U16s Kent League Cup – Semi Final
Sevenoaks Town U16s 1
Cray Wanderers U16s 3
Cray Wanderers U16s advanced to the final of the Kent Youth League Cup after a high quality semi-final at Sevenoaks Town. On a fresh but bright and sunny lunchtime on the fine playing surface at Greatness Park Cray got off to a flyer and went ahead after 4 minutes with a classy finish from Akola Salami. The game evened up after that and Bobby Pavoux had to make a couple of fine saves to keep the home side at bay as Sevenoaks threatened before the break.
The second half was end to end with both sides coming close to scoring but it was Cray who scored a second goal on 59 minutes when Femi Abatan finished clinically a one on one with the keeper. Sevenoaks though pulled a goal back five minutes later to leave a dramatic last quarter of an hour. Cray defended well in the closing stages and in injury time broke away and Abatan was brought down inside the area for a penalty by the goalkeeper and Tobi Fashola stroked home the spot kick with the last action of the game. This sets up an intriguing Final against Welling United at Sheppey United on Thursday 28th March.
Cray began the game in ominous fashion following on from their 8-0 win against Whyteleafe in the previous round. It took just four minutes to break through as Femi Abatan made a great run down the left and put over a cross which was helped on by Leslie Aricu and out to Max Gayle who found Akola Salami inside the area and finished with some style sweeping the ball into the bottom left corner of the net.
Cray continued to attack and another run by Abatan down the left ended with a shot being blocked and following up curled a shot just over the top.
Sevenoaks threatened with the no 7 sending over a cross which the no 22 just couldn’t get to but it was still Cray who looked dangerous and Salami and Abatan combined to set up Aricu who lofted a shot just over the left angle of post and crossbar.
Before half time Sevenoaks had a good spell of pressure and the no 9 volleyed wide of goal following a right wing cross.
Then the no 22 shot wide from a free kick on the edge of the penalty area. Then the no 8 found the no 19 down the right of the penalty area and his near post shot was very well saved by Bobby Pavoux pushing the ball behind for a corner
This was followed by another free kick which the no 3 sent goalwards but again Pavoux did well to turn the ball behind and then a cross from the no 3 just missed the head of the onrushing no 22.
Half time: 0-1
The second half was end to end from the start with Cray once again starting the half well and Salami was played through on goal, the keeper came out to make a clean tackle and the ball came to Gayle who sent the ball goalwards but was cleared by a defender. Then Salami shot just wide from Gayle’s pass.
Then Aricu set up Salami again who saw a shot pushed away well by the Sevenoaks keeper. For Sevenoaks the no 23 shot wide from 25 yards and then the no 22 made a run forward and shot over the top under pressure from Tobi Fashola.
Still Sevenoaks threatened and the no 23 shot wide from 14 yards and then the no 7 tested Pavoux with a shot from distance. For Cray, Abatan hit a snap shot which went just over and at the other end the no 22 was played in down the left hand side but shot wide.
On 59 minutes Cray scored a second goal out of nothing when Gayle’s pass found Abatan who broke through down the middle on goal and from just inside the area finished well wide of the keeper
With around fifteen minutes to go Sevenoaks pulled a goal back when a left wing cross from the no 3 into the area led to a melee in the area and the no 7 reacted quickest to turn the ball into the net.
Cray defended stoutly in the last fifteen minutes but there was concern after a clash of heads meant Eneo Baci had to be bandaged round the head following a wound. Sevenoaks won one or two corners but the backline with Dylan Gilbert, William Amis and Kasey Bekoe excellent as well as the imperious Fashola soaked up the pressure well.
Cray looked to threaten at the other end and from a free kick Abatan saw a shot held by the keeper at the second attempt.
With the game going into injury time Cray cleared the ball from a Sevenoaks set piece and the ball was played forward down the left to Abatan who nipped past a defender into the area and was upended by the goalkeeper for an obvious penalty. Fashola stepped up to convert the kick in the deep into added on time and this was the last kick of the game and Sean Foley and Lee Amis’ superb side reached their second KYL League Cup Final after winning the U13s Competition in 2015.
This was a superb advert for Youth team football and was very well refereed. Cray can look forward to the final at the end of March whilst continuing to keep up their fine league form of late.
Team: Bob Pavoux, Dylan Gilbert, Kasey Bekoe, Tobi Fashola, William Amis, Jesse Bonishel, Theo Foley, Max Gayle (Eneo Baci, Finn Healey), Leslie Aricu, Femi Abatan, Akola Salami: Sub: Taku Zhanghaza.
Elsewhere this was another excellent weekend for our Youth teams who played after the early morning freeze meant a handful of postponements and all our sides in action won. The KYL U14s continued their excellent recent form to beat Sevenoaks Town 6-2 at Foots Cray Rugby Club to stay two points clear at the top of the Central Division. Sevenoaks were the last team to beat Cray, 4-1 in the league back at the beginning of December.
The Wands started brightly and had two good chances to go ahead until Sevenoaks took the lead. Ronnie Roberts scored to level the game and Callum Ellington gave Cray the lead from a superb free kick.
Sevenoaks levelled just before Victor Daniels slotted home to give Cray a 3-2 lead at the break. In a dominant second half Cray scored more goals through Ellington, Ellis Newbold and a superb solo goal from Alfie Boyle. Cray’s next two league games are against sides just under them in the table with a number of games in hand, Glebe and Thamesmead Town.
The KYL U13s home game against Bredhurst Juniors was postponed and Scott Butler’s side lead the table by two points from Whyteleafe.
In the Selkent League it was cup tie action for the U13s Sharks who joined the U13s Lions into the Quarter Finals of the Selkent Cup after an impressive 7-2 win at Dulwich Village Black. The Sharks will now travel to Blackheath Wanderers in the Quarter Final on 24th February, with the Lions who got through last weekend at home to Hillyfielders Hawks next Sunday.
The Lions continued their remarkable start to the League season with a 6-0 win at home to Long Lane which puts them four points clear at the top of the U13B Yellow division having won 12 of their 13 league games.
The only other side to beat the freeze were the U9s Sharks who made it four wins in a row with a 6-4 victory at home to Danson Sports.
The Sharks started well and won a free kick in a dangerous position. Up stepped Liam Ellis and struck a great free kick into the bottom corner, 1-0. The Sharks continued to play well but were caught out by a goal by Danson on the break, 1-1. The first half continued in this fashion. A good through ball from Oscar Richardson to Archy Newland who slotted home to make it 2-1.
The Sharks were caught out again on the break with a good finish from Danson’s dangerous no 2 to make it 2-2. Danson then took the lead for the first time with a good strike from the edge of the box to make it 2-3. But the first half action was not over and and a good run from Oliver along the left wing who produced a good cross which was finished well by Oscar Richardson. Half Time: 3-3
The second half began like the first with the Sharks having the possession but Danson befing dangerous on the break which forced the Sharks keeper Sam Foreman to come off his line making important interceptions. Then Newland capitalised on this possession with a good individual goal, 4-3. As the half wore on the Sharks domination increased as Newland crossed to Ralf Nicholson who tapped home, 5-3. Danson didn’t give up and pulled another goal back with a good dipping strike from a free kick. However, the Sharks nerves were then settled with long range effort from Joe Costello which was deflected in to make it 6-4 at full time. Another great win for the Sharks and as manager Jason Ellis said after the game every player battled and gave 100% to win a hard fought and entertaining game.
There were no games for the U14s, U12s Piranhas, U12s Sharks, U10s and U10s Lions while the U7s Selkent Cup Semi-Final at the Marathon Ground was postponed.