Blues win through
By GAFC News
Grays progressed through to the Semi Final of the Robert Dyas Cup for the second year in succession on Tuesday night against a spirited Sudbury side
AFC Sudbury 0-3 Grays Athletic
Robert Dyas League Cup Quarter Final
Report from the Mariner
Mark Bentley took the opportunity to field a number of squad players with Lamar Johnson in goal, Luis Morrison-Derbyshire, Nathan Ferguson and Akwasi Marfo coming into the side.
On a heavy pitch Grays took the game to Sudbury forcing a corner in the first minute after GB Dumakas shot was turned behind by Johnson in the Sudbury goal, Nathan Ferguson was unlucky when his drive cannoned off the post , Jey Siva and Joao Carlos were combining well down the left flank causing Sudbury real problems and from one of Siva's crosses Ferguson was again unlucky when his side foot fell just wide of the post.
Sudbury were employing a more direct approach but Jay Leader was looking commanding at the back and dealt with any danger. Dumaka was denied what looked a goal bound effort when his lob over the advancing keeper bounced up against the underside of the bar and was scrambled away.
The Blues pace up front was causing Sudbury real problems with Marfo looking lively, he was unlucky when a shot through a crowd of players was well saved by the home keeper. Lamar Johnson did well to collect a deflected cross under pressure as Sudbury came into the game more as Grays were guilty of giving the ball away cheaply.
In the 40th minute Lamar Johnson again did well to claim a cross under heavy pressure ,in the resultant melee Sudbury forward Yiga appeared to butt the Grays keeper and was shown a red card ,he showed his disapproval by grabbing the official Mr Cooper which could see him receive a lengthy ban.
Blues dominated the opening half but were unable to turn that pressure into goals, although it must be said they were more willing now to shoot when an opportunity presented itself.
There was a familiar pattern to the start of the second half with Grays pressurising the home defence, Dumaka saw his effort slide just past the post a moment later. A searching cross from Carlos was wasted as Dumaka lost possession when about to strike. Aaron Best's then had a 35 yard drive gathered comfortably by Johnson.
Sudbury to their credit were still causing problems for the Blues, Aaron Best did well with a last ditch saving tackle on winger Kemp as he closed in on the visitors goal. Ollie Berquez was beginning to pull the strings in midfield for the the home side as Grays again tended to give the ball away cheaply.
Joel Nouble was introduced at the expense of Nathan Ferguson and he was instrumental in the Blues opening goal as he laid the ball back for Marfo to hit home following a scramble in the box, minutes later Dumaka should have done better when one on one with the keeper but Johnson saved well. Carlos then hit a cross shot which whistled across the area.
Lamar Johnson did well when a Sudbury free kick looked to be heading goal wards as the visitors looked to get back in the game. Bentley replaced Carlos on 75 minutes and he made an immediate impact with a searching cross field run. Shortly after the Blues increased their lead when Dumaka netted following a good run into the Sudbury box.
Blues wrapped up the tie in the 89th minute when Kenny Beaney's floated free kick evaded forwards and defenders alike and nestled in the back of the net.
So Grays maintain their good form under manager Bentley and look forward to their second Semi Final appearance in this competition .
Saturday see the Blues travel to Park Lane to meet Canvey in the league who have proved to be a difficult nut to crack over the last few seasons but such is their new found confidence they will relish the opportunity to reverse their fortunes.