Blues Winless Run Continues
Blues crashed to their second defeat in as many days against a resurgent Kingstonian writes The Mariner.
Grays shipped another three goals at Mill Field on Friday night and just like the defeat at Leatherhead on Wednesday the visitors were gifted victory due to some woeful defending .Blues enjoyed a good deal of possession but the final pass was just not there.
One can point to the absence and drive of skipper Kenny Beaney and the presence and goals of DD Dumaka but that does not explain the error strewn performances in the last four league encounters.
Blues welcomed new loanee signing from Leyton Orient midfielder Montel Agyemang to the starting eleven otherwise Manager Mark Bentley retained the same starting eleven from Wednesdays reversal to Leatherhead.
Blues could have opened the scoring in the first minute a quick punt forward from Lamar Johnson into the path of Bradley Fortnum-Tomlinson saw the striker outpace Kingstonian defender Page and unleash a fierce volley that fizzed past Tolfreys post.
This let off stung Kingstonian into action as they took the game to Grays quickly closing down the Blues back four, Jay Leader was caught in possession allowing Dean a shot on goal deflected for a corner.
Minutes later Leader was again dispossed but to his relief Johnson came to his rescue,Blues defence was in disarray again when they failed to close down Dean who's shot on the run cannoned off the post.A deep cross from Sweeney was headed wide as Blues defenders stood and watched.
A rare home attack produced a corner,Jey Siva's kick finding Leaders head but he failed to hit the target.Neat interplay between Siva and Tomlinson saw the ball played into Agyemang who curled a shot which Tolfrey did well to collect.
After a shaky start Blues were seeing more of the ball with Agyemang showing some neat touches,he played in Joao Carlos who's shot deflected for a corner.From James Stevens kick Leader again rose highest with the same end result missing the target.
Both sides were probing for an opening and it was the visitors who were to get their noses in front in the 30th minute.A deep cross was played into the box headed away from danger wide on the Blues left,Siva appeared to have the danger covered shutting down Bennet but was cleverly nutmegged by the winger he layed the ball into the path of Bennet Sean Cronin failed to close him down allowing him to hit a low drive past Johnson.
Blues reacted well and began to press the visitors goal but too many time the final ball was found wanting either being under hit or too heavy allowing the visitors to intercept.When the ball did find a Blues attacker in a good position they failed to get a shot on target electing to take the extra touch.Stevens and Tomlinson both had had a sight on target and both times failed to pull the trigger.
Roman Michael-Percil continuing his good form looked dangerous every time he was on the ball he made a penetrating run into the visitors box slipping the ball inside to Tomlinson but he failed to hit the target.
Blues looked much sharper at the start of the second period,Agyemang playing the ball into the path of Carlos who should have done better when he lashed the ball into the side netting.
Percil was seeing a lot of the ball looking to be the one Blues player who could unlock a stubborn Kingstonian rearguard,another searching run found him in on goal but he failed to get a shot away. However he was to get his reward in the 57th minute, Carlos did well out wide he cut the ball back to the unmarked Percil who made no mistake drilling the ball past Tolfrey to give Blues a lifeline.
Up until the goal Kingstonian looked content to defend their one goal advantage but following Blues equaliser they upped the tempo and started to look the more dangerous side going forward helped considerably by Blues giving away a number of silly free kicks.Kingstonian sub Kempston was introduced and he was to have a major influence on the game.
Blues continued to probe for an opening with Agyemang looking increasingly effective he fed the lively Percil who's run and shot produced a corner,Siva's ball finding the head of Leader but again the ball missed the target.
The visitors were awarded a free kick out wide and Page was allowed a free header but fortunately for the Blues the ball sailed wide.
The game by now was getting stretched as both sides searched for a goal and it was Kempston for Kingstonian who broke the deadlock,on 75 minutes Cronin gave the ball away cheaply on the half way line allowing the visitors to break quickly the ball eventually found Kempston who's shot although lacking any real power beat Johnson who should have done better.
With the game slipping away Mason Bloomfield entered the fray to make his debut .Blues at this stage began to push the visitors back moving the ball out wide but more often than not the final ball was not finding its intended target.
With just under ten minutes to go Glen Little came on and made an immediate impact using all his experience he played some penetrating balls but the visitors managed to clear the ball each time.
In the 90th minute with Blues pushing everyone forward Kingstonians hit them on the counterattack and it was Kempston again who caused the damage cutting inside his shot again lacked power but it was enough to beat Johnson and consign Blues to their third defeat of the season.
A disappointing evening and four games league without a win for the Blues gives Mark Bentley his first managerial test but there is no need for wholesale changes as in general the team is still creating chances up front.If the individual errors and decision making in vital areas can be addressed then Blues should be able to continue their good start to the season.
Next up is a local derby against East Thurrock,one would expect both sides to use this game to introduce squad and reserve players as both sides have important FA cup ties on Saturday.Kick off at Mill Filed 7.45 Wednesday.