Today the U16’s KYL team travelled away to Charlton to play Erith & Belvedere in the second round of the Kent County Cup. This fixture was played in near gale force conditions, which prevented either team from playing attractive football. It was impossible on occasions, to second guess where the ball may land. However this was just one of those days that you had to work hard for each other and to make your own luck.
The game started brightly with Toby’s boys challenging for every ball and taking the game to our Selkent opponents. Strachan was cleverly playing in the hole behind our centre forward and was causing the home team problems, with his defence splitting passes. Suddenly on the seventh minute Strachan played a fine diagonal pass in between two defenders, for the whippet Giovagnoli to latch onto. Giovagnoli still had a lot to do, as he was being rapidly closed down and the wind was pulling the ball away from the goal. However the little winger showed great footwork and coolly dispatched his shot back across the penalty area for the Oaks first goal. 1-0
Straight from the kick off our midfield began chasing our opponents down and refused to give them any time on the ball. Strachan the magician was again pulling the strings, with a number of cleverly disguised passes. Suddenly on the tenth minute Strachan cut the ball back to McCarthy who was on the edge of the area, when he fired his shot beyond the advancing goalkeeper for the Oaks second goal. 2-0
Credit must go to Erith and Belvedere as they battled hard to stay in the game. The Oaks midfield was led by their Captain Charlie Watkins who played alongside the talented Burden. On either flank we had the hard working Della Valle and Giovagnoli. Playing just behind the main striker was Callum Strachan, with our forward line led by the goal a game McCarthy.
On the 35th minute almost directly from a corner, Watkins headed the ball goal bound which the opposing defender could only head back out. However Travers was in close attendance and he powerfully headed the ball into our opponents net to make it 3-0.
The second half couldn’t come quick enough for the supporters, as not only had they had to endure the high winds, but it was now starting to turn cold. Harry Earls who had played the first half in goal was replaced by Callum Wilkins. The majority of the second half saw the Oaks play at a far higher tempo and they were permanently camped in our opponents half. On the 70th minute after some clever wing play by Della Valle, he played in Watkins who unleashed a powerful shot from distance to make it 4-0.
Toby made some more changes and brought on the trickery of Sullivan to play on the wing whilst Earls went to centre back with the beast Travers being given his debut up front. Earls was not fazed at playing in his new position and was being called upon quickly to make some crucial headers and challenges. The wingbacks of Baille and McMenamin were solid in defence and were causing havoc with their attacking wing play. Wolfe and Travers together cleared up any threats before they could gather momentum and our goal keepers Wilkins and Earls both played with great authority.
On the 75th minute McCarthy who was now playing on the wing, played a cheeky little back heel onto the forward running Watkins who dispatched his shot to make it 5-0.
This was yet another good win by Toby and his boys under very difficult conditions. It is always great to come away with a clean sheet and we look forward to playing Thamesmead Town FC in the next round.