WHYTELEAFE 0 CRAY VALLEY PM 0 (3-2 ON PENS). CHURCH ROAD.
FA TROPHY 2nD ROUND QUALIFYING. Attendance – 227.
A second weekend in a row that we welcomed the visit of Cray Valley PM to Church Road after the 2-2 draw in the league last Saturday, attention turned to the FA Trophy Second Round Qualifying this time around. Leafe gave a few players a deserved rest with Simeon Dennis, Ryan Atkinson, Hamd Kanu, Javen-Scott Palmer, Antonio Walker-Barth and Valentino Carpene all going into the starting lineup. This tweet by the opposition – “@CrayValleyPM: 33| how are we not ahead!?” was a fair enough reflection of the first half with Cray Valley having plenty of chances to take the lead. They hit the crossbar from a freekick after just 1 minute into the game and had most of the early possession. Helge Orome had one of Leafe’s few chances in the game after 12 minutes, firing over the bar from the edge of the box. The away team had a glorious opportunity to go ahead in the 33rd minute with the ball crossed in but their number 9 failed to hit the target heading it back across goal and wide. 2 great saves in 2 minutes from Leafe goalkeeper Tyler McCarthy kept the scoreline at 0-0, first getting down quickly to palm a shot away and then a save with his foot. Courtney Clarke went close with a free kick 8 minutes after the restart, the second half was a bit more evenly matched than the first half but Cray Valley failed to create any clear cut chances. Leafe were forced into playing the remainder of the game with 10 players as Ethon Archer limped off and all 3 substitutions had already been made. Cray Valley had one more chance right at the end with the ball falling to their striker but didn’t quite get a good enough connection on it and it went straight at Tyler McCarthy. With no extra time being played, it was straight to a penalty shootout.
Leafe goalkeeper was to prove to be the hero as he saved Cray Valley’s first two penalties rounding off a great game for Tyler with important saves in the game too. Captain Helge Orome stepped up to convert the first penalty for Leafe, Daniel Hogan and Javen-Scott Palmer also converted their spot kicks and so it was a 3-2 penalty shootout win for Whyteleafe and they go through to the next round with the draw being published at 1pm on Monday 19th October!