Cray Wanderers U16s vs. Stansfeld U16s – U16s Kent League Cup – 1st Round
Cray Wanderers U16s 4
Stansfeld U16s 0
The Cray Wanderers U16s continued their recent fine form with a classy victory against Stansfeld U16s at John Roan Playing Fields.
Last season’s U15s Kent League North Champions have clicked very nicely into form in recent weeks and in a very open first half came close to scoring a number of times often denied by some very good goalkeeping. The Wands though did break through once with Akola Salami’s header on 19 minutes. Stansfeld had one or two opportunities of their own so Cray just needed a second to give breathing space and Theo Foley applied a very tidy finish fifteen minutes into the second half. Two goals set the seal in the closing minutes, first from Leslie Ariku four minutes from the end and with the final action of the match Femi Abatan scored a fourth.
Sean Foley and Lee Amis’s excellent young side were without a game last weekend but have been in high scoring form since an early season defeat to Glebe and are cranking into gear very nicely indeed.
Cray started the match on the front foot but Stansfeld looked dangerous on the break. Femi Abatan saw an early shot blocked and then set up Akola Salami who scored but was ruled offside. For Stansfeld, their first shooting chance came to the no 10 whose effort from 25 yards was saved by Bobby Pavoux.
For Cray a cross from the right was headed wide by Ali Mansaray, a cross from Theo Foley was palmed out by the keeper to Abatan whose shot was blocked.
Then the Stansfeld keeper made the first of several top drawer saves when Abatan’s cross found Salami who looked to have steered the ball into the neter but the keeper got down to claw the ball away superbly. From a corner the ball eventually came to William Amis whose shot from distance was claimed by the keeper.
Stansfeld grew in confidence and the no 12 worked his way down the right of the area and squared the ball across where the no 14 prodded the ball just wide of the left post. Then a ball was played through the middle to the no 12 whose shot was deflected behind for a corner.
Cray kept probing for an opener and Leslie Ariku hit a dipping shot from 20 yards which the keeper tipped one handed over for a corner.
A goal was coming and duly arrived on 19 minutes created initially down the left by Amis and Foley with the ball switched to the right to Dylan Gilbert who acrobatically hooked a cross into the six yard box where Salami met the ball with a deft header planting the ball in the bottom right corner.
Shortly after a corner from Gilbert to the near post was blocked on the line and out for another corner from which the ball fell to Abatan who curled a shot wide.
For Stansfeld, the no 10 shot from 20 yards which was saved by Pavoux and for Cray a free kick from Max Gayle was fired over the top.
The visitors had a good chance to levell when from a throw in down the left, the no 11 worked his way into the area and laid the ball to the far post where the ball was stabbed wide by the no 9.
For Cray, Gayle set up Salami whose shot was blocked by a smothering save from the keeper while for Stansfeld. The no 8 curled in a shot which was deflected past the post for a corner.
Before half time Cray looked just to have an element of control and Ariku hit a shot which was saved by the keeper and just on half time, hit the bar with a wickedly swerving shot and from the follow up Abatan shot wide.
Half Time: 1-0
The second half took a little while to pick up momentum but Cray began to dominate and Abatan who was having a very good game made a good run into the area and his shot was very well saved once again by the keeper.
Then Abatan set up Ariku who hit the woodwork for the second time with a rasping drive which hit the underside of the crossbar and was blocked for a corner. From the corner, Jessie Bonishel turned the ball wide. Then the keeper did well once again denying the unlucky Abatan with a low shot and then another save moments later following a run down the left.
A second goal was massively on the cards and fifteen minutes after the break it came when from a left wing corner, Gilbert found Foley who turned past a defender and swept into the bottom right corner of the net an exceptional finish.
Moments later Foley shot over and the keeper made a double save to deny first Abatan’s shot from the edge of the area and the follow up from Ariku was pushed behind.
Stansfeld kept on going and almost pulled a goal back when the no 16 made a strong run from midfield and down the left floated a cross out to the right to the no 15 who curled a shot just over the angle of post and crossbar.
For Cray Taku Zhanghaza saw a close range shot saved by keeper at the near post and then Rhys Carew shot just over.
With four minutes to go the game was effectively done and dusted with a third goal with Zhanghaza slipped a ball through to Ariku who finally got the better of the keeper when he held the ball up and fired a shot low into the net from eight yards.
There was still time for Abatan to cut into the area and hit a shot goalwards which was cleared off the line superbly by the no 18.
With practically the last kick of the game, Cray scored a fourth when Abatan got the goal his performance deserved following some exceptional set up play by Foley and Abatan found space to turn and shoot under the keeper to set the seal on a very good afternoon for Cray.
The Wands who are fifth in the Kent Youth League North Division are next in action next Sunday at home to FC Elmstead and are very much still in contention to retain their title.
Team: Bobby Pavoux, Dylan Gilbert, Kasey Bekoe, Ali Mansaray, William Amis, Max Gayle, Theo Foley, Femi Abatan, Jesse Bonishel, Leslie Ariku, Akola Salami; Rhys Carew, Taku Zhanghaza, Eneo Baci
Also in the Kent Youth League, the U14s are very much in contention for the Central Division title and go third in the table after a 2-1 home win against Greenways Aces at Foots Cray Rugby Club. Goalscorers were Ronnie Roberts and Victor Daniels. Rhys Barker’s side face a big cup tie next week at Ebbsfleet United.
The U13s were knocked out of the Kent County Cup in a very tight game losing 1-2 at home to Dover Athletic. They are in Cup action next weekend when they travel to Lewisham In the London Cup.
In the Selkent League, the big game was in the U13s Division A where there were three teams at the start of play with 100 per cent records including the Cray Wanderers Sharks and Dulwich Village Black who met at Dulwich. It was the home side who were victorious winning 2-0 but Cray are still very much in contention in third place and take on Danson Sports Blue at home next Sunday.
The Cray Wanderers U13s Lions go from strength to strength in the B Division Yellow after an incredible 7-5 win at Long Lane Tigers. Cray have won five out of five league matches and lead the table. They take on Dulwich United Black at home next Sunday.
The U14s were beaten in an exciting match 3-4 at Roca Juniors and take on Greenwich Tigers Hawks at home next weekend.
Elsewhere in the U12s league, the Piranhas hit back perfectly following their narrow cup loss to Welling United last Sunday by winning 4-1 at Eltham Lions.
Cray are fourth in the U12A table. Meanwhile the U12s Sharks lost narrowly 2-3 at Foots Cray Lions Yellow in the Selkent Cup.
The U10s Lions were beaten 0-5 at home to Halls AFC while the Cray Wanderers U10s were beaten 0-3 at Dulwich Village. The U9s Sharks gave a good account of themselves against Ebbsfleet United before losing 2-4.
After another momentous week for the Cray Wanderers Youth section we are proud of all our teams whatever the results but the club are definitely moving in the right direction