Shot shy Blues no match for Hampton
Grays inconsistent form continued in a timid performance at the Beaveree writes The Mariner.
Hampton & Richmond Borough 3-1 Grays Athletic
Blues served up a another lacklustre display against Hampton and Richmond and but for the heroics of keeper Lamar Johnson the score could have been considerably more.It was a disappointing effort considering the encouraging outing at Hendon earlier in the week.
Grays started brightly enough playing with a strong wind at their backs they enjoyed the lions share of play in the early stages,Alex Addai winning a corner in the opening minutes.
A Blues free kick in a dangerous position was squandered when Tommy Cummings kick sailed harmlessly wide,it was to set the pattern for the what was to come as Grays conceded possession to Hampton throughout the game.
Johnson not for the last time in the afternoon came to Blues rescue doing well to punch clear under pressure from a dangerous cross which caught in the wind and hung in the air,Casey came close for the Beavers following a corner lobbing just over.
Blues were failing to take advantage of the wind at their backs with passes over hit allowing the home defence to clear comfortably.
Bradley Fortnum-Tomlinson broke quickly running at pace but failed to get a shot on target eventually overrunning the ball and losing possession.
Hampton were beginning to ask questions a deep cross into the Blues box deceived Johnson fortunately the ball dropped harmlessly wide of the post.Johnson then did well to snuff out another Hampton attack quickly setting up a Blues counter. But once again the move broke down allowing the fleet footed Kabamba a clear run on goal only to be denied by a great one footed block by the alert Johnson.Kabamba should have opened the scoring in another break firing wide with Johnson for once beaten.
Blues were still enjoying a deal of possession without any real penetration Hampton were content to sit on the edge of their box forcing Grays to play the ball across the park.Blues did come close though when Jay Leader just failed to connect with a Cummings free kick.
Cummings was to save the day at the other end when Leader was outmuscled by Kabamba he layed the ball into Federico with the goal at his mercy only a last ditch intervention by the Blues fullback prevented a certain goal.
The half saw Blues goal enjoying a charmed life with Beavers looking more threatening and willing to shoot on sight unlike the visitors who failed to get one shot at goal in the opening 45 minutes
Kicking of against the wind Blues pushed forward with Leader feeding Luke Ifill down the right beating his defender he floated the ball into the box but Hampton cleared comfortably.
The home side push forward using the strong wind at their backs they began to pressurise Grays,Cummings gave the ball away needlessly and then Beaney lost possession to Federico forcing Johnson to save his goal bound effort.
As the half wore on so the pressure built Kabamba capitalised on yet another loose ball and only a goal line clearance by Leader prevented a goal.
In a rare Blues break DD Dumaka glanced a header into the path of Tomlinson who in turn found Carlos but he was beaten to the ball by home keeper Smith.
Alex Addai who had a quiet game was replaced by James Stevens but the change failed to stem the tide.Johnson made a double save from Federico and then on 60 minutes a long ball forward split the Blues back four,Johnson rushed from his line but was beaten to the ball by Kabamba to put the hosts one up.
Blues first shot on goal came in the 66th minute,Dumaka won a header from a Grays freekick the ball dropped to Cummings but his effort lacked power and was easily gathered by Smith.
Tomlinson gave the ball away following a Blues attack Hampton broke quickly Sinclairs shot brought a corner punched clear by Johnson.Johnson again did well again to punch clear from another Beavers corner, at this stage it was the Blues keeper who was restricting the home side to just the one goal.
A Blues break brought a rare shot on target but again Montel Angyemangs' effort lacked power.
Roman Percil replaced Carlos and again following the substitution Hampton increased their lead .A deep free kick was headed on by Kabamba to Diarra who unchallenged made no mistake powering the ball past Johnson.
The second goal seemed to take what little fight there was out of Grays ,in the 89th minute Kabamba made it three with the simplest of goals beating the valiant Johnson.Blues did manage to get on the scoresheet with a scrappy consolation goal in injury time Dumaka getting on the end of a ball from Angyemang.
So a disappointing afternoon for the travelling Blues faithful in a game littered with errors and to some extent a lack of fight .Other results still leaves the Blues in the mix but many more performances like this one could see them in mid table or worse.
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