Congratulations to the Cray Wanderers U16s who retained the Bearsted Tournament this weekend.
Last season’s U15 Kent Youth League Division North Champions were beaten in their opening game but emerged through to beat Hastings United in the final. This is a truly special group of players and this was despite being a year younger than their opponents in the competition.
Here coach Lee Amis takes up the story:
“We started off playing Hastings United and were beaten 0-1 despite having all the play and could have scored 3 or 4 but conceded a free kick after 10 minutes which Hastings scored from. This was their only shot on goal in the game.
Cray then played hosts Bearsted and again dominated the game and the Wands won 1-0. This was followed by a game against Real 60 and Cray cranked up the gears winning 4-0. Cray came second in their group and advanced to the Semi-Final.
This was also against Real 60 and was a much tougher game. Cray trailed 0-1 but the Wands levelled with the last kick of the game to take the game to extra-time and the game finished 1-1. The match was decided on penalties and with both teams taking 3 each was all square after 6 kicks. Now sudden death the fourth penalty was taken by our keeper Kamar Tinibu who scored. He then saved the next penalty and Cray advanced to the final.
Cray faced Hastings United in the Final who hadn’t conceded a goal in the tournament but the boys knew they had the beating of them. The final kicked off with Cray pressing from the start and on 8 mins Kola Salami tapped in at the far post to make it 1-0. Four minutes later Femi Abatan cuts inside from the left and smashes a 25 yarder into the top corner. Cray then controlled the game until the end. You know when you have done well in a final when the other team does not have a single shot on goal.
I am very proud of the boys playing a year up and still dominating every game. Onwards and upwards for these lads. They all actually said it was easier playing the older lads than their own age group”,