Kit to Fit U18s Challenge Cup – Round 1
Cray Wanderers U18s 2
Sporting Club Thamesmead U18s 1 (game played at Thamesmead)
The Cray Wanderers U18s advanced to the 2nd round of the U18 League Cup after a hard fought victory against Sporting Club Thamesmead.
The match was played on the 4G pitch at Thamesmead and was a cracking cup tie full of competitive spirit. The young Wands side took control with a 2-0 lead early in the second half but had to withstand late pressure from Sporting Club to advance further in the competition.
The U18s are a new team under the Cray youth umbrella this season and are managed by Jonathan Loveridge and coached by Cray legend Colin Luckett.
They got off to an excellent start to the game taking the game to technically the home side and Gafaar Karim made a good run forward and hit a shot on goal which the keeper did well to hold. A free kick played into the box by Zak Loveridge forced the keeper to push the ball away and then Joshua Luckett fired a shot wide.
Cray continued to play well and Joshua Ayetine fired over before Sporting had the ball in the net but was disallowed for deliberate handball.
The Wands went ahead in the 16th minute with a fine piece of vision from Loveridge. A free kick was awarded twenty yards out on the left and Loveridge curled in an expert kick which found it’s way past the keeper into the top corner of the net.
The game became a bit more even after that and Sporting threatened with a couple of free kicks but Cray were able to see out the rest of the first half. For Cray, Karim cut in from the left and shot wide of goal.
Half Time: 1-0
The second half began with Cray again looking the more threatening side and went further ahead in the 57th minute. A free kick was floated into the area and Antony Akala turned sharply in and hooked a shot into the net.
The Wands looked in control of the game but Sporting came close when the no 8 saw a shot cleared off the line by Sydney Harvey. They then pulled a goal back in the 63rd minute following a stroke of luck when the no 11’d shot on goal was deflected past keeper Lewis Watson by Malik Ogunjoe.
Cray continued onto the attack and Luckett lashed a volley wide of goal and James Ayetine shot over. The Wands were unlucky not to make it 3-1 when Ayetine put the ball in the net following up a free kick that was parried away but was flagged offside.
From a corner, Karim hit a half volley wide before Sporting Club threatened in the closing stages with some free kicks in dangerous positions. Firstly the no 10 fired over and then in the dying seconds of stoppage time, the no 7 bent a free kick round the wall and Watson made an excellent save to push the ball round the post for a corner.
Cray saw out the last few moments to book their place in the next round where they will meet Sporting’s U18s Premier Division North side on 9th October.
This coming Wednesday, the Wands team travel to Corinthian to represent Cray in the FA Youth Cup with a 7.30pm kick off at Gay Dawn Farm.
They are also in cup tie action next Sunday when they travel to Otford United Juniors in the Kent County Cup.
Team: Lewis Watson, Zak Loveridge, Joshua Luckett, Joshua Boadu, D’Ondre Thomas, James Ayetine, Jude Ayetine, Antony Akala, Basil Idris, Dominque Elcock, Agbor Sobeh, Sydney Harvey, Gafaar Karim, Malik Ogunjoe, William Afasan
In Kent Youth League action, the U16s were beaten in their Central Division game, 1-3 at Tonbridge Angels. Despite losing their first three games, Michael Bruno side have competed well in all the matches and have beaten narrowly in them all. They are at home to Chatham Town next Sunday in league action.
The U14s were beaten in a high scoring game, 4-5 at home to Long Lane. Last season’s U13s champions have one point from their three games played so far. They travel to Greenwich Borough next Sunday.
The Selkent League was due to start this morning but due to some logistical problems the season launch has been put back a week.