FA Youth Cup 3rd Qualifying Round – Monday 21st October, 2019  

 Maidenhead United                                      6

Gibson 3, 47, Smith 20, Boyd 54,

Boniface 77, Borkovic 82

 Cray Wanderers                                            2

Salami 36, Ariku 49

Cray Wanderers brave run in the FA Youth Cup came to an end as Maidenhead United proved just too strong on the night to advance to a 1st Round meeting with Kingstonian.

In an incredible action packed game the Magpies got off to a good start and were 2-0 up in 20 minutes through goals from Jack Gibson and Reece Smith but Cray fought back before the break to score through Akola Salami and were very much still in the tie at half time.  An explosive start to the second half saw Gibson score his second shortly after the restart but Leslie Ariku pulled another goal back soon after.  However, a cracking strike from Tommy Boyd in the 54th minute restored the two goal advantage.  In the last fifteen minutes, Maidenhead scored another couple of goals from Lewis Boniface and Marko Borkovic to give the scoreline a severe look but on the night Maidenhead played well.

Lee Amis’ Cray side had advanced through three rounds against Kentish opposition against VCD Athletic, Ashford United and Faversham Town scoring ten goals in the process.  Maidenhead who play in the Allied Counties Central Division advanced with a 3-0 win at Boreham Wood but Cray headed to Berkshire in confident mood.

On a still and dry night in contrast to the wet and soggy SE London and Kent at the excellent and iconic York Road the scene was set for a match of contrasting styles on a fine pitch.

Cray set off on the front foot and won an early corner but from this keeper Maidenhead keeper Fred Chapman received the ball and hoisted a pass up to striker Jack Gibson who at first was denied by a superb tackle from Jenyd Hoedoafia but won the ball back and fired a shot under the legs of Adam Bennett in the 3rd minute.

Maidenhead settled well and Brandon Curtis shot wide from the edge of the area and then Reece Smith cut inside from the left and curled a shot which was heading for the bottom right corner but Bennett did superbly to turn the ball behind for a corner.

The Magpies came close again when Curtis’ shot was held by Bennett and then Smith’s left wing cross to the far post was headed over by Gibson.

Cray though were still trying to play their football and were looking a threat going forward with their power and pace.  In the 18th minute, Cray came close when a ball was played through to Leslie Ariku down the right who held off a couple of challenges and from just inside the box drove a shot just wide of the right post and into the side netting.

From this though Maidenhead broke down the right in the 20th minute and Marko Borokoiv played a ball into the box which led to a goalmouth scramble and Smith got to the ball first to turn the ball over the line from a couple of yards to make it 2-0.

Cray had a better spell after this and from a free kick just outside the area to the left, Emmanuel Oduguwa bent the ball over the wall and Chapman made a diving save and held on to the ball.  Cray continued to press and Max Gayle’s cross sliced off defender Harrison Playle and behind for a corner.

Then the Wands got right back into the game when a ball was played forward from midfield and a flick on from Ariku put Akola Salami away who broke through and gently guided the ball past Chapman and into the net and we now had a cup tie on our hands.

Maidenhead though almost scored again when Borkovic cut in from the right and thundered a shot against the crossbar and back out into play.

Shortly after with the game going from end to end and barely a break in play Cray almost got back on terms when another cross from the left was shanked across goal by Playle to the far post where Salami headed over the bar.

Before the break, opportunities continued to fall and Tommy Boyd for Maidenhead saw a fizzing shot held by Bennett and then from a free kick Brandon Curtis fired wide of the left post.

Cray though had the last chance of the half when Muqisa Hogasi and Ariku combined to set up Salami down the right of the area and his near post shot was held by Chapman.

Half Time: 2-1

If the first half was exciting then the second half left off where the first ended with three goals in the first ten minutes of the half which ultimately decided the game.

Two minutes after the restart, Maidenhead scored a third when another pass from Chapman found Borkovic down the right and he put over a cross into the six yard box where Gibson reacted quickest to turn the ball into the net.

However, two minutes later it was 3-2 when from a free kick, Oduguwa’s ball into the box wasn’t dealt with by Chapman and the ball was played back into the area, the offside flag stayed down and Ariku forced the ball into the net.

Cray now looked to get back on terms but Maidenhead almost scored again when Gibson turned a shot wide of the left post.

In the 54th minute came perhaps the key moment of the match when Maidenhead scored a fourth goal when Boyd ran forward and from 20 yards fired in a shot which Bennett almost got to but flew into the bottom left corner and it was 4-2 with barely time to pause for breath.

From here not surprisingly the game slowed down with Maidenhead taking a grip on the game but Cray kept trying to play in the correct way and never let their heads drop and battled on to the end.

Maidenhead were very positive going forward and almost scored a great goal when Boyd showed great skill to turn on the edge of the area and twist and shoot but Bennett made a spectacular save pushing the ball on to the crossbar and over.  Then Smith saw a shot parried away by Bennett at the near post.

In the 77th minute the game was ultimately decided with a fifth Magpies goal when substitute Lewis Boniface who had only been on for two minutes found space to place a superb angled drive into the bottom right corner.


Five minutes later, it was 6-2 when Boniface set up Borkovic who fired home from 12 yards which completed the scoring.


Despite the end result, Cray displayed their qualities on the night and were just beaten by a side which took their chances well and can be well pleased with their efforts during the cup run in what is the first year at this level for all these players.  By the time next season’s FA Youth Cup comes around they will be that bit more experienced and will be a handful next season that is for sure.


From all of the club well done to all the team for their efforts and representing Cray Wanderers so well with class, character, spirit, skill, talent and effort all things that will lead you well in the future.






Cray Wanderers:  Adam Bennett, William Amis (Capt.) (Chris Al Hassan, 71) Stefan Abatan, Jenyd Hoedoafia, Rhys Carew, Muqisa Hodasi (Tion Cudjoe, 64), Emmanuel Oduguwa, Palace Francis (Archie Daniels, 80), Max Gayle, Leslie Ariku, Akola Salami:

Subs:  Jake Parrot, Theo Foley, Kamar Tubibu


Booked:  Amis, Carew


Maidenhead United:  Fred Chapman, Taropafadzwa Chitepo, James Dirkin (Lucca Kersham, 87), Mohammed Bouzidi, Harrison Playle (Capt.), Adam Croker, Reece Smith, Brandon Curtis, Jack Gibson (Lewis Boniface, 75), Tommy Boyd, Marko Borkovic: Subs: Cole Gough, Michael Croker, Hosni Elarfa, Henry Pidgeon

Referee:  Simon Weston

Assistants:  George Maxwell, Dominic Mbanu 

 Att: 125