Beaney grabs a point for the Blues
Grays maintained their unbeaten run at Champion Hill on Saturday writes The Mariner
Grays maintained their unbeaten run at Champion Hill on Saturday writes The Mariner but were probably disappointed they didn't come away with all three points such was their dominance especially in the second half .The game however was marred by some officious refereeing with both the Blues and Dulwich reduced to ten men despite the game being played in a good spirit with no reckless challenges from either side.
Mark Bentley named an unchanged eleven for the sixth time this season as the Blues looked to continue their excellent start to the season.
From the kickoff Luke Ifill played in Joao Carlos but Wilson in the home goal was quick to intercept.
The first real chance for either side came in the 5th minute when DD Dumarka ran at the home back four but his weak effort was easily gathered by Wilson.
Blues looked comfortable in the early stages controlling the midfield with Kenny Beaney and James Stevens orchestrating proceedings as they camped in the Dulwich half.
The first real chance for the home side followed a mistake in the visitors defence but Lamar Johnson did well diving to his left to collect the ball.
Grays did have the ball in the net in the 11th minute when Dumaka did well down the left and struck a low cross turned in by Bradley Fortnum-Tomlinson but he was adjudged offside by the assistant Referee.
Against the run of play Dulwich went ahead following a Blues error,Carew latched onto the ball and ran unchallenged striking the ball low into the bottom corner past Johnson who would have been disappointed at not getting a hand to the ball.
Grays responded well forcing a corner straight from the restart Jay Leader should have scored when he rose unchallenged in the box but his powerful header cannoned off the bar and over.
Although the Blues were having the lions share of the game they tended to overplay in and around the box allowing Dulwich to nullify many of the visitors forward forays.
Grays picked up where they left off in the first half Dumarka fired in a shot only to see his effort deflected for a corner.
Shortly after came the incident which could have seen the Blues down to ten men,a quick Dulwich break was intercepted by Johnson who had raced out of his area and appeared to handle the ball but much to the relief of the traveling Blues fans a yellow card was issued when on another day it could easily have been red.
After this let off Grays took the game to Dulwich and really began to dominate matters they had a big appeal for a penalty when a fierce Stevens shot was deflected for a corner via what looked like a Dulwich hand resulting in a booking for Leader who protested too vehemently.
It was all Grays now as they probed for the equaliser,Ifill did well down the right firing in a wicked low cross which evaded defender and forward alike.Carlos won a freekick on the edge of the home box,from the resultant kick Jey Siva saw his effort saved by Wilson.
Dulwich were by now reduced to the occasional breakaways all of which were dealt with comfortably by the Blues rearguard.
Wilson then fumbled the ball behind from a Carlos shot,from the corner the ball eventually fell to Sean Cronin his clever cross was met by Dumaka but his glancing header was just wide with Wilson beaten.
Dulwich were defending desperately as the Blues threw everything at them they did well to scramble the ball away when it appeared bound for the back of the net.
Blues brought on Roman Percil and Lamar Reynolds hoping their pace would open up the home defence.
As the minutes ticked away manager Bentley brought on Glen Little in a last throw of the dice pushing Cronin and Leader forward to try and get the equaliser.The task however was made all the harder when Dumaka was harshly given a second yellow when he appeared to slip after firing in a shot and was adjudged to have fouled Waldren who also saw red moments later to reduce both sides to ten men.
Despite this setback Blues continued to pressure Dulwich but they were thankful to Little when he made a wonderful tackle to deny Willock who looked to be clear on goal.
As the game moved into time added on and Blues fans were resigned to their teams first defeat of the campaign Wilson sliced a clearance into touch.From the throw the ball was headed on by Leader allowing Beaney to dart between the keeper and defender and he gratefully nodded the ball home to bring the Blues their well deserved 95th minute equaliser.
There was barely time for the restart when the Referee blew for time to bring to an end what had been a thoroughly entertaining game.
To a man the Blues put in another professional performance this afternoon with the superb playing surface suiting their passing game.Kenny Beaney in particular was outstanding and must have relished scoring against his former club.Critics would say maybe the Blues need to be more clinical in the final third,something Mark Bentley is no doubt aware of and will be working on on the training ground,but fourteen points from a possible eighteen tells it's own story.
Blues entertain Brentwood at Mill Field on Monday afternoon who will be buoyed by a good win against Leatherhead but Bentley's team equally will be full of confidence and will be looking to maintained their unbeaten start to the season.
Team Ratings; Johnson 7,Ifill 7,Leader 8,Cronin 8,Siva 7,Carlos 7,Beaney 9,Stevens 7,Ferguson 7
Subs.Reynolds 7,Percil 7,Little 7,