Selkent League: U13 Division B Central
Cray Wanderers 3 Eltham Lions United 5
The Cray Wanderers U13s went down to defeat at home to Eltham Lions United after a tremendous Sunday morning tussle at Mottingham Playing Fields. The two teams in third and fourth in the league table put on a great performance particularly from Cray who went three nil up early in the second half before an impressive Lions side roared back with a storming comeback to win the game.
James Taylor’s Wands side are always a good watch and incredibly well coached and encouraged to play the game the right way.
They had their work cut out here from the start as Eltham took the game to Cray and came close to scoring in the opening minutes three times with the clearest chance coming when a cross from the left into the area was touched on by the no 3 whose goalbound effort was cleared away from the right post.
Yet, despite this Cray took the lead with their first serious attack in the 8th minute. Good play down the right by Joseph Williams saw the ball played across to Toby Egleton who turned the ball into the net.
Eltham went back on the attack and the no 6 fired a cross shot just wide and the 9 curled a shot over.
Cray though went two nil up in the 21st minute. A corner out on the left from Ethan Taylor went right into the heart of the penalty area and was knocked on by Egleton to Sid Chandler who turned the ball over the line from two yards out.
Eltham had a great chance to get back into the game six minutes before half time when a cross into the box was turned against the foot of the post but was handled on the line by Louis Spinks and a penalty was given. Fortunately for Cray the no 14 rolled his spot kick wide of the left post to leave Cray with a two goal lead at half time.
The second half saw some tremendous action and Cray went 3-0 up two minutes after the restart. Charlie Langford found Egleton down the right whose cross was deflected into the path of Flynn Odell who placed a shot wide of the keeper into the bottom left corner of the net.
Eltham though pulled a goal back a minute later when the no 8 was played through and lobbed the ball over the advancing Josh Floodgate to make it 3-1 to Cray.
Cray came close to scoring a fourth not long after that when Josh Lee did well to hold the ball up from a throw in and the ball came to Taylor who hit a sweet strike from distance which fizzed just wide.
The game started to get even more interesting in the 48th minute when Eltham scored again when a cross was turned in by no 3 from close range for a goal his performance deserved.
The Wands who had put a lot into the game particularly defensively were starting to look a bit tired and five minutes later the scores were tied when the no 13 was played through down the right, took the ball past Floodgate and from a tight angle drove a shot into the net.
The game lost a bit of flow when the referee went down after being hit by a football on the knee which stopped the game for a few minutes. Thankfully he was ok and able to carry on.
After the restart Cray almost went back in front when Egleton down the left put over a great cross which came to Williams who turned the ball over the bar.
With about ten minutes to go Eltham went in front for the first time when the no 11 hit a shot which Floodgate pushed out well but following up the no 3 scored his second of the game.
The comeback was complete for Eltham two minutes later when the no 9 was played through and tucked home a super finish to make it 5-3.
Cray had run themselves into the ground but Eltham showed good character to come back and looked a very good side so Cray had no reason to feel anything other than pride with their performance.
Team: Josh Floodgate, Sid Chandler, Malcolm Dixon, Louis Spinks, Josh Lee, Ethan Taylor, Michael Loomes, Charlie Langford, Flynn Odell, Toby Egleton, Joe Williams.
Elsewhere in the Selkent League the U7s are through to the 2nd round of the Selkent Vase after beating Foots Cray Lions Black 7-1 and Welling United Red 2-1 at the London Marathon Sports Ground. In the 2nd Round, they face Dulwich Village White and Crayford Arrows Red.
Elsewhere in the U11s Aqua Shield the Cray Acorn Wanderers were impressive 5-2 winners at home against Junior Reds.
The Cray Wanderers Lions who are in the same group as the Acorns were beaten 1-6 by a strong Dulwich Village Orange side. The two Cray teams are expected to meet in the next couple of weeks.
The U15s had a good win in their latest league match winning 4-2 at HF Sports Paulista Vipers. Cray are sixth in the table after this win.
In the Kent Youth League only the U18s were in league action today and were perhaps unlucky to lose 1-2 at home to Bromley B.