Cray Wanderers Women 2 Margate 0 – Kent FA Plate QF – 25/2/24

Congratulations to the Cray Wanderers Women who are through to the Semi-Finals of the Kent FA Plate after a 2-0 win against SCEWFL Premier Margate at Flamingo Park.

The Wands advanced following two first half goals from Claire Goldsmith and Jessica Oldfield and withstood Margate pressure in the second half to go through to the final 4.

The downside was a serious looking injury to Katie Jackson and we wish her well and can bounce back soon.

A fantastic achievement in their first season and seem to be going from strength to strength and Cray have now beaten two SCEWFL Premier sides in this season’s competition after beating London Road in the previous round.  The Wands will now travel to Petts Wood FC Ladies in the Semi Final who won at Tunbridge Wells Foresters 2nd XI in the Quarter Final.

Cray’s next league game is on Sunday 10th March vs. Tonbridge Angels who currently top the SCEWFL Division One West ahead of the Wands.  Kick off 2.30 pm

Team: Sam Sharp, Grace Dodds, Claire Goldsmith, Vittoria Durso, Danielle Smith, Millie Main, Annemarie Blanche, Hannah Atkins, Katie Jackson, Jessica Oldfield, Chloe Ashdown; Okasia Brown, Louise Chenery, Lauren Henry, Hrystyna Kulishko, Olivia Moore


Cray Wanderers U18s vs Phoenix Sports U18s – Merit Kent FA U18s Cup Quarter-Final – 25/2/24

Cray Wanderers                                         5

Holden 5, 49, 77 pen

Allen-Beattie 16, Ihiedi 22

Phoenix Sports                                         3

Cray Wanderers U18s powered through to the Semi-Finals of the Merit Kent FA U18s Cup after an excellent win against Phoenix Sports on the superb 3G surface at Flamingo Park.

The Wands had advanced to the Quarter Finals with wins against Bearsted, Ashford United, Kennington and Whitstable Town and currently lie 2nd in the Kent Youth League North Division, five points behind leaders Glebe but have two games in hand.  Phoenix Sports play in the Kent Youth League Premier and are 2nd behind league leaders Bromley so probably went into the game as favourites. Phoenix had beaten New Road U18s Blue and Chatham Town to advance to the Quarter-Finals.

Roy Brooke’s side are very good to watch and a handful of players have made into the first team on occasions this season including George Brooke who played the last 25 minutes of the Wands 1-0 win against Kingstonian on Saturday.  Also, Cameron McQueen-Hinkley, Freddie Warwick and Michael Ihiedi have all made first team appearances this season.

Cray were looking to bounce back from the League Cup Quarter-Final defeat to Rusthall two weeks ago and got off to a flying start here taking the lead in the 5th minute when Tommy Allen-Beattie went through on goal and his shot was well saved and following up Corey Holden with the angle getting slightly tighter stroked the ball into the net.

Moments later it was nearly two nil when from a Callum Redman throw in down the right was flicked on by Holden to George Brooke whose volley was met by a fine one handed save by the Phoenix keeper.  Then down the left Brooke saw a shot held and for Phoenix the no 15 shot over the bar.

Cray were playing superbly and Brooke made an excellent run from midfield and set up Tommy Allen-Beattie for a shot which went just wide of the right post.

In the 16th minute Cray scored a deserved second when Redman found Brooke down the right who set up Allen-Beattie for a cracking finish into the bottom left corner.

Six minutes later it was three nil when Michael Ihiedi who was causing all sorts of problems down the right received a pass from Brooke to clip the ball wide of the keeper for another well taken goal.

Cray continued to impress going forward and Holden saw a shot held and from an in-direct free kick down the left outside the six yard box, Brooke’s effort was blocked. Then from a free kick from Brooke the ball came to Kaya Mahmut whose shot was blocked and following up Freddie Warwick shot wide.

Before half time, after a patient build up Lenny Rye and Warwick combined to find Brooke whose run and shot led to the ball being deflected behind for a corner.

Then in what would have been a great goal starting from out the back, the ball came to Warwick who set up Oliver Chisieri who drove a shot wide of the right post.

HT:  3-0

Phoenix had to improve in the second half and emerged more determined and pulled a goal back two minutes after the restart when the no 9 scored after being slotted in down the right of the area.

Two minutes later though Cray were 4-1 up when from a free kick down the right, George Brooke’s cross was flicked across to Holden who turned the ball in from three yards.

The game went from end to end with Brooke firing a shot over but Phoenix pulled a goal back just before the hour when from a corner the no 6 headed the ball and hit the crossbar and keeper Ethan Binnie just couldn’t prevent the ball from going over the line and a goal was awarded.

Three minutes later it was 4-3 as the no 9 scored his second getting to the ball ahead of the 15 and it was game on.

Phoenix had a good spell of pressure after this and the no 15 saw a shot saved by Binnie but Cray were able to take the sting out of the game. Down the right, Ihiedi put over a cross which Holden left for Cameron McQueen-Hinkley which was charged down by the Phoenix defence.

However, in the 77th minute Cray had the two goal advantage once again when Ihiedi’s cross found Holden who was clattered in the area and from the spot, Holden completed his hat-trick with a composed finish.

After this Cray had the majority of possession and game managed the rest of the match and clinched a very big and overall deserved win and a real joy to watch and there were players out there who could have big futures for the Wands and I would recommend watching them play if you get a chance.

Team: Ethan Binnie, Callum Redman, Lenny Rye, Kaya Mahmut, Finley Avery, Oliver Chisieri, Corey Holden, Freddie Warwick, Michael Ihiedi, George Brooke, Tommy Allen-Beattie; Andy Dzontoh, Aaron Sharwa, Cameron McQueen-Hinkley, Prince Nzinga, Anton Bent


It was a good day for Cray Wanderers in knockout competitions as the U14s Girls are through to the final of the Kent FA U14s Cup after winning 4-0 at Ramsgate in the Semi-Final on a difficult playing surface. Danny Stanton’s side will face Foots Cray Lionesses in the Final and will be looking to retain the trophy as last season’s U13s Cup Winners. Congratulations to the team and good luck in the final.