Kent Youth League – U13s North Division – 20/9/20

Cray Wanderers                                    2          Montgomery 28, Wall 63

Whyteleafe                                            2

Cray Wanderers U13s continued their unbeaten start to the Kent Youth League North season with an entertaining 2-2 draw against a very good Whyteleafe side at Foots Cray Rugby Club.

Nick Desanges excellent young side had begun the season with a 7-0 win at Phoenix Sports last Sunday but would face a much tougher challenge against a Leafe side who were beaten narrowly at Bromley last time out.

On another very sunny afternoon there was at times a stiffish breeze which was quite welcome as would have been too hot otherwise and the teams served up quality fare on a fine playing surface.

This was the first time that I have seen the U13s play and they have a lot of quality and play their football with a smile on their face similar to other clubs under the Wands youth umbrella.

They would have to work very hard here against a Whytleafe side which started the brighter and almost scored in the second minute when from a corner down the right was floated to the far post and the no 17 from 6 yards got in a header which Cray keeper Henry Teeley did superbly to push out and the ball was cleared.  Then the no 18 saw a shot which the wind seemed to blow off target and behind.

Cray though were competing well and had their first opportunity when Billy Wall down the right sent over a cross to the far post which was met by Sam Robinson but went straight through to the ‘Leafe keeper.

Up the other end, the no 9 hit a shot on the turn which was well held by Teeley and then for Cray from a free kick, 20 yards out, Archie Morley fired over the top.

Then from another free kick down the right, Wall’s cross was headed wide of the left post by Robinson as the game was fascinatingly poised early on with two very good defences but plenty of attacking ideas.

Set plays were a big feature of the game and for Whyteleafe a free kick from out on the left was headed wide by the no 17 and then from another down the left, the no 18 floated the ball towards the far post but just sailed over.

Cray though were beginning to look the better side before the break and took the lead in the 28th minute when good powerful play down the right by Ethan Wright  saw him break into the box and his shot was well saved by the keeper but following up the lively Rico Montgomery tapped home the rebound.

Before the break Cray almost grabbed a second and another free kick from Wall was headed wide by Finlay Flint and Cray led 1-0 at the break.

Whyteleafe though came out the second half strong with Cray perhaps having the breeze a bit against them.  Two minutes into the half and the visitors almost levelled when the no 2 found the no 11  down the right and his cross shot cannoned back off the top of the crossbar and was knocked behind for a corner.

A minute later and Whyteleafe drew level when the corner from the left was knocked out as far as the Sheldon Kendall who placed a really classy finish wide of Teeley into the bottom left corner.

Whyteleafe had their tails up at that time and another ball to the right post was met by the no 11 and Teeley did very well to get in a block and out for a corner.

Then from another corner, the ball from the no 6 was met by the head of the no 20 who arched his header against the right hand post, along the line and cleared out to the no 10 whose shot was superbly saved again by Teeley pushing the ball away and the danger was averted.

However, Cray suddenly wrested back the initiative and had a second wind and a cross from the right towards Montgomery was helped on to Harry Lovey who drove a shot past the left post.   Then Harry Whitfield hit a fizzing shot from distance which the keeper did well to save hold on to the ball.

Cray continued to attack with menace and the rangy but skilful Wright played the ball out to the right to Robinson who hit a cracking shot which scraped the top of the crossbar.  Then from another free kick from 25 yards Montgomery hit a cracking shot which only narrowly went over the bar.  This was followed by Whitfield hitting a shot just wide.

A goal for Cray was coming and arrived in the 63rd minute out of nothing as the ball was worked down the right and with Whyteleafe struggling to clear the ball came to Wall who hit a fierce strike which gave the keeper no chance, and crashed into the bottom left.

Cray had done so well to take the lead but Whyteleafe wouldn’t lie down and take defeat and a couple of minutes from the end drew level when a pass back to Teeley saw his clearance charged down by Phoenix Valentine and down the left rolled the ball into the net.

There was almost time for a Cray winner when from a free kick in a good position, Montgomery curled the ball round the wall but into the arms of the keeper.

In the end the game ended in a draw which on reflection was possibly a fair outcome but Cray had shown a lot of character and attacking ideas, Montgomery and Wright were excellent and Wall looks a real find out on the right and Teeley is a tremendous prospect in goal.

Cray have a huge match next Sunday at home to Bromley in the U13s league but can go into it with confidence and here is another great addition to the Cray Wanderers Kent Youth League collection of teams.

Cray Wanderers:  Henry Teeley, George Brown, Archie Morley, Harry Costin, Lincoln Hunter, Ralph Short, Jude Cattimore, Oscar Desanges, Ethan Wright, Billy Wall, Sam Robinson: Harry Whitfield, Rico Montgomery, Finlay Flint, Harry Lovey, Harry Reed    

Elsewhere in the Kent Youth League, the U18s started their North Division league season in dramatic fashion with a 4-4 draw at Welling United U18s at Cleve Park School.  Pictures can be found here courtesy of Andysshots and the Kent Youth League

The U14s drew 2-2 at Metrogas in the North Division and have won one and drawn one of their two matches so far.

The U15s went down to a very rare defeat, 2-1 at Danson Sports in the Central Division.  The Cray U16s though made it two wins out of two in the North Division with a 3-1 home win vs. Bridon Ropes at Flamingo Park and are 2nd in the table behind Bromley.

Also starting on Sunday was the Selkent League and there are 13 Cray Wanderers sides competing in the league from U7s up to U16s level.  The U16s began in style with a 5-2 home win vs Dartford in the A Division.  The U15s in the A Division had no league game today.

In the U13sB Silver Division the U13s Lions got off to a flyer with a 10-1 win at Orpington Stallions while the Sharks in the U13sB Navy.  The U12s Piranhas won 2-0 vs Foots Cray Lions and the U12s Lions drew 1-1 against Long Lane. Meanwhile the U11s lost 9-2 against Welling United and the U11s lions won 4-2 at Athenlay Rye.

In the 7 a side game, the U10s lost 5-3 to Welling, the U9s won 4-2 vs Long Lane Lions and the U8s won 5-1 and drew 2-2 v Fleetdown United and the U8 Piranhas won both games 5-1 and 6-0.

Well done to all our teams for playing today and we hope you enjoy the season and your football and the expert coaching.