Cray Wanderers U18s vs Glebe U18s – Kent Youth League North – 14/4/24

Cray Wanderers                                              1

Brooke 14

Glebe                                                               3

Nicol 27, Omoregie 71, Murphy 90+3


Cray Wanderers hopes of becoming Kent Youth League champions came to an end as league leaders Glebe got the three points they need to win the title with victory at Flamingo Park.

Cray in second place, two points behind Glebe but with a game in hand needed a win or at least a point to win or remain in contention but two second half goals for Glebe proved decisive.

This was a terrific game of football, played with a touch of tension as you would expect in a title decider and between two very good sides and a contrast of styles.

Cray began perhaps more on the front foot and from a corner down the left, Corey Holden’s cross was punched out by keeper Alex Stevens and George Brooke hooked a shot over the top.

In the 14th minute Cray took the lead when from a free kick down the right around 25 yards from goal, Brooke who played the whole second half for the first team yesterday crashed a shot high into the top left hand corner.

Cray though had lost Cameron McQueen-Hinkley for ten minutes for a spell on the sin bin for dissent and Glebe worked their way back into the game.  

Firstly in the 22nd minute, Glebe won a penalty when Alfie Murphy was brought down by Holden down the right of the area but from the spot Murphy’s shot was saved by Tom King.

Four minutes later, King made a great one handed save as Murphy cut inside from the right and pushed the ball out.

However, shortly after the ball came to Jacob Nicol, some 40 yards from goal who hoisted the ball towards goal and dropped into the net.

Cray looked to restore the lead and Brooke shot over and then from a free kick down the left, Brooke’s cross was headed just past the right post by Holden.

From another free kick, Brooke’s strike took a slight bounce and through to Stevens and then from a corner down the right, Brooke’s ball to the far post just missed a touch from Finley Avery and went wide.  Then a cross from the right from Michael Ihiedi again couldn’t get a touch this time from Holden.

For Glebe, Oseghale Okpebholo Ray’s fine ball came to Abolaji Folade who hit a first time shot which was well held by King.

HT: 1-1

A point wouldn’t have been a bad result for Cray with an extra game but Glebe looked to get the two extra points and Folade turned inside the area and his shot was palmed away by King and then Dillon Best-Rhodes fired a shot wide.

Cray were still looking to get a winner and another quality service from Brooke from a free kick was cleared out to Tommy Allen-Beattie whose shot was deflected behind for a corner.

Then David Boateng and Brooke combined to set up Holden for a shot from just outside the penalty area down the left which was held by Stevens.

The game was getting a touch nervy just after the hour but Cray came close when from a Brooke free kick down the left to the far post glanced off the head of Boateng and behind.

In the 71st minute Glebe took the lead when a cross was played into the box down the left and in a crowded area Osagie Omerigie who had a superb game at the back applied a smart volley and the ball hit the back of the net.

Cray looked to fight back and Ihiedi’s cross was looking for Boateng on the goal line but dropped over the top with no touch from Stevens.

Then Freddie Warwick and Aaron Shawa combined to set up Brooke for a near post shot held but at the other end Murphy worked an opening for Glebe but his shot was palmed out and the ball went back to King.

The game went into added on time and in the first minute, from a free kick down the left the ball was played to the far post where Murphy finished the game with a smart header. 

Over the game, Glebe perhaps edged the match and in the second half in particular played well but Cray ran them close over the league season and still have the Kent FA U18s Cup Final vs Rusthall next Sunday at Whitstable Town (2 pm ko) and one more league game to play vs Erith & Belvedere on 5th May.

Cray Wanderers: Tom King, Callum Redman, Lenny Rye, Cameron McQueen-Hinkley, Finley Avery, Oliver Chiriseri, Corey Holden, Freddie Warwick, Michael Ihiedi, George Brooke, Tommy Allen-Beattie; David Boateng, Aaron Shawa, Kaya Mahmut, Jaylen Bains, Andy Dzontoh

Glebe: Alex Stevens, Oseghale Okpebholo Ray, Osagie Omerigie, Samuel Gonzalez, Nathan Louis, Jacob Nicol, Alex Feltham, Dillon Best-Rhodes, Franke Keightley, Oliver Kemp, Alfie Murphy; Adeola Bashiru, Joseph Dixon-Bassey, Abolaji Falade, Luke Batchelor, Frankie Hutchinson

Cray Wanderers Women vs Tonbridge Angels Women

SCEWFL Division One West – 14/4/24

Cray Wanderers         3

Brown 29, Gregory 62, 66

Tonbridge Angels         4

Mayhead 3, 90+4, Sullivan 71 pen, Kemp 90+1

There was late heartbreak for Cray Wanderers Women who could have clinched the SCEWFL Division One West with victory against Tonbridge Angels who came from 3-1 down to win with two goals in stoppage time.

As a result, Cray stay top of the league on 37 points but have a three point lead over Tonbridge with both having two games to play but Tonbridge have a much better goal difference.

On a sunny afternoon it was Tonbridge who settled the quicker and took the lead in the 3rd minute when Grace Mayhead found space inside the area to fire into the net.

Tonbridge threatened to run away with it early on and Mayhead made a run and hit a shot to the near post down the left which was saved by Sam Sharp.  Then Charlotte Cresswell shot over and then Aimee Churchill put a half volley wide.

Cray slowly worked their way into the game and a free kick from distance from Hannah Gilmour was saved by Ashleigh Rhodes while at the other end Lucy Harrington set up Mayhead for a shot which was held by Sharp.

Then Cray came close as a cross from Millie Main down the left to the far post was headed wide by Louise Chenery.

In the 29th minute Cray drew level after a good spell of possession and Annemarie Blanche found Okasia Brown who strode forward and from over 30 yards hit a lofted shot towards goal which went over Ashleigh Rhodes and into the net.

Cray then had a good spell before half time.  Firstly from a corner from the right there was chaos in the box and a bit of pinball to clear and came to Gilmour who drove the ball across goal.

Then Blanche down the right found a bit of space and curled a cross-shot just wide of the left post and then Chloe Ashdown hit a shot wide. The last action of an action packed half saw Cresswell fire over for Tonbridge.

HT:  1-1

The second half began with Tonbridge again slightly in the ascendancy and Cresswell hit a shot wide and then from a free kick down the right, Churchill’s cross from the right was headed against the bar by Beth Kemp.

The game went through a bit of a brief lull with the next goal in the game looking important and in the 62nd minute Cray went ahead with a stunning goal set up by Annemarie Blanche down the left and Olivia Gregory found space to curl a shot towards the top right corner and gave Rhodes no chance.

Four minutes later it looked like Cray had taken a real grip of the game as a ball across from the right came to Gregory who placed a shot with great accuracy wide of Rhodes and into the net for another classy finish.

Tonbridge though pulled a goal back in the 71st minute after the award of a penalty down the left of the area and from the spot Gemma Sullivan made it 3-2 and a grandstand finish.

Cray almost restored their two goal advantage when Beth Kemp set up Kate Jackson down the right of the area and her shot across goal was met by a fine save from Rhodes.

That save proved crucial as the last few minutes Tonbridge penned the Wands back and applied lots of pressure and Cresswell set up Sullivan for a shot that was blocked.

Still pressure was applied but Cray looked to be holding firm until the first minute of stoppage time when from a corner down the left, Amanda Beeput’s cross to the far post was met by a good, firm header from Kemp and the back of the net.

A point wouldn’t have been the worst result for Cray but three minutes later Angels went ahead when down the right Mayhead fired a shot at goal which made its way in and Cray’s chance of winning the league on this day were dashed.

All in all it was a superb, enjoyable game of football, well contested and refereed and there were some terrific goals but above all a great advert for Women’s football.

For Cray now, they have a three point lead at the top and go again next Sunday at home to Gravesham and then at Danson Sports on 28th April while Tonbridge face Oakwood away on 26th April and at Gravesham on 5th May but Cray live to fight another day.

Cray Wanderers: Sam Sharp, Grace Dodds, Hannah Gilmour, Claire Goldsmith, Danielle Smith, Louise Chenery, Annemarie Blanche, Chloe Ashdown, Okasia Brown, Mille Main, Hannah Atkins; Eve Sales, Olivia Gregory, Emily Symonds, Kate Jackson Lauren Henry

Tonbridge Angels: Ashleigh Rhodes, Jade Folkard, Beth Kemp, Megan Gill, Lucy Harrington, Aimee Churchill, Charlotte Cresswell, Faith Gilson, Freya Jones, Grace Mayhead, Grace Nicholson; Julia Smolarek, Brittany Harder, Gemma Sullivan, Lottie Starling, Amanda Beeput

Referee:  Vince Kennedy