Kent Youth League U18 Division North
Cray Wanderers B U18s 6
Cray Wanderers U18s 3
The two Cray Wanderers U18s sides fought out a classic battle in the Kent Youth League in a match high on quality, tremendous goals and great commitment from beginning to end.
There was a nice contrast of styles with Mark Dacey’s B side perhaps more cultured in their passing and movement but the Wands side although more direct caused a lot of problems and on another day could well have taken a draw from the game but were not able to take their chances when they came.
The match started in fine weather, on a good pitch and the B side who played so well at Dover in midweek began the sharper and a good run forward from Max Ash saw a layoff to Kwame Poku but drove over the top.
Mike Bruno’ s Wands side had won their last two matches in league and cup scoring 11 goals in the process and their first attempt came to Edmar Francisco who shot wide.
The B side took the lead in the 10th minute with a well taken goal from Robbie Daye. The ball was worked down the left and Daye sped into the box, held off a challenge and slotted the ball into the net past Frankie Barbieri.
Barbieri though would come to his sides aide with an excellent double save first denying Poku again down the left and as the ball came loose to Deshon Carty, Barbieri did well to dive on the ball.
Then Barbieri did well again to save as Poku set up Carty whose shot was well struck and the keeper made the save and held on to the ball. Then Daye saw a shot deflected past the post as the B team made an impressive start.
Slowly though the Wands team came into the game and were desperately unlucky to score against the run of play when Jack Porter combined with Thomas Songu to set up Rio Gasal whose fierce near post shot was pushed out by Tiwa Fujamade and the ball fell loose to Francisco whose shot was clawed back by the keeper from almost over the goalline. Then as the B side struggled to clear their lines the ball came back to Gasal who cracked a shot against the crossbar and away.
The B team carried on their attacking football and Ash fired a shot just wide of the left post and then he hit a shot from the edge of the D which Barbieri pushed behind for a corner. Then Ash’s right wing cross just missed the onrushing Daye.
The Wands team hung in the game well and talented striker Kwaku Gyabi Junior showed his pace and his effort was blocked by Fujamade and then Songu shot wide.
In the last minute of the first half the B team scored a crucial second goal when Ash set up Daye who is a clinical finisher and placed the ball wide of Barbieri to give the B team a 2-0 lead at half time.
Half Time: 2-0
The second seemed to deflate the Wands team a little and the second half started a bit flat before bursting into life at in the last twenty five minutes. The B team almost put the game to bed when Carty hit a shot which Barbieri did brilliantly to save and Oliver McNeil cracked a clearance against his own crossbar and unfortunately landed awkwardly in the net and needed treatment for what looked like a blow to the side of the face.
Then from a free kick Poku hit a curling effort which Barbieri tipped over the bar for a corner. Then Carty shot wide as the pressure continued.
The game appeared to be beyond the Wands team reach when Kyrique Garvey Williams set up Daye who completed his hat-trick with a clinical finish under the keeper to make it 3-0 and seemingly end the match as a contest.
The Wands team though never gave up and showed good resilience and Benjamin Hayes fired in a shot which was deflected and made Fujamade get down to save.
In the 71st minute the Wands team pulled a goal back when from a free kick 25 yards out on the right, Porter hit an unstoppable shot which crashed into the top left corner of the net to make it 3-1.
Two minutes later, incredibly it was 3-2 when John Sama set up Gyabi Junior who fired a low shot which may have taken a slight deflection from the edge of the area before hitting the back of the net to put the game back into the balance.
However, a minute later in the 74th minute, the B team restored their two goal advantage when the ball was played down the right to Ash who cut into the box and lashed a superb finish into the bottom left corner to make it 4-2 and so capped off four minutes of incredible football.
The game then seemed to go through a rare lull before another burst of goals in the last six minutes.
In the 84th minute, the B team scored their fifth when from a free kick, Joe Barber excellent cross found Akan Kasab who fired home with some style to make it 5-2.
A minute later, the Wands team made it 5-3 when from a throw in down the right the ball was flicked into the area to Gyabi Junior again who turned the ball in from 7 yards to add to the excitement.
Then, in the 88th minute the scoring was completed with perhaps one of the goals of the match when from a right wing corner the ball was headed out by a defender to Toby Bayliss by the left who hit a first time shot which flew into the net to make it 6-3 and the end of a breathless contest.
As a match between two Cray Wanderers sides it was a very difficult game to call. Having seen both teams on a number of occasions they are both talented sides, perhaps with different styles and perhaps in an ideal world a draw would have been the better result for a neutral Cray Wanderers supporter. The two sides are sure to meet again soon and if it is a good a game as this then it will be a treat.
Cray Wanderers B: Tiwa Fujimade, Toby Bayliss, Alfie Young, Cameron Grant, Micah David, Joe Barber, Akon Kasab, Deshon Carty, Robbie Daye, Ken Charles, Kyrique Williams-Garvey; Ben Hullet, Kwame Poku, Max Ash, Stan Hitchcock
Cray Wanderers: Frankie Barbieri, Marembo Musa, Benjamin Hayes, Alfred Samuel, John Sama, Jack Porter, Rio Gasal, Kwaku Gybai Junior, Thomas Songu, Oliver McNeil, Albert Sadiu, Dean Damte, Edmar Francisco, Malachi Cooper, Cyril Amuah, Jude Wallace