Kent Youth League U15 Division North
Cray Wanderers 4
Sporting Club Thamesmead 3
The Cray Wanderers U15s kept up their 100% winning start to the season with a hard fought victory against Sporting Club Thamesmead at John Roan Playing Fields.
Cray had many chances in the game and the scoreline perhaps doesn’t reflect their superiority but Thamesmead kept in the game well and their no 16 plundered a hat-trick to keep Cray on their toes.
Cray had won their first three league games and also won in the cup at Faversham last week whilst Sporting Club were looking for their first point of the campaign.
On a bright autumnal Sunday afternoon it looked like being business as usual for Cray after they took the lead after just 25 seconds with a classy run and strike from Tion Cudjoe who charged forward evaded a couple of challenges and placed a shot wide of the keeper in to the bottom left corner.
The Wands kept searching for goals and from a left wing corner the ball came to Ayomide Agbolade but he shot over the bar. Then from a free kick out on the right the ball was played into the area to Agbolade who headed into the net but was denied by the linesman’s flag. Still in the first few minutes, Akoma Salami made a strong run forward and drove a shot wide of the left post.
Thamesmead though carried a threat through their no 16, a tall centre forward who proved a handful and he latched onto a long ball and was denied by a brave save from Bobby Pavoux who blocked the ball with his legs.
This was a temporary reprieve as in the 10th minute, Sporting Club levelled with a similar move to the earlier chance when a ball was played forward and the no 16 took advantage of a favourable bounce off the turf to go one on one with Pavoux and this time lifted the ball over the keeper and slowly rolled into the net.
Parity though was only achieved for four minutes as Cray went back up the other end and were awarded a penalty when Theo Foley played in Josh Richmond down the right who was brought down just inside the area. Cudjoe with customary coolness slotted home the penalty.
The game then settled down after that thrilling first quarter of an hour with Cray on top but couldn’t get a third goal that would probably have finished the game. From a free kick from distance Cudjoe drove a shot wide and then saw an effort blocked.
From a corner to the far post Richmond’s header drifted across goal and then Femi Abatan shot wide.
Half Time: 2-1
The second half began with Cray on the front foot again and Abatan played in Salami inside the area but he shot straight at the keeper from ten yards.
For Thamesmead the no 14 hit a shot which Pavoux saved and then Salami again was foiled by the keeper who pushed out his close range shot and following up Chris Al Hassan effort was blocked.
Cray came close again with Abatan seeing an effort pushed over for a corner and then Salami made a run forward and shot wide but the ball was brought back for an earlier foul on the Wands player.
Sporting Club though were still in the game and again the no 16 latched onto a long ball down the right and was once again denied by a block from Pavoux.
The game then had a crazy eight minutes with four goals, the first coming to the visitors in the 54th minute when a ball in from the right found the no 16 who rifled home impressively from 12 yards to make it 2-2.
However, like in the first half they fell behind once again with four minutes as in the 58th minute Cray retook the lead with a simply stunning strike from Abatan who picked up a loose header from a defender to hit a curling first time shot which crashed into the top left hand corner of the net starting off a huge celebration amongst the players.
There was another opportunity for Cray when Abatan again found himself inside the area and his overhead kick came back off the underside of the crossbar and the ball was cleared.
In the 60th minute Cray looked as though they had breathing space with a well taken goal when Al-Hassan’s deft ball through played in Agbolade who finished impressively to make it 4-2.
The long ball over the top was still causing Cray problems and in the 62nd minute the no 16 completed his hat-trick with a well taken goal to set up a dramatic last twenty minutes.
The last few minutes became a bit scrappy and stop start but Cray were unlucky when Al-Hassan’s shot thudded back off the crossbar and a run from Cudjoe saw the ball come to Agbolade who fired a shot just wide of goal.
Cray held on to record a win which keeps them top of the U15 North Division and Sean Foley and Lee Amis’s side are such a good side to watch but not only that they work extremely hard and Foley and Cudjoe could well be the future creative hub of the Cray Wanderers side with age very much on their side.
Cray are in Kent County Cup action next Sunday as they take on Folkestone Invicta in what should be a cracking game.
Team: Bob Pavoux, Josh Richmond, Jenyd Hoedoafia, Kasey Bekoe, William Amis, Ayomide Agbolade, Theo Foley, Tion Cudjoe, Femi Abatan, Akola Salami, Chris Al Hassan: Tobi Fashola, Jessie Bonishel, Stan Kapsu, Dylan Gilbert, Kamal Tinubu