FA Youth Cup – 2nd Qualifying Round – 4/10/17
Dover Athletic 1
Cray Wanderers 0
Cray Wanderers interest in the FA Youth Cup came to an end at Dover Athletic but only after a tremendous effort from Mark Dacey’s side who outplayed their full time opponents at times but had no real luck in front of goal.
Dover started the game impressively but Cray grew into the game and came closest to scoring first half when Ken Charles struck the post and then was denied by the keepers legs.
Dover shaded the early part of the second half but didn’t create too many chances but won the game with an excellent free kick goal from substitute Matthew Robinson just after the hour.
Cray threw everything into the game to try and take the game to extra time but couldn’t quite get the goal their efforts deserved.
The Crabble is a tremendous venue for night time football and this was an excellent advertisement for Youth team football as a competitive match took place for a spot in the 3rd Qualifying Round.
Dover who are a National Alliance side and have started their season well took on a Cray side which went into the game on the back of a rare defeat having been beaten by Crayford Arrows 4-3 on Sunday.
The home side started the game very well and Cray were understandably a bit nervy to begin with and Dover penned them back. In the opening seconds, Ryan Kingsford flashed a shot wide of goal.
Dover came close to scoring in the 7th minute when a great piece of skill and vision from Joshua Spencer who from 40 yards saw Cray keeper Tiwa Fujamade slightly off his line and his attempted lob forced Fujamade to turn the ball over the bar for a corner. From the corner the ball came to Lyndon Dixon who sliced his shot wide. Then Jack Smith saw a shot well gathered by Fujamade as Dover continued to press.
After fifteen minutes though Cray began to get some possession and moved forward themselves and a ball was played through to Robbie Daye into the area and the keeper Harry Earls had to come out and narrow the angle and got a block in for a corner.
Then the trick Ken Charles jinked his way down the left and played the ball across to Deshon Carty whose effort was blocked and came out to Kwame Poku who shot over the bar.
The game was becoming much more even and in the 29th minute came a huge let off for Dover when Charles picking up the ball down the left cut inside and curled a fine shot from 20 yards which came back off the right post and out into play.
This increased Cray’s confidence and a corner from Cameron Grant from the left curled across goal and behind. Then Alfie Young set up Daye for a shot which was well held by Earls.
The Cray defence were dealing very efficiently with what Dover were throwing at them and the handling of Fujimade was excellent. The ball was worked down the left and Tom Bond’s cross was well cut out by the Cray keeper.
The final chance of a high quality half came to Cray when again the ball was worked down the left to Charles who burst into the box but his low near post drive was blocked by the legs of Earls.
Half Time: 0-0
The second half began a little like the first with Dover pushing Cray back but the Wands did break well to come close when Carty set up Charles but his effort was pushed behind by Earls for a corner.
Dover had a lot of the ball but found chances difficult against the well drilled Cray defence superbly marshalled by Ben Hullet and Micah David. The best chance for Dover came when Marshall Wratten down the left got to he byline and played the ball across but no-one could apply a touch and as the ball came to Jack Cussen his shot was deflected away.
In the 62nd minute though Dover took the lead after they were awarded a free kick, centrally about twenty five yards from goal. On came substitute Matthew Robinson who with his first touch of the ball curled the ball over the wall and into the left corner of the net with a great piece of skill.
Cray kept on going and looked to get back into it straight away and from a corner from the left the ball to the far post just missed the head of David and went behind.
The Wands never let their heads drop and kept on playing their fluid football and were unlucky again when Charles once again caused havoc, burst onto a through ball, took the ball round the keeper but his shot was blocked and the chance went away.
Cray came close once more when Cameron Grant’s cross into the area from the right fell to Carty but his effort was blocked but only half cleared back out to Grant whose ball back in came to Charles whose shot from eight yards was blocked and came out to Poku who fired over.
That was probably Cray’s last chance to take the game to extra time as Dover used clever game management skills to see out the remaining few minutes and almost added to their lead when Wratten found James Belcher whose low drive was pushed round the post superbly by Fujamade.
As it was Dover, held on to the win but only after being giving a tremendous run for their money by Cray who certainly did themselves justice on this big night and can come home very pleased with their efforts and the experience this competition brings. There are other items of silverware this team could gain this season in the Kent Youth League competitions but they certainly showed this evening what they can do and the future of the club looks in good hands.
Team: Tiwa Fujimade, Alfie Young (Max Ash, 82), Ben Hullet, Micah David, Joe Barber, Deshon Carty, Robbie Daye (Akan Kasab, 60), Ken Charles, Kyrique Garvey Williams (Capt.), Cameron Grant, Kwame Poku: Subs: Stan Hitchcock, Toby Bayliss
Dover: Harry Earls, Jack Smith, Tom Bond, Lyndon Dixon (Capt.), Jake Creed, Joshua Spencer, Jordan Bartlett (Matthew Robinson, 61), Shusanta Rai, Jack Cussen (James Belcher, 75), Ryan Kingsford, Marshall Wratten: Subs: Harrison Avery, Hayden Bunch, Thomas Gates
Referee: Mr G Childs
Assistants: Mr J Eacott, Mr M McCaughan