City Under 13s Best Performance Of The Season
By Graham Hadler
Grant's brace not quite enough for deserved share of the points
Canterbury City U.13s produces their best all round performance of the season against unbeaten title contenders Thanet Colts in the autumn sunshine and heat at Dane Park.
It looked like it might be a difficult match in the hot conditions as Thanet took a two goal lead after 12 minutes when firing in a top corner free kick from 20 yards following their opener 5 minutes earlier that saw indecision in the City defence to allow the Thanet striker to finish tidily past keeper Jake Richards.
Richards kept City’s hopes up with a good save but minutes later another quality free kick looked to have the game sown up for Thanet at 3-0.
However, galvanised by another Richards save tipping athletically over the bar, City pushed on and when Salman Cody-Yediayli played in Kayden Grant 25 yards out the busy midfielder stuck from distance for City to dip the ball over the keeper and into the back of the net.
With the match nicely poised at the break City certainly had something to play for and Thanet knew they were in a tough match.
City started the second period brightly with Cody-Yediayli going close and Thanet certainly not having their own way with the impressive work rate of the City players closing them down all over the pitch.
Billy Bicheno, Calum Hewitt, Leo Pynn battled tirelessly with Theo Hoyle and Oliver Hadler throwing themselves in the way of everything as errors started to creep into Thanet’s impressive passing game.
When the ball was played into striker Kadir Rencber on the halfway line he found left winger Isaac Hodge who beat his man brilliantly to drive for the edge of the box. Hodge’s cross now found the advanced Rencber who held off the close attention of three Thanet defenders to roll the ball to the on-rushing Grant who placed his shot past the Thanet keeper for his second of the match.
With open discord now in the Thanet ranks they looked to their big strong midfield to impose their game back on City where Noyal Shine displayed great bravery and maturity to protect the City back line.
City still looked to their willing runners on the break with Charlie Rabenda always looking to cause the Thanet back line problems with his bustling direct running.
At the final whistle Thanet’s relief was there for all to see that they’d maintained their 100% record but had been shaken by the determination and spirit of City’s fightback that probably deserved a share of the points.