Brentwood Town U21s v Cray Wanderers U21s
Brentwood Town 6
Cray Wanderers 2
There was a baptism of fire for the Cray U21s as they began life in the Ryman Development North with defeat at the Brentwood Arena.
Despite the scoreline, the young Wands played their part in an enjoyable end to end contest in which the home side were much more clinical in front of goal.
Phil Foster’s got off to the worst possible start going a goal down with barely a minute on the clock. A cross from the left was turned in by the no 8 and it looked as though it would be a terribly long evening for the Wands.
Cray though got back into the game over the next twenty minutes and were unlucky not to score. Firstly a right wing cross from Charlie Foster was flapped away by the home keeper. Then from a cross from the right the ball fell to Jayden Mitchell-Brown who fired over the top.
Then Foster played in Mitchell-Brown again and his close range shot was deflected onto the left hand post and away for a corner. He then fired a shot which the keeper fielded as Cray continued to press. Then from 25 yards he hit a crisp volley which the keeper got down to save.
Brentwood though exposed Cray down the wings and from a right wing cross the ball fell to the no 11 who fired a shot from six yards which went in off the crossbar in the 25th minute.
Three minutes later, the no 8 scored his second with a fine strike from 30 yards which flew past Sean Law in goal.
Cray though kept going and pulled a goal back in the 37th minute from the penalty spot. Edgar Morais was pushed over in the box and Charlie Foster despatched the penalty confidently.
Before the break, Joel Massamba tested the home keeper with a shot that was parried into the air and Brentwood came close to scoring again when the no 9 saw a shot come off the crossbar and was cleared away.
Half Time: 3-1
Cray really needed to keep the game tight in the second half in order to get back into it but without Brentwood playing particularly well were able to score three more goals.
Firstly slack defending in the 52nd minute by Cray saw the no 11 latch onto to a through ball and although Law came out to save, he took the ball round him and rolled it into the net.
Five minutes later, Brentwood scored their fifth after Theo Newton was adjudged to have handled in the penalty area, the no 7 struck home the penalty.
Cray though continued to look for goals and Mitchell-Brown fired wide from twenty five yards. Then a free kick from Foster went just past the left post and Theo Whyte saw a snap volley go wide. Then the home keeper excelled with a fine double save from Terrick Thompson and Morais.
The sixth goal for Brentwood came in the 75th minute and came courtesy of a slack back pass which was intercepted by the no 9 for his second goal of the game.
Cray battled on with refreshing commitment and Thompson came close with a long range free kick and then pulled a goal back in the 87th minute with their second penalty of the game. After Nicholas Mesa was bundled over in the area, he got home and emphatically despatched the penalty.
Despite the final scoreline Cray had their moments in the game but realise after one game this will not be an easy league playing against adult teams and this was a good learning curve for them.
They haven’t long to lick their wounds too much as their next game is this Monday with a home game against Billericay Town at Holmesdale.
Team: Sean Law, Charlie Foster, Theo Newton, Connor Phelps, Charlie Horbacki, Shane Pelou, Jayden Mitchell-Brown, Abdul Waham, Joel Massamba, Theo Whyte, Edgar Morais
Subs: Nicholas Mesa, Terrick Thompson, Devontae Irving-Young, Erwin Kurz