LONDON SENIOR CUP ROUND ONE - 9 NOV 2023 - ATT 55
CRAY VALLEY (PM) 1 BALHAM 4
Goals: CV - Eyin 20
B - Fiddes 9, Knight 52 OG, Osaji 57, David 64
With the first team's continued involvement in both the Emirates FA Cup and Isuzu FA Trophy competions it was the young Millers, who have performed admirably in the Isthmian U118 Youth League, that represented the club in this London Senior Cup first round tie. No easy task against step 5 opponents who currently sit 5th in the Cherry Red Combined Counties Premier South Division.
Valley fell behind in the 9th minute when Alec Fiddes executed a fine finish lobbing the ball over Aidan Wicks in goal from out wide. However Valley were not daunted and quickly started to impress with their passing game, equalising in the 20th minute with a well executed team goal. Playing out from the back the ball worked its way to Obinna Igwe whose ball to Malachy Turner was thoughtfully headed into the path of Emmanuel Eyin who finished well.
For the remainder of the half it was Valley who were in the ascendancy and certainly held their own against physically bigger and more experienced opponents. Eyin saw his header from Turners cross saved by the keeper and away for a corner and an Alex Jones shot just wide were two notable efforts in the opening half.
Balham upped their game after the interval and were more direct which paid dividends with three goals in a 12 minute period which took the wind out of the young Millers sails and ensured a comfortable win. An unfortunate own goal in the 52nd minute was followed five minutes later by a quality finish from 20 yards out by Nathan Osaji and in the 64th minute Balham captain Dan David scored their fourth and final goal of the evening.
Around the hour mark a tough challenge saw Victor Damyanov suffer an injury which forced him to leave the field and I believe was taken to hospital with a gash in his leg, we wish him a speedy recovery. Wicks in the Millers goal made a fine save in the 75th minute to ensure there was no further scoring. Manager Graham Knight will have been pleased with his players efforts in what was always going to be an uphill task. They certainly impressed in defeat and many felt the score line flattered the visitors.
Millers: Wicks, Knight, Hutchings, Flockton, Woods (C), Damyanov (Corner 61), Gilchrist, Jones, Turner, Igwe (Poole 80), Eyin (Chukwujekwu 67), Subs not used: Devile, Egharevba