Whitstable Town Under 18’s 0 Cray Wanderers Under 18’s 1

FA Youth Cup 1st Round 

Whitstable Town’s Under 18’s ventured into the FA Youth Cup on Thursday night versus Cray Wanderers and very much played their part in an entertaining match.

Both sides from the off were clearly out to win the game and played some great attacking football.  Early on Whitstable closed Cray down at every opportunity with their Defence marshalled well by Rob Towne and Brandon Kerr sniffing out Cray’s attack.  Cray were largely left to play the long ball as they could not break down the flanks, Jack Clements at left back in fine form and Town’s Keeper, Harry Doona looking in confident mood.

At the other end, Town created two or three good chances with some strong attacking football. Lewis King in the middle coming close, as well as his midfield partner Dan Packer, trying to force the play.  In fact, Cray at times struggled to contain the Whitstable attack, Tom Bines hitting the side netting and other shots wide from Connor Rochester and Lewis Fitchie, who was having a strong game down the left side. The half time score being 0-0 with both teams playing their part.

The second half started with Cray starting stronger with their attack pushing for the first goal but once again the Reds defended resolutely.  Unfortunately Whitstable lost one of their centre halves, Brandon Kerr, due to a blow to his head and a substitution had to be made with Callum Reynolds coming on. Whitstable regrouped but when a header out in the 65th minute found a Cray striker he made no mistake and found the bottom corner of the net.

Whitstable battled on and continued to match Cray around the pitch looking for the equaliser.  Several changes were made with 10 minutes to go, with Sam Hudson and Ricardo Lammy sent on to find the goal for the hard working Tom Bines and Jimmy Lambert.

Chances were created, but alas, the boys could not find the net and with the final whistle blown Cray came out 1-0 winners. The Town players should be very proud of their performance.  Each and every one of them played their part and on another day could have found themselves in the next round.

Whitstable’s Management Team came out in force to support, encourage and watch the players development as First Team Assistant Manager Richard Langley, Reserves Manager Bob Reardon, Youth Development Manager Ian Grieves & Technical Director David Fairclough watched on.