Wanderers got off to an absolute flyer when Frankie Forrester’s great ball was latched onto by Murphy down the right and from just outside the box placed the ball wide of the keeper into the net with around 45 seconds on the clock.
New Generation managed to stay in the game and their no 5 curled a shot from outside the area just over the bar while at the other end Fraser George was unlucky when played through but was denied by a fine tackle from a defender.
For Cray a fine pass from Jabari Anthony was helped on by George for Murphy whose strike was held by the keeper.
In the 22nd minute the home side got back on terms with a well worked goal following a cross from the left to the near post was turned into the net by the no 2.
Cray looked to get back into it and George had a shot held but New Generation seemed to have the upper hand and the no 10 saw a shot deflected behind.
On the half hour New Generation took the lead following a cross into the area and although keeper George Chambers looked possibly to have been clattered when trying to clear the ball, the no 7 was on hand to rifle into an empty net and led at the break.
Cray began the second half brightly and Murphy saw an effort inside the area blocked by the home defence.
In the 53rd minute Cray drew level when Murphy who is a clever finisher received the ball down the right of the area and drove a cross shot wide of the keeper to make it 2-2.
The Wands almost took the lead when Anthony who had an excellent second half broke into the area and was unlucky to be denied by a fine save from the New Gen keeper who then palmed away well a cross from Anthony. Then Reggie Rye fired a free kick from just inside the D over the bar.
New Generation were not without openings and the no 9 was found inside the area but a brave block from keeper Euan Martin denied them a third goal.
For Cray, Murphy saw a shot go wide while at the other end, the no 5 from distance saw a shot held and then the no 9 down the left of the area cut into the area but pulled his shot just wide of the right post.
Cray kept pressing for a winner and Tom Dunn saw an effort parried away by the keeper, then a cross from Bobby Parker came to Shaquan Thompson who shot just wide. Then Harry Day saw an effort parried away once again by the keeper.
The no 9 for New Generation could have had a hat-trick in the second half and cracked a shot against the right post but Cray continued to search for a winner.
After a couple of shots had been blocked in the area, in the last minute of the game Thompson found Anthony whose cross from the right into the area led to a shot that was saved but following up the loose ball Harry Day slotted in from close range.
The Wands saw out the remaining minutes of injury time to make it 9 wins out of 9 and the team perhaps for the first time this season had to show their mettle after going behind and will become better players and a team for the experience and were well marshalled by Lennie Rye.
The team play their final match of the season on Friday night and on Saturday 25th March will be parading their championship trophy at the first team game with Horsham and a well deserved ovation. The team have some real potential stars and well coached and guided by Smudge and Tosh on the touchline.
Team: George Chambers, Ayodej Erinle, Frankie Forrester, Reggie Rye, Bobby Parker, Lennie Rye, Alfie Murphy, Harry Day, Fraser George, Nasser Islam Nouar, Jabari Anthony; Euan Martin, Shaquon Thompson, Tom Dunn.