Erith & Belvedere Youth U14s vs Cray Wanderers Youth U14s
Erith & Belvedere 2 Cray Wanderers 2
The Kent Youth League swung back into action and saw last season’s U13 Division North Champions go up a year and had a tough start to the season against a very good Erith and Belvedere outfit at the Goals Centre. In the end we got a tremendous encounter between two excellent sides which deservedly finished in a draw. Cray had to show the resilience of champions to come back from 2-0 down with fifteen minutes to go.
Cray manager, Sean Foley has managed to keep many of last season’s double winning team at the club but did lose four players but brought in some quality replacements. Their opponents were last years Junior Reds team (Charlton Athletic’s junior youth setup) and started the game impressively and came close to scoring in the opening minute as a chance was fired into the side netting. The first semblance of an opening for Cray came to Chris Al Hassan but his deft shot was held by the home keeper.
The Deres looked a very quick and fit side and took the lead in the 7th minute when a fine cross from the left was turned home by the 9 bundling the ball over the line.
Cray were pretty much up against it and went two down in the 15th minute when the powerful no 10 charged forward and hit a powerful finish into the roof of the net.
The Wands looked to get back into things and a free kick was floated into the area by Tobi Fashola to Al Hassan whose overhead kick was saved by the keeper. It was almost three nil when the no 10 hit a volley which Bobby Pavoux did well to push away.
Before the break Cray came more into the game with Martial Godo coming close with a header on goal. Then Max Gayle turned the ball over from a left wing corner. Then good work by Harvey Smith saw Tion Cudjoe hit a shot which the keeper saved well.
Half Time: 2-0
The first twenty minutes of the second half was dominated possession wise by Cray and started to make inroads into the match. Firstly, Gayle saw an overhead kick go straight to the keeper and then Cudjoe with a rasping shot from twenty yards just cleared the crossbar.
Then Cray had a good chance when Al-Hassan was played through but perhaps under pressure from a Deres defender, pulled a shot wide of goal. Then Gayle made a tremendous run forward into the box but the keeper did well to smother the ball before he could get a shot in.
A goal for Cray was coming and it duly arrived in 57th minute. A free kick from Gayle was played into the box and as the keeper came to meet the ball Theo Foley got there in front of him and turned the ball into the net.
Erith and Belvedere were suddenly rejuvenated by that and almost made it 3-1 when the no 10 was played through and as he took the ball past Pavoux, from a tightish angle his shot was cleared off the line.
The game was end to end from now and Cray levelled the scores with ten minutes to go. A corner from the right by Cudjoe was met in a crowded penalty area by the head of Foley who powered home an excellent header.
After that the game settled towards the end with Erith and Belvedere perhaps looking the more likely winners but in the end the game finished in a draw which was on reflection was about right.
Their next game is on Sunday with a home fixture against Bromley at the John Roan School.
Team: Bobby Pavoux, Tyler Moth, William Amis, David Ononye, Kasey Bekoe, Tobi Fashola, Theo Foley, Martial Godo, Nbubusi Omenyi, Harvey Smith, Chris Al Hassan; Max Gayle, Tion Cudjoe, Georgi Steed, Kev Yebouet
Elsewhere there were two new Cray teams in action today. The U18s coached by ex Cray legend Colin Luckett began their season in the U18 North with a 2-4 away defeat against Bromley A at the Bellingham Leisure Centre. They are next in action on Sunday at home to Sporting Club Thamesmead. Their home matches are played at the Goals Centre in Eltham.
Meanwhile the U16s started their Central Division campaign with a 0-1 defeat at Wadhurst United Juniors. Michael Bruno’s team will also be at home next Sunday against K Sports Club also at Goals Eltham. Coverage of both of those two games will feature here next week.
Tyrone Sterling’s U15s didn’t play today and are also scheduled to be at home next Sunday in the Central Division against Whyteleafe.
The Selkent League which features the mini football, nine a side and eleven a side teams starts on the 18th September.