Kent Youth League – U15 Division North – 9/5/18
FC Elmstead U15s 2
Cray Wanderers U15s 6
The Cray Wanderers U15s moved back to the top of the Kent Youth League North Division after coming from behind at half time to defeat FC Elmstead at Meridian Sports Ground.
Cray were looking to bounce back from Sunday’s 0-3 defeat to Phoenix Sports which put Phoenix on top of the table but the Wands did have two games in hand starting with this evenings game against a strong FC Elmstead side.
Sean Foley and Lee Amis’ side meant business here and took the lead after three minutes when Theo Foley out on the left put a fine ball over the top of the Elmstead defence through to Kevin Yeboet who beat the offisde trap to cooly lift the ball over the advancing keeper for the perfect start.
Elmstead though were playing well and the Tyreece Bovell down the left had a good game and he set up the no 10 for a shot which was held by Bobby Pavoux.
The home side got back on level terms in the 15th minute with an excellent goal when Abdul-Samad Ayinde strode forward from midfield and hit a shot from just over 25 yards which maybe took a slight deflection and the ball looped into the net.
Cray almost went back in front straight away when Femi Abatan turned well inside the area down the right and his near post shot was pushed behind well by the Elmstead keeper. Then Yeboet put Akola Salami through who put the ball in the net but was flagged for offside.
In the 22nd minute Cray came close when after Taku Zhanghaza was brought down just outside the area down the left, Dylan Gilbert’s cross was headed wide by Yeboet.
After 30 minutes and slightly against the run of play FC Elmstead went in front with another cracking strike this time from Bovell who picked the ball up down the left cut inside and planted a fine shot into the net to make it 2-1 to Elmstead.
They almost scored again straight after but the no 18 down the right saw his run into the box ended by a brave block from Pavoux.
In the 34th minute Cray had the chance to go level when they were awarded a penalty when Foley’s cross from the left found Abatan who was adjudged to have been brought down by the goalkeepers feet. From the spot kick, Gilberts shot was well struck but the keeper brought off a very good save to push the ball out.
Before half time, Cray came close again when Salami saw a shot held by the keeper but the Wands went into the break 2-1 down despite having most of the play.
Half Time: 2-1
The second half started with Elmstead looking the brighter and the no 11 down the right shot just over the bar from 8 yards. Then the no 4 was set up for a shot which was held by Pavoux.
Cray though were looking to get back into the game and Zhanghaza hooked a shot over the bar but the comeback was just about to start.
Eight minutes after half time Cray levelled when quick thinking from a throw in saw Salami react quickest to work his way down the left of the penalty area and fired under the keepers legs from five yards to make it 2-2.
In the 52nd minute Cray turned the game round and Salami scored his second when a free kick from just inside the Wands half made its way into the penalty box and Salami bravely slid in to push the ball under the goalkeeper and the ball rolled over the line.
Cray almost scored a fourth when after a slick passing move the ball came to Salami who was denied a hat-trick by a good stop from the keepers legs.
FC Elmstead were still in the game though and had a little flurry of activity. First Bovell who liked to shoot fired just over the bar. Then the no 11 picked the ball up after Cray couldn’t clear their lines and cracked a shot which wnet narrowly past the right post. Then the no 16 tested Pavoux with a shot on the turn.
Cray needed another goal to get comforatble and it duly arrived in the 60th minute and Salami completed his hat-trick in just 12 minutes when he charged into the area and after his first shot was blocked by the keeper tucked home the rebound to make it 4-2.
The Wands had a degree of comfort in the game for perhaps the first time in the match and Tion Cudjoe shot wide from a free kick.
With five minutes to go Cray scored a fifth goal and another cracking free kick from Cudjoe who from left of centre about 25 yards out curled home a stunning strike to make it 5-2 and game over.
There was still time with two minutes to go for Cray to score a sixth goal when after Cudjoe’s shot was deflected behind for a corner, the right wing kick was cleared out to Stan Kapsu who put over a cross into the heart of the six yard box and Salami rose to head the ball past the keeper for his fourth of the evening all in the second half.
Another Cudjoe effort went just wide but that was the end of the drama of the evening and Cray moved back to the top of the table. Cray have 52 points one ahead of Phoenix who have a slightly better goal difference. Phoenix could go back on top on Sunday at Kent Football United with a draw or a win but Cray have two matches to play against Junior Elite at home and Long Lane away in a bid to win their second league title in three seasons.
Team: Bobby Pavoux, Dylan Gilbert, Tobi Fashola, Jenyd Hoedofia, William Amis, Jessie Bonishel, Theo Foley, Femi Abatan, Kevin Yeboet, Akola Salami, Taku Zhanghaza; Subs – Tion Cudjoe, Josh Richmond, Stan Kapsu.