Cray Wanderers U23s v Lewes U23s – Bostik Development League South – 18/2/19
Cray Wanderers U23s 2 Etumnu 61, Solebo 90+1
Lewes U23s 3 Barclay 18, Karl 71, Parker 90
Cray Wanderers U23s took on Lewes U23s in a match between second and third in the Bostik Development South and were just edged out in a cracking contest with Lewes going above Cray into 2nd with a 3-2 win at Hayes Lane.
Cray had played well throughout the game but were behind at the break after Ross Barclay gave Lewes an 18th minute lead from a free kick. Cray though bounced back well in the 2nd half and deservedly levelled just after the hour when Charles Etumnu finished impressively from Deshon Carty’s through ball. Lewes are a strong outfit and went back in front on 71 minutes through Sam Carl’s strike. With the game going into injury time, Lewes scored a third on the break through Harrison Parker but within a minute Cray reduced the arrears following a thumping finish from Malik Solebo.
The Wands had been in impressive form in beating Three Bridges last Monday, 6-0 but Lewes were always going to provide sterner opposition and the Rooks looked an assured side. Cray were able to give valuable game time to Marcus Evans and Michael Power who has started for Cray in the first team since 15th September.
Cray as in most games this season begun the game at a great pace and almost took the lead on 4 minutes when the impressive Malik Solebo made a great run down the right, into the area and squared the ball across to Power who fired over the top from 10 yards. Then a good cross from Lee Lewis again down the right just couldn’t get a touch inside the area from an onrushing forward.
This was followed by Lewis playing a fine ball through to Neil Spencer inside the area but was denied a goal by a good block from Billy White.
Lewes were looking a solid team and strong going forward and on 18 minutes were awarded a free kick about 20 yards from goal, fairly central. From the free kick, Ross Barclay stepped up and fizzed a shot around the wall and into the bottom left corner of the net.
Cray were dealt a blow when Marcus Evans had to go off injured on 26 minutes with Ben Leeson coming on as replacement. The game went through a quiet phase before roaring back into life before half time.
Firstly for Lewes a good ball over the top found Jake Lindsey who lobbed a shot just over the bar from 20 yards. Then Cray were unlucky when good play by Power down the left saw a fine ball into the box to Deshon Carty who shot just over the top
Then just before half time Carty was unlucky again from a fine ball across from Lewis and saw a shot go just past the right post.
Half Time: 0-1
Lewes began the second half impressively and almost grabbed a second when Sam Karl found Lindsey down the left of the area and his shot was pushed over the top well by Tiwa Fujamade
Cray though hit back well and a great ball forward from Leeson was held up well by Power and Carty picked the ball up, turned and fired just wide of the left post.
On 61 minutes though Cray deservedly drew level when Carty drove forward with the ball and from just outside played a fine ball into the box to Charles Etumnu who from eight yards swept the ball past keeper Nathan Stromberg to make it 1-1.
Cray almost took the lead shortly after when substitute Ronnie Payne did well to keep the ball in play by the left byline and his ball across was knocked out to Power whose rasping drive was pushed out well by Stromberg.
For the last twenty minutes the game went from end to end and Lindsey worked his way into the area for Lewes and his shot was deflected over by Lewis for a corner. From the corner in the 71st minute, Barclay’s ball into the box was punched away by Fujamade and came out to the edge of the penalty area to Karl who rifled home a low shot into the bottom right to give Lewes the lead once again.
Barclay almost made it 3-1 when his shot at the near post was pushed behind by Fujamade but Cray were still in the game and Carty who had a very good game for Cray saw a stinging drive pushed out by Stromberg.
Then another good run by Solebo down the right saw the ball cleared out to Leeson whose shot was deflected behind for a corner and then Solebo made a run and hit a shot which Stromberg got down to save. This was followed from a free kick which was played to Lewis who from just shy of 30 yards hit a cracking strike which was pushed out once again by Stromberg and Carty couldn’t quite get to the rebound.
With the game entering the final minute and Cray chasing the game, Lewes caught the Wands on the counter attack and Semiloke Oyewele played the ball through to Harrison Parker down the right of the area and his shot was blocked by Fujamade but following up slid the ball into the net to make it 3-1.
Cray though weren’t finished and in the first minute of injury time great work by Payne down the left ended with a super ball across which Freddie Parker left for Solebo to crash home a fine finish to give Cray hope but it wasn’t to be as time ran out. It was however a very good game of football, a bit of contrast of styles but a real credit to the league and chock full of very good young players.
Cray: Tiwa Fujamade, Lee Lewis, Alfie Young, Marcus Evans (Ben Leeson, 26), Joe Barber (Capt.), Charles Etumnu, Akan Kasab, Deshon Carty, Malik Solebo, Neil Spencer (Ronnie Payne, 63), Michael Power (Freddie Parker, 73): Subs: Robbie Daye, Charlie Cloke
Lewes: Nathan Stromberg (Capt.). Harrison Parker, Charlie Smith, Ross Barclay, Billy White, Daniel Allen, Louis Smart, Tegan Freeman (Semiloke Oyedele, 78), Jake Lindsey, Marco Fernandes (Tom Clements, 67), Sam Karl: Sub: Luke Carter
Referee: Jordan Crichlow
Assistants: Cliff Angol, Dave Buck