Chatham Town Youth 3 v 0 Cray Wanderers Youth
1-0 Dos Santos (16), 2-0 Dos Santos (30), 3-0 Pinto (78).
Chatham Town moved into the next round of the KitToFit Challenge Cup with an excellent victory against a battling Cray Wanderers side.
Although there were many good performances in Chatham’s victory they was a virtuoso performance from forward Luis Dos Santos who scored twice and kept the visiting defence on edge throughout the game.
Indeed it was Dos Santos who tested Cray keeper Adam Bennett with an early shot from the edge of the box that he gathered well at his feet. Shortly afterwards Dos Santos got free down the right and raced to the bye line before fizzing over a low cross that fell to De Niro Pinto whose shot on the turn flew over.
Cray had their first chance of the game on 5 minutes when Christopher Alhassan surged forward to the edge of the box before playing the ball into Akolawole Salami whose close range shot went narrowly wide as he was quickly closed down by home defenders.
Minutes later Jack Palmby’s throughball found the run down the right of Dos Santos who then cut into the box and hit a fierce drive that flashed across the face of goal and just wide of Bennett’s left hand post. Dos Santos then made space well on the edge of the box before hitting a powerful shot at Bennett.
Chatham took the lead on 16 minutes when Dos Santos curled a 25 yard right footed free kick around the Cray defensive wall and low to the right of the diving Bennett into the bottom corner of the net. A neat passing move from the home side then saw them go close to increasing their lead when a Tyler Juggins pass found the run down the right of Alfie Bates who then pulled the ball back to the edge of the box for the on-rushing Pamlby whose first time shot ran narrowly wide.
Palmby then had another effort fly just over before Chatham made it two on 30 minutes when Pinto played the ball up to Dos Santos on the edge of the box and he jinked one way and then the other creating space before rifling home an unstoppable left shot that beat a diving Bennett low to his left.
It might have been three on 34 minutes when Dos Santos sent over a deep corner from the right that fell to Pinto at the far post and he clipped the ball back for Palmby, who racing into the box saw his stooping header fly wide.
On 40 minutes a neat interchange between Oscar Pantry and Dos Santos saw Pantry play the ball down the right for Dos Santos who, spotting Pantry continuing his run into the box, whipped over a low cross that a sliding Pantry narrowly failed to get to.
In the final couple of minutes of the half Dos Santos twice tested Bennett with shots from the edge of the box that the busy Cray keeper saved well.
The second half continued with Chatham on the attack. Dos Santos had a 25 yard free kick fly just over before a deep left wing corner from Juggins found Nicky Hunt at the far post but his diving header flew wide.
Cray then hit the woodwork on 52 minutes when Max Gayle’s left wing cross struck the outside of Harvey Mills’s left hand post although the Chatham keeper had his post covered.
Cray’s Tion Cudjoe then turned well on the edge of the box before hitting a low shot that flashed narrowly wide. Chatham nearly made it three on 56 minutes when another good passing move saw Palmby find Bates whose throughball put Dos Santos in on goal but Bennett was quickly off his line to make a good close range block.
Just after the hour mark Cray’s Jake Parrott made a good run down the left to the bye line before hitting a fierce shot from an acute angle that flew into the side netting with Mills again getting his angles right covering his near post. An incisive pass from Dos Santos then put Pinto through on goal but Bennett was again quickly off his line to block his close range shot.
On 74 minutes an excellent pass from Bates put the tireless Palmby in on goal but his shot flew over with only Bennett to beat. However minutes later the home side made it three after Bates made a strong run into the box where his close range shot was well blocked by Bennett, the rebound flying out to Pinto who deservedly scored after his fine performance, firing the ball home low to the left of Bennett.
Into the dying moments of the game Dos Santos went close to completing his hat-trick but was thwarted three times by fine saves from Bennett.
The visitors almost got a consolation goal in stoppage time when Parrott again did well down the left before having his powerful shot deflected just over. From Parrott’s left wing corner the ball was headed backwards by defender Oliver Kent-Smith forcing Mills into a low save diving back to gather the ball on the line.