U13s George Page Memorial Cup Final
Sunday, 28th April – Long Lane Football Club
Cray Wanderers U13s Sharks 7
Dartford FC Red U13s 2
The Cray Wanderers U13s Sharks are the Selkent Cup winners for 2018-19 after a superbly entertaining Final saw Cray win 7-2 against a hardworking Dartford side to win the trophy.
After an even start Cray broke into a 3-0 lead in the first half with two goals from Blu Husthwaite and a cracker from Victor Damyanov. Dartford though threatened a dramatic comeback and pulled two goals back in the first eighteen minutes of the second half but Cray cranked up the gears and scored four before the end through two goals from Sam Williams and efforts from Jo Kpaka and a late goal from Alfie Murphy sealed the victory.
On a rather cold late April morning at Long Lane Football Club, the scene was set for a great game and both sides set off a quick pace and there were opportunities at both ends during the first quarter of an hour.
Cray who were missing injured skipper Henderson Russell began in electric fashion and down the left Joshua Senyange put over a cross towards the far post and the ball was met by Elisha Oshevire who fired over the bar. Shortly after Oshevire curled a ball across goal and just wide. Then from a corner, Blu Husthwaite’s ball across was headed over by Nathanael Fashanu.
Dartford though were putting some good football together and the no 6 hit a shot from 30 yards which only just drifted past the left post. Then after a good move the no 7 put over a cross from the right into the area and the no 11 headed just wide. Then shortly after the no 11 who had a very good game for Dartford drove a shot just wide from the left hand side.
In the 15th minute though Cray took the lead when Senyange held the ball up and Victor Damyanov down the left put over a ball into the six yard box which turned in by Husthwaite and Cray were off and running.
The rest of the half was exciting with first Alfie Murphy heading over for Cray and for Dartford the no 11 got into the box down the left but was denied by a fine tackle from Sam Williams and the ball went behind for a corner. Then the no 11 who was a real threat this time down the right fired fractionally wide and it looked like Cray needed a second goal to get comfort.
It duly came in the 28th minute when Oshevire was unlucky to see his shot from just outside the area come back off the right post and the loose ball was latched onto by Husthwaite who shot home his second goal of the half.
Two minutes later it was 3-0 and Cray looked to have a grip on the game after Murphy down the right found Damyanov who with a half volley from just outside the area crashed an unstoppable shot into the top right hand corner of the net.
Before half time Senyange shot over the bar from Oshevire’ set up and for Dartford, the no 6 fired a free kick over the bar. The final action of the half almost saw a fourth goal for Cray when Murphy charged into the area, went past the keeper but from a tight angle saw his ball towards goal agonisingly went across goal and behind for a goal kick.
Half Time: 3-0
The second half was a pulsating affair which flew by such was the continuity of the game. Cray almost added a fourth when Senyange and Williams combined down the right and his ball across just couldn’t get a touch from Max Sanni and went across goal. Then Senyange fired a shot wide.
For Dartford, the no 7 hit a shot which was held by Cameron Ehikwe while for Cray Senyange broke into the area down the left and his shot was saved by the feet of the keeper. For Dartford the no 16 shot wide of the left post.
Fourteen minutes into the half Dartford pulled a goal back when from a throw in down the left the ball was laid off to the no 11 who turned and fired into the bottom right from 6 yards to make it 3-1.
For Cray, George Bastick lofted a ball towards goal which the keeper had to turn behind for a corner. Then Jo Kpaka set up Bastick for a shot which was deflected to the keeper.
Dartford almost pulled another goal back when the no 7 was played through but was thwarted by a terrific save from Ehikwe with his legs and the ball went behind for a corner.
In the 53rd minute Dartford made things very interesting with a second goal when down the left the no 16 picked the ball up and from 20 yards hit a cracking shot which hit the top left corner of the net giving Ehikwe no chance and it looked like a dramatic last 18 minutes awaited.
However, Cray are a resolute side and a minute later restored the two goal advantage when good play by Damyanov and Senyange down the left saw the ball squared across to Sam Williams who coolly buried a shot under the keeper to make it 4-2.
This may have deflated the Dartford bubble and Cray had a purple patch of great play after that and Williams was unlucky to see a cross-shot come back off the left post and behind for a corner. From the corner on 59 minutes, Husthwaite’s ball into the box was turned into the net by Williams and to all intents and purposes seal the game.
Two minutes later, it was 6-2 when Kpaka got on the scoresheet when he cut in from the right and curled a shot wide of the keeper with great style and confidence.
Dartford had made a very good game of it and the no 6 saw a shot go wide while for Cray Senyange who had a tremendous game for Cray shot just wide.
There was still time for a seventh and final goal for the Wands and came with about a minute to go when Murphy down the left cut into the area and tucked home a tidy finish into the bottom right corner to end the game on a high for Cray.
Barry Husthwaite’s team is a real joy to watch and play a high quality passing game which is great to see and play with a smile on their faces and show a lot of character when they have setbacks in a game as with the Dartford comeback and the semi-final against FC Tempo where Cray trailed at halfime.
Dartford gave it everything and perhaps the final scoreline was a little hard on them but Cray deserved to win and in what has been a great season for the Youth teams of the club, won a trophy in their first season as an U13s side.
Well done from all at Cray Wanderers on a great triumph and we hope they enjoyed the occasion.
Team: Cameron Ehikwe, Archie Panyi, Victor Damyanov, Elisha Oshivere, Alfie Murphy, George Bastick, Blu Husthwaite, Joshua Senyange, Nathanael Fashanu, Jo Kpaka, Samuel Williams; Maxwell Sanni, Ethan Hayes.
Elsewhere the league season’s are winding down for our youth teams but the Kent Youth League has a couple of division’s very much up for grabs with Cray Wanderers featuring highly in both.
The Cray Wanderers U13s in the Kent Youth League Central Division are in an exciting two way battle for the title with Kent Football United with both sides level on points with a game left and the two sides to meet on 12th May. This morning the Wands won 4-1 at West Wickham putting Andy McPherson & Scott Butler’s team on 42 points after 17 games and are unbeaten in 13 league games since an early season defeat to Whyteleafe. Kent Football United won 3-2 at Bromley today so are also on 42 points after 17 games but Cray have a superior goal difference.
It should be a terrific occasion on 12th May at the Queen Mary University Sports Ground in Chislehurst (off Perry Street), 10.30 am ko for the ultimate title decider.
The U16s who are looking for back to back Kent Youth League North titles are in action on Tuesday evening against Bromley at Meridian Sports Ground in Charlton (7pm ko). Cray currently lead the table from Bromley by a point on 25 points. A Cray win on Tuesday would give daylight and possibly the title but Bromley have two games in hand but both against Phoenix Sports who are on 21 points and an outside chance of winning the league.
So still very much all to play for.
In the Selkent league there was only one other game played with the U10s drawing 1-1 at Foots Cray.
Next Sunday sees the U12s Piranhas look to make it a Selkent Cup double for Cray after the U13s Sharks success today as they take on Dulwich Village Orange in the final at London Marathon Playing Fields. Kick off TBC.
Also on 9th May the U18s are in the Kent Youth League President’s Cup Final against Ramsgate U18s at Corinthian FC, kick off 7.30pm. So there is plenty more of Cray Wanderers to come in the coming weeks with the possibility of four more pieces of silverware.