Selkent League U12s – Division A
Cray Wanderers U12s Piranhas 3
Dulwich Village Black U12s 2
The Cray Wanderers U12s Piranhas continued their excellent unbeaten league run which dates back to September with a hard fought victory in a superb contest against Dulwich Village Black. Cray have won their last six league games and if you include the fact they are in the Semi-Finals of the Selkent Cup are unbeaten in 2019. They stand second in the league table, a point behind leaders Dartford but having played two games fewer.
Frankie Windsor’ side are a real joy to watch but on this occasion so were Dulwich Village and it led to an excellent hour of quality football with chances at both ends.
Dulwich began the game well and the no 18 saw an effort blocked inside the area and then from a free kick out on the left edge of the area, the no 5 curled a good ball into the box which was well claimed by keeper Lorenzo Di Cesare. Cray looking classy in their all white strip moved forward and Corey Holden played a ball through to Mason Bayley but the Dulwich keeper came out well to kick the ball out for a throw in. From the throw in the ball came to Holden whose snap shot was pushed against the crossbar by the keeper. From the loose ball Harry Revill hit a shot which was well held by the keeper.
Dulwich were pacy and positive going forward and the no 4 curled a shot into the arms of Di Cesare. Then the no 4 made a storming run forward from his own half to the edge of the penalty area and hit a shot wide of the right post. This was followed by the no 5 shooting wide for Dulwich.
It was Cray though who broke the deadlock on 20 minutes when Revill played a great pass through to Bayley who burst into the area and buried a fine finish under the keeper to make it 1-0 to Cray.
Dulwich continued to go forward and the no 11 saw an effort deflected through to Di Cesare as the pace continued to quicken despite the at times rather windy conditions.
Three minutes before half time Dulwich got back on level terms after the no 6 won a corner down the left. From the corner, the no 4 put over a ball to the far post which was deflected into his own net by Revill. Dulwich perhaps ended the half slightly on top and the no 4 flashed a shot wide from a free kick.
Half Time: 1-1
The second half saw Dulwich again begin well and the no 6 was played in to the box down the right and he was denied by a brave block from Di Cesare and out for a corner. From the corner the ball was flicked out to the no 10 who shot wide. This was followed by the no 6 shooting over.
Then for Dulwich the no 10 made a strong run forward to the edge of the area and his shot was well held and saved by Di Cesare.
Cray though were working their way forward and the impressive Jordan Nye cut inside down the right and his shot was saved well by the Dulwich keeper.
The game was going from end to end and for Dulwich the no 11 found the no 18 down the right and he flashed a shot just wide of the left post. Cray went up the other end and Bert Adams set up Holden down the right who fired narrowly over the top.
Then George Mitchell put a ball through to Holden inside the area but the keeper came out to bravely block.
Cray then went back in front with a cracking strike and Holden’s cross was only partially cleared and George Thomas found Haroun Bahari inside the area who cushioned the ball back to Thomas who hit a first time shot the edge of the D which crashed into the bottom right corner for a really terrific goal.
Dulwich continued to press and the no 10 shot just wide but that was a temporary reprieve as shortly after Dulwich levelled for a second time. Then time the no 4 found the no 18 down the right and his ball into the penalty area was turned in by the no 10.
Cray though had to dig deep and three minutes went back in front for a third time and Bayley scored his second of the game after a good run down the left and placed a shot into the net.
Dulwich looked to level for a third time and Di Cesare did well to parry a shot from the no 18. From the corner the ball drifted to the far post and was flicked onto the post by the no 10 and out. Then the no 18 was denied by the feet of Di Cesare.
Before the end Cray almost scored a fourth when Nye found Holden who looked to take the ball round the keeper but rolled a shot wide.
There were no more goals but it was an enthralling contest, a real credit to both teams, well officiated and a very pleasant atmosphere all round and good sportsmanship from both sides.
Cray will next weekend by in Selkent Semi-Final action against Docklands who are currently bottom of the table and Cray will start favourites but cup-ties can never be certainites. Cray though are an very good side, strong, resolute and are used to winning big games in what is the top U12 league and are close to a possible league and cup double and it would be great if they could do it. There is a possibility these two sides could meet again in the Selkent Cup Final and it will be a real treat if they could if this is was anything to go by.
Team: Lorenzo Di Cesare, Denny Moore, George Mitchell, Harry Revill, Jordan Nye, Corey Holden, Sidney Petters, Mason Bayley, Kai Parrott, Bert Adams, George Thomas, Haroun Bahari
Today saw some excellent results for Cray Wanderers Youth sides at U13s level.
The Kent Youth League U13s went goal crazy in the Central Division with a 16-0 win against bottom side Bredhurst Juniors. The U13s lie second in the table, a point behind leaders Whyteleafe but have a couple of games in hand with Kent Football United also a threat.
In the Selkent League, the U13s Sharks made it six league wins in a row and are three points clear at the top of the table and looking for back for back titles after a 1-0 home win against third placed FC Tempo at Foots Cray Rugby Club. Tempo are four points behind Cray but do have three games in hand. These two sides meet again in the Selkent Cup Semi Final next week.
Also, the U13s Lions are the first Cray Wanderers youth champions of 2018-19 without even playing as they were confirmed as winners of the U13s B Yellow Division after a storming season. With one game to play they have 11 wins from their 13 matches and lost only once so worthy champions in their first season at this level. Many congratulations to Steve Owen and Steve Redman superb side.
Elsewhere in the Selkent League, the U14s returned to league action following their recent Shield success and were beaten 0-3 at home to second placed Athenlay at Mottingham Playing Fields.
The U12s Sharks in a cracking contest drew 1-1 at home to Teviot Rangers Orange and a good result for Carl Newnham’s battling side.
In the Kent Youth League, North Division league leaders Cray Wanderers were not in action in the league but played a highly competitive friendly at Brentwood Town losing 3-2.
Back in the Selkent League, the U10s Lions were beaten 1-5 at home to Swanscombe but the U10s were 5-0 winners againt Eltham Town. Both sides will be participating in a triangular competition with Thundersley Rovers in the buildup to the Haywards Heath match on Saturday.
The U9s Sharks were in action at home to Sutton Athletic. Here is one of the great reports from one of the player’s parents:
Cray Wanderers U9s Sharks 1 Sutton Athletic 2
A home game today for the U9s Sharks. The Sharks began very brightly and were quicker to the ball and started to put some nice passing moves together trying to create chances but lacking a bit of composure in the final third of the pitch. The 1st half continued this way with the Sharks playing the better football and in control but unable to find a goal. Half Time: 0-0
Quickly after the second half began the Sharks got their reward. Sharks midfielder Ralf Nicholas won the ball and then ran towards the Sutton goal, he then played a good through ball to Archy Russell who showed good composure in front of goal with a nice finish, 1-0.
The Sharks then seemed to be in control until a Sutton midfielder won the ball then produced a long range effort which flew into the top corner, 1-1.
This seemed to spring Sutton into life and they added a second. This came about from a corner which was crossed in, the ball then hit a Sutton player. It could have gone anywhere but unfortunately for the Sharks it looped into the goal. 1-2
The Sharks tried their very best to find an equaliser but it wasn’t to be and they went down 1-2. They were unfortunate today as they played some really good football without reward so they can hold their heads high.
Team: S. Foreman, L. Ellis, J. Costello, R. Nicholas, L. Rafferty, A. Newland, O. Richardson, A. Russell
Finally on a very good day for our teams, the U7s are through to the next round of the Selkent Vase after posting impressive wins, 3-0 against Villa Court and 5-1 against Darford to advance.