Bluefin Sport Insurance Development League South
Cray Wanderers U23s 4 Poku 24, Wybrow 59, Garvey-Williams 78, Cruz 81
Whyteleafe U23s 1 Clement-Peter 45
Cray Wanderers U23s brought the curtain down on 2017 with victory over Whyteleafe after a tremendous night’s entertainment at Hayes Lane. The game saw some excellent goals, good saves, efforts which hit the woodwork and an extraordinary penalty miss.
Cray started the game very well and looked the most likely to score in the opening stages. First Nick Wybrow fired a shot well wide and then Ross Cable down the left ran into the box and played the ball back to John Paul Collier who drove a shot wide of goal.
In the 10th minute came a remarkable moment when Cray were awarded a penalty. Charlie Foster made a strong run forward and played the ball through to Cable who beat the offside trap, ran into the area and was tripped by keeper Billy Collett. From the penalty kick Cable and Collier exchanged passes and Collier’s return pass to Cable was deemed to be offside and although the striker put the ball into the net the goal was disallowed. It did seem a rather strange incident which led to much discussion in the stands as to why it was disallowed (perhaps unsportsman like conduct).
The game remained 0-0 and Whyteleafe came into it and in the space of 30 seconds, Shawn Clement-Peter, Benedict Connolly and Andy Somo saw efforts blocked by Cray defenders inside the area.
Then the visitors came closest yet when Connolly’s fine ball to the far post was met by Clement-Peter whose effort was well saved by Tiwa Fujamade and the keeper pawed the ball away from the rebound.
Cray went back on the attack and Collier and Cable combined to set up Ralique Lawrence who hit a shot wide of the left post.
Then up the other end Whyteleafe threatened when Connolly played through Jake Connaris who strode into the area but his shot was saved by the legs of Fujimade.
A goal was coming and it did so in the 24th minute. There seemed no danger when Wybrow picked the ball up 30 yards from goal but his shot was well struck and Collett made a good save pushing the ball out but only as far as Kwame Poku who was quickest to react to tuck the ball into the net.
Whyteleafe came close to making it 1-1 but Jay Mayhew’s corner was headed wide by Somo. Then, in a breathless passage of play, Cray skipper, the impressive Robert Depeazer hit a superb looping shot from 25 yards which came back off the top of the crossbar.
Then from a Wybrow corner the ball came to Lawrence who shot off target and then Foster’s cross into the area was headed behind by Jordan Eele for a corner.
At the other end Connolly played through Somo into the area who was about to shoot but was denied by a tremendous saving tackle by Adam Flemming.
Before half time Whyteleafe were knocking on the door and Jacob Skelly shot over and then Somo saw an effort inside the area blocked.
Right on half time, Whyteleafe deservedly levelled when Mayhew found Clement-Peter who from the edge of the area placed a fine shot wide of Fujamade to make it 1-1 at half time.
Half Time: 1-1
The second half was a strange affair as Cray ran out winners but were under the cosh for much of the half but managed to break out well.
The first opportunity of the half fell to Cray and Kyrique Garvey-Williams played the ball across to Foster who drove a shot wide from distance.
Then for Whyteleafe, who had a good spell in the ascendancy, Connaris half hit a shot across goal which was deflected behind for a corner. From the corner, Somo got to the ball ahead of Fujamade to cushion a header back to Clement-Peter who shot just wide.
It was somewhat against the run of play when Cray took the lead for the second time in the 59th minute. The Wands were awarded a free kick out on the left, 25 yards from goal and Wybrow curled a superb kick round the wall which caught Collett flat footed and into the back of the net.
Now the game went from end to end and Cain Cruz down the left put a fine ball over to the far post where Foster directed a header across goal. Then for Whyteleafe, from a free kick, Clement-Peter shot wide of goal.
This was followed by Foster hitting an excellent effort from 30 yards which went only narrowly over the crossbar and then Depeazer and Garvey-Williams set up Cruz who curled an effort just wide.
There was no let up in the drama and from another free kick, Mayhew’s cross was volleyed wide by Skelly. Whyteleafe were then very unlucky not to score when from a right wing corner the ball came to Eele whose close range header was pushed onto the crossbar by Fujamade.
Whyteleafe were knocking on the door and Clement-Peter’s long range shot went straight to the keeper and they should really have levelled when Connaris’s cross from the right was headed over by Desean Asante.
Despite the pressure from the visitors it was Cray who went up the other and scored another cracking goal in the 78th minute when Garvey-Williams from out of nowhere let fly with an unstoppable shot from 25 yards which gave Collett no chance to save.
Cray almost scored again straight after when Wybrow played Cable through but shot wide from the edge of the area.
The game was practically done and dusted in the 81st minute when Garvey-Williams deflected ball across came to Cruz down the left and his shot to the near post when past Collett and into the net to make it 4-1.
Whyteleafe kept going and almost pulled a goal back when Connaris found Kelvin Adjeu from close range who was denied by a great save by Fujamade pushing the ball out.
The match ended with Cray finishing strongly and Garvey-Williams hit a shot which Collett did well to save and then with the last kick of the game, Collier from almost forty yards tried an audacious chip which went only just wide.
The game ended with Cray winning 4-1 which was perhaps a bit hard on the visitors who contributed much to the evening but Cray scored some fine goals and were not left to pay for the earlier penalty mishap. There were some very fine performances from the Cray team but the midfield triangle of Collier, Wybrow and Depeazer were outstanding as was Flemming at the back. Foster never stopped running and Garvey-Williams looks a tremendous talent. Fujamade after a couple of early scares did well and made four good saves at key moments of the match.
Cray’s next match after the New Year is in the Kent Intermediate Cup Quarter Final at Faversham Town on 6th January.
Team: Tiwa Fujamade, Micah David, Joe Barber, Robert Depeazer (Capt.), Adam Flemming, John Paul Collier, Charlie Foster, Nick Wybrow, Ross Cable, Kwame Poku (Cain Cruz, H/T), Ralique Lawrence (Kyrique Garvey-Williams, H/T): Subs: Toby Bayliss, Tyrelle David
Booked: Collier, Foster
Whyteleafe: Billy Collett, Chester Clothien, George Wilkshire, Jay Mayhew, Jordan Eele, Jacob Skelly, Jake Connaris, Madiu Kinona, Andy Somo (Desean Asante, 62) Shawn Clement-Peter, Benedict Connolly (Kelvin Adjeu, 66): Subs: Edward Jones, Kai Brewster, James Heyburn