Kent Youth League – North Division – Tuesday 30th April, 2019
Cray Wanderers U16s 0
Bromley U16s 2
Cray Wanderers hopes of winning back to back Kent Youth League North titles were ended as Bromley moved to the top of the table after taking their chances in a close encounter at the Meridian Sports Ground.
Cray needed to win with Bromley having two games still to play and the Wands with a one point lead going into the game. Bromley edged the first half and took the lead in the 26th minute but Cray came more into the game second half and had the chance to level just after the hour but Tobi Fashola’s penalty kick went wide of the right post. Two minutes later though, Bromley grabbed a second goal and were able to see out the remainder of the game although Cray missed a second penalty of the half in injury time when Dylan Gilbert’s spot kick was saved.
Two very good teams with excellent defences took to the field on a bit of a chilly evening and chances were at a premium in the first half with Bromley perhaps the edge and looked an assured side. In the opening seconds Bobby Pavoux had to come an punch away from the no 9 as Bromley threatened. At the other end, Tobi Fashola made a strong run forward into the area but the keeper came to claim.
The first real shooting chance came in the 8th minute for Cray when Leslie Ariku played the ball out to Akola Salami down the left and his ball across came to Ariku who shot wide of the right post.
Four minutes later Bromley came closest yet when from a throw in down the left the ball was flicked into the area to the no 12 whose close range shot was superbly saved by Pavoux pushing the ball behind for a corner.
From here the match became a bit of a cat and mouse game as both defences got on top with both sides winning a couple of corners but not much in the way of chances.
However, in the 26th minute Bromley took the lead when from a corner down the right, the cross from the no 10 fell to the no 6 whose shot was blocked by a Cray defender. The ball came back into the area and as Pavoux came to gather, the no 9 nipped in to win the ball and tapped the ball into the net.
Cray pushed to get back into the game and got into some good positions but Bromley were defending well. Before the break, the no 10 shot wide from 25 yards and the visitors led at half time.
Half Time: 0-1
The second half was a much more livelier affair with Cray having to chase the game although Bromley almost grabbed a second early in the half when from a free kick on the right of the penalty area, the no 10 saw a shot pushed out by Pavoux.
Cray though were beginning to look threatening and Ariku found Salami down the right and his ball across came to Dylan Gilbert who shot over from the edge of the area.
Then down the left, Salami broke into the box and was denied by a good save by the legs of the keeper.
Carrying on the attack, from a free kick on the left of the area, Gilbert’s ball to the near post was headed over by Ariku. This was followed by from a corner down the right, Gilbert’s cross was missed by the keeper and Fashola’s flick on came to Rhys Carew who with his back to goal turned the ball wide of the right post.
On 62 minutes Cray had the opportunity to draw level when from another corner, down the left Gilbert’s ball to the far post was headed across by Fashola and was adjudged to brush an arm of a defender in the six yard box. Fashola stepped up take the kick but his shot went wide of the right post.
This proved costly as two minutes later, Bromley a little against the run of play scored a second goal. Following the award of a free kick out on the left, the no 10’s ball into the area was headed across and the no 7 who had a fine game for Bromley was on hand to sweep the ball home from seven yards.
Cray kept going in a bid to pull a goal back and Ariku and Max Gayle both sent shots go wide. Then Theo Foley played a ball into the area to Alex Sodje who fired just over just as it seemed it wasn’t destined to be Cray’s night.
In the dying minutes, Cray were awarded a second penalty which seemed a touch soft when the excellent Kasey Bekoe’s free kick was played into the area towards Salami who was challenged inside the area and a penalty kick was given. This time the keeper who appeared to be injured in the closing stages made a save at the left post from Gilbert’s spot kick and the game ended in a 2-0 win for Bromley.
That puts them on 27 points six clear of Phoenix Sports in fourth place with both teams having to play twice so just a point should do it for Bromley.
Cray for their part are a very good side who have won two titles in the last four years and could yet come runners up and also reached the KYL Challenge Cup Final so have been in the frame for honours all season and this will surely continue next season at U18s level for Sean Foley and Lee Amis’s side.
Team: Bobby Pavoux, Dylan Gilbert, Kasey Bekoe, Tobi Fashola, Rhys Carew (Alex Sodje), Eneo Barci (Max Gayle), Williams Amis, Femi Abatan, Theo Foley, Leslie Ariku, Akola Salami: Sub: Kamar Tinibu