Kent Youth League Presidents Cup Final – 9/5/19 @ Corinthian FC
Ramsgate U18s 0
Cray Wanderers U18s 8
Payne 9, 58, 90, Gemmell 34, 48, Daye 41, Leeson 85, Salami 88
The Cray Wanderers U18s wrapped up their season in style by winning the Kent Youth League Presidents Cup on a rain lashed evening at Corinthian and scoring eight well taken goals in the process against Ramsgate U18s.
In a season of so much quality football and performances it was only fitting that Mark Dacey and Adam Flemming’s last game in charge should bring with it some deserved silverware after a couple of years of bringing through some of the finest young players Cray Wanderers has ever had.
Man of the match was Ronnie Payne with a clinically taken hat-trick who opened the scoring slightly against the run of play on 9 minutes but two fine goals before half time from right-back Jack Gemmell, and a classy finish from Robbie Daye put the Wands three nil up at the break and in the driving seat. On the excellent playing surface, Cray zipped the ball around in the second half with great confidence and before the hour added two more goals, the fourth another high quality finish from Gemmell and then Payne notched his second after his initial shot was blocked.
Ramsgate kept plugging away and never let their heads drop but Cray ended the game in devastating fashion scoring three more goal in the last five minutes. Ben Leeson made it 6-0 with a close range finish and then Akola Salami broke through to score with two minutes to go. Finally in stoppage time, Payne completed his hat-trick to set the seal on a ruthless display.
Despite the constant rain throughout the day and evening, the pitch was perfect for a good game of football and both sides set out with that intention and an open match was on the cards. Ramsgate started slightly the brighter and from a free kick played into the box, the no 9 turned and shot wide. Then the no 10 was unlucky to see a well struck shot just drift past Tiwa Fujimade’s left post.
Cray though were putting things together and Lee Lewis fired wide from 25 yards. Then on 9 minutes went in front when the ball was worked well down the right and Ronnie Payne slipped into the area and buried a cross-shot wide of the keeper and into the net.
The Wands were looking dangerous each time they attacked and from a Joe Barber corner, the ball came to Payne who set up Robbie Daye whose shot was blocked. Then Jack Gemmell played a great ball across to the near post which was helped on and Neil Spencer saw his shot saved well by the legs of the goalkeeper.
Ramsgate were still in the game and the no 9 shot well wide and then from a free kick out on the right, the no 11 hit a shot which was pushed away by Fujimade. For Cray,Kyrique Garvey-Williams saw a goal bound shot deflect off Daye and behind for a goal kick and a second goal was looking very much on the cards.
It duly came on 34 minutes when Garvey-Williams shot was well hit but deflected out to Gemmell who drove a superb finish wide of the keeper to make it 2-0.
Cray now had their tails up and Frankie Morgan down the left almost scored but sent his shot fractionally wide and then Gemmell’s cross was headed over by Payne.
On 41 minutes, Cray scored a third when Garvey-Williams diagonal pass out to the left came to Daye who burst into the area and tucked away a crisp finish to give Cray breathing space at half time.
Half Time: 0-3
Any hopes of a Liverpool or Tottenham style comeback were quickly quashed three minutes after the interval when Cray Wanderers scored a fourth and possibly the goal of the night. Morgan got away down the left and whipped over a superb cross which was helped on and out to Gemmell who lashed home a first time shot from just inside the area and nestled in the bottom left corner.
More chances came and Spencer saw a shot superbly saved and following up Daye’s effort was blocked by a defender. Then Lewis and Gemmell combined to set up Spencer who shot wide.
In the 58th minute Cray carved out a fifth goal when Gemmell and Spencer combined to set up Payne who burst into the box and saw his initial shot blocked by a Ramsgate defender and following up showed great awareness to fire into the net and to all intents and purposes seal the game with half an hour to play.
Ramsgate to their credit kept going and almost pulled a goal back when the no 10 hit a fizzing drive which was well saved by Fujimade and following up the no 7 curled a shot wide of goal.
The Wands were well in control and Lewis put a superb ball through to David Showemimo but pulled his shot agonisingly just past the left post.
For Ramsgate the no 10 saw a shot claimed by Fujimade but Cray were able to play one or two substitutes who would make a devastating impact in the latter stages.
Firstly with five minutes to play the ball came to Akola Salami down the right and his textbook ball across was despatched clinically by Ben Leeson to make it 6-0.
Then on 88 minutes, Salami got on the scoresheet when he showed devastating pace to latch on to a through ball to burst through and finished impressively wide of the keeper for a seventh goal.
There was still time to put the icing on the cake with an eighth goal in stoppage time when from a throw in down the right the ball came to Leeson who held the ball up superbly, turned and set up Payne who drove home a shot from 12 yards to complete his hat-trick and seal the game in the perfect way and the man of the match award.
The Wands are a terrifically confident side and throughout the season whether in reaching the 2nd Round of the FA Youth Cup or in a third placed Bostik Development League season have always played football in a style which is a credit to the coaching and application of the players and if this is the last time we see some of these players many will go on to stellar careers and hopefully some will remain with Cray Wanderers for the immediate future.
Best of luck to Mark Dacey and Adam Flemming who over the course of the last two seasons with Cray have assembled a terrific side playing with style and with great discipline and a credit to the club.
Team: Tiwa Fujimade, Jack Gemmell, Frankie Morgan, Ben Hullet, Joe Barber, Kyrique Garvey-Williams (Capt.), Lee Lewis, Deshon Carty, Neil Spencer, Ronnie Payne, Robbie Daye: Subs: David Showemimo, Ben Newman, Ben Leeson, Akola Salami.