Selkent League U12B Central
Cray Wanderers U12’s 2
Junior Reds U12’s 2
The Cray Wanderers U12s kept up their unbeaten start to the season as they twice came from behind to draw to also undefeated Junior Reds at Foots Cray Rugby Club.
In a game hugely influenced by the windy conditions both teams did well to cope with the elements and it was a lively game with Cray having virtually all the chances but having to dig deep to grab a point.
The young Wands side set off at an electric pace and came close to scoring early when Joshua Senyange set up Nathanael Fashanu whose strike came back off the crossbar. This was followed by Fashanu returning the compliment to Senyange who fired a shot just wide of goal.
Then Archie Panyi made a great run forward into the area and his effort came back off the inside of the post and out to Fashanu whose shot was blocked who then made a run forward of his own, turned on the edge of the area and his shot was well held by the keeper.
For the Reds, the no 10 shot wide of goal but then from a breakaway took the lead when a ball was played forward and the no 11 charged into the area and his effort was half blocked by keeper Matt Close and from the rebound bundled the ball into the net after 13 minutes.
Cray kept coming back and Fashanu shot wide again before Senyange was denied by an excellent one handed save by the keeper pushing the ball behind. Reds broke away again and the no 15 was unlucky to see a shot fizz just past the post.
In the 21st minute though, Cray deservedly levelled when excellent work down the right by Victor Damyanov saw him cut into the area and squared the ball to Fashanu who finished clinically.
The game seemed to be heading to half time with a 1-1 scoreline but Reds had the final say of the half and again with the wind in their favour played the ball forward to the no 15 who hit a cracking shot which came back off the underside of the crossbar. With the ball coming back out of the area the ball fell to the no 6 who lifted what looked like a cross towards goal which caught the wind and flew into the top left corner of the net. This was the final action of the half.
Half Time: 1-2
The second half was a stop-start affair with one or two lengthy stoppages for treatment but was almost entirely attack against defence with Cray on top.
Cray nearly got back on terms when Senyange set up Fashanu inside the area but could only fire straight at the keeper. Then a cross from Chris Chin found Fashanu again but his effort was blocked.
Still Cray came forward and Chin set up Panyi who shot wide as did Chin and then from a corner, Fashanu from close range also fired past the post.
Then Henderson Russell’s ball into the area found Elisha OShevare who was unlucky as the keeper came out and made a smart smothering save.
The game seemed to be heading the visitors way when with six minutes to go Cray levelled with an excellent goal which started down the left and was worked out to Chin who laid the ball into the area to Blu Husthwaite whose crashed home an excellent finish at the near post to send the Wands players crazy with delight.
With a few minutes of added time to come there was still time for a Cray winner and Oshevare was denied by a fine save by the excellent Reds keeper and then twice Husthwaite shot wide but in the end the game finished in a draw which was the least that Cray deserved.
The Wands side are a very good team to watch and play a system of football similar to the first team and look set for a very good season if they continue to play with the same verve and quality in the final third and also their resilience is good to twice come from behind.
Team: Matt Close, Archie Panyi, Victor Damyanov, Elisha Oshevare, Max Devon-Lowe, Frankie Griffin, Henderson Russell, Chris Chin, Blu Husthwaite, Joshua Senyange, Nathanael Fashanu
U15s Kent County Cup – 1st Round
Cray Wanderers 5 Folkestone Invicta 1
With many thanks to Lee Amis for his report from this afternoon’s Kent County Cup tie.
Cray went into the match unbeaten in six and the lads were determined to make it 7 from 7. On a windy day Cray started into the wind and it was not long before Folkestone were on the back foot with Cray pressing for an early goal.
Cray scored after five minutes but it was disallowed for a hand ball in the buildup. It was not a long wait for first goal as a cross from Tion Cudjoe on the right was turned in by Kola Salami at the far post.
Folkestone were finding it hard playing against a Cray team full of confidence. The Wands were dominating and scored a second with Chris Al Hassan getting his weekly goal to make it 2-0 at half time.
The second half started and it was all Cray and Folkestone were finding it hard to get on the ball with the fitness levels of the lads no showing. Cray went 3-0 up when Taku Zhanghaza getting on the score sheet with a far post header.
Folkestone won a free kick half way into the Cray half and floated it in for it to hang in the air for what seemed like an eternity where the centre-forward got his head to the ball to make it 3-1.
Cray then showed their quality and from a Folkestone attack they went straight up the other end of the pitch for Al Hassan to score and make it 4-1.
The game was won now and with five minutes left Zhanghaza got his second goal of the game with another far post header from a wonderful cross from Femi Abatan.
This squad of players are playing some of the best football I have ever seen them play. When the ref tells you he has not seen a better team all season at any age you can tell the level the lads are playing at.
The cup run continues.