It was a very busy weekend for the Cray Wanderers Youth teams with three cup semi-finals and a home debut for the U18s at Flamingo Park which adds another new chapter for the future of the club.

Kent Youth League – North Division, 26/1/20 – Cray Wanderers U18s 3 Crockenhill U18s 1

Pics Jon Hilliger

The Cray Wanderers U18s first game at Flamingo Park in the North Division couldn’t have been more sentimental against old local rivals for the Wands in Crockenhill and certainly a great game for Chris Al-Hassan who bagged a hat-trick.

It was certainly a competitive game after a great start from Cray scoring twice in the first ten minutes with Chris Al Hassan in razor sharp form.  He netted his first in the 6th minute when he despatched a crisp finish from 12 yards following James Przelawski’s right wing cross.

A couple of minutes later it was 2-0 when Al-Hassan was played in down the right of the area and tucked home another confident finish.

From here the game became more of a battle and Crockenhill came back into the match and Adam Bennett made a couple of fine saves to keep the visitors at bay. Cray came close before half time through Przelawski, William Amis and Jake Parrott and went in at half time ahead.

The second half continued to be a real scrap on a fine playing surface and Crockenhill almost pulled a goal back when the no 12 hit a low shot against the inside of the left post and was cleared off the line.

Cray had threatened in the second half through Parrott and Al Hassan but the game was still on a knife edge and with a few minutes to go, Crockenhill pulled a goal back when the no 12 made a run forward and drove a low shot into the bottom left to make it 2-1.

The Wands though were always a threat and within a couple of minutes had restored their two goal advantage when Al Hassan latched onto a through ball, beat the offside trap and from 14 yards completed his hat-trick with a cool finish.

After that there were chances for Al Hassan to score again and for Muqisa Hodasi but in the end Cray won the game and made it three wins out of four in the league since the start of 2020.  Cray are 4th in the table but are 13 points behind the league leaders Dartford FC Junior Whites.  They travel to Sutton Athletic in the league next Sunday.

Team:  Adam Bennett, Jake Parrot, Rhys Carew, Archie Daniels, William Amis, Muqisa Hodasi, Emmanuel Oduguwa, Stefan Abatan, Hamza Abubakari, James Przelwaski, Chris Al-Hassan; Max Gayle, Palace Francis.

With a few other teams now playing at Flamingo Park on a Sunday from the U18s, both U11s, U12s and U10s, U8s and U7s all have played there as have the Tandridge League U14s, It is starting to look a lot like a home and a hive of Cray Wanderers activity. Chuck in some high quality refreshments in the club house it makes it a must be location to watch football every Sunday

The U15s in the Kent Youth League North Division were in good form on Sunday winning 6-0 at home to Danson Sports to continue their decent start to the season, their first in the KYL.  Goalscorers were Favour Onukwuli (2), Freddy Caple, Tyrese Ikie, George Clifford and D’Armando Lawrence. They are 7th in the league table with 18 points. They take on Stansfeld at home in the league on Sunday.

Pics credit: AndysShots and KYL

The Kent Youth League Cup semi-finals saw the U13s and U14s all in action with the U13s having a home time against Cray Valley PM.  Meanwhile the U14s made the trip to Dartford to take on last season’s title rivals Kent Football United.   Also in action were the U14s in the Tandridge Cup Semi-Final and visited Clapham Common to face Santley United U14s.

The U13s have had a tremendous start to their debut season at this level and have made it to the final after a hard fought 2-1 win against Cray Valley PM in a game that could have gone either way.  In the end Cray made it through to a final against Erith & Belvedere with goals from Sam Hards and Michael Ihiedi.  The date of the final is to be confirmed.

They can make it a unique cup double as this Sunday they face Bromley in the Kent County Cup Semi-Final at Hayes Lane so certainly an exciting time for the team as well lying 2nd in the Kent Youth League North Division.

The KYL U14s faced a tough trip to last season’s Central Division Champions, Kent Football United at the Glentworth Club who Cray went all the way with in the race for the title.  In a match that was disrupted through an injury to KFU keeper Toby Waller, the Wands played well but KFU advanced to the final with a 3-1 win with Ashley Koroma scoring for the Wands.

The Tandridge Cup Semi-Final saw the Wands head to SW London full of confidence and had beaten opponents Santley United 5-1 in the league last Sunday.  This game played on the common was a lot tighter and tougher but Cray despite a severe test advanced to the final after the match finished in a 1-1 draw, the Wands held their nerve to win 3-1 on penalties.  They will now take on Tooting & Mitcham Youth in the final on 19th April.  This should be a great match as both have started the league season so well and the top 2. It was a very busy weekend for the Cray Wanderers Youth teams with three cup semi-finals and a home debut for the U18s at Flamingo Park which adds another new chapter for the future of the club.

Into the Selkent League and please see here a report on the Cray Wanderers U10s kindly provided by a parent of one of the players

Selkent League – B Division

Dulwich Village 3 Cray Wanderers 2

An away trip this Sunday for the Wands to Dulwich.

The game started in scrappy fashion with no side managing to pass the ball well or create chances.  However it was the Wands who took the lead.  Liam Ellis swung in a corner and it was Ralf Nicholas who tapped the ball home. 1-0.

Dulwich soon equalised with good through ball poking home past the on rushing Wands keeper.  Dulwich then took the lead with some quick approach play then a powerful shot found the top corner.

2-1 to Dulwich at Half Time

As the second half began the Wands had good possession but Dulwich were dangerous on the break. This led to another goal with the ball falling to their attacker whose shot ended up in the net via a big deflection from a Wands defender. 3-1

Dulwich were then denied another goal by Wands keeper Sam Foreman who athletically tipped a shot onto the crossbar. The Wands didn’t give up and were rewarded when Archy Newland went on a good run along the right of midfield and his cross was turned into his own net by a Dulwich defender. 3-2.

The Wands continued to press for an equaliser but couldn’t quite find one. Full Time: 3-2

A tough game for the Wands who didn’t give up and battled hard but just lacked a bit of composure with their passing and finishing.

Man of the Match Awards: Sam Foreman and Pierce Dalton

Team:   S. Foreman, L. Ellis, L. Rafferty, R. Nicholas, A. Newland, O. Moran, L. Nevin, P. Dalton, Z. Lucas, O. Richardson, A. Russell

Elsewhere in the Selkent League the U12s made it through to the Quarter Final of the Selkent Cup after winning at Welling Town.  The match finished in a 0-0 draw but the Wands advanced via a 4-1 victory on penalties.

In league matches, the U15s went down to only their second league defeat of the season with a 1-2 home defeat to IFA FC International.

The U12s Sharks in the 12B Navy Division drew 1-1 at Flamingo Park against Junior Reds.   Both U11s side had good wins with the Lions winning 11-0 away to Parkwood Rangers keeping up their excellent form.  The U11s Piranhas also won playing at Flamingo Park with a 5-3 win against Athenlay.

The U8s are another Flamingo Park side and beat Dartford in both matches, 2-1 and 4-3 and cap off another historic day for the Youth section of Cray Wanderers and a great weekend for the club as a whole.