Back To Winning Ways For Blues
Grays kept themselves in the playoff hunt with this valuable victory against ten man Harrow writes The Mariner.
GRAYS ATHLETIC 3-2 HARROW BOROUGH
A double from Bradley Fortnum-Tomlinson helped Blues secure all three points against close rivals Harrow Borough but it wasn’t plain sailing following a late comeback from the West London men despite losing their keeper for most of the game.
Blues made bright a start with Jaoa Carlos threatening the visitors goal leading to a scrambled clearance but it was the visitors who had the first sight of goal Okerrabirhe firing straight at Tom Hadler.
The visitors were employing a physical approach picking up two yellow cards in the first ten minutes as Blues pace up front left them vulnerable to quick counterattacks.
With neither side establishing any measure of dominance the game burst into life in the 25th minute
when visiting keeper Granger was controversially red carded following a foul on DD Dumaka.There appeared no danger when Granger rolled the ball out ,the alert Dumaka blocked the keeper's kick but was brought down as he advanced on goal.The referee brandished a red deeming the keeper to be the last man which drew lengthy protests from the visitors,with no replacement keeper Taylor donned the green jersey.
Blues probably thought the sending off would give them an ideal opportunity to test the rooky keeper but just three minutes after the sending off they found themselves a goal down.Blues gave the ball away needlessly Harrow took advantage breaking quickly Charles-Smith sent in a low drive which Hadler could only push out into the path of Okerrabinhe who made no mistake sweeping the ball home.
Undeterred Blues set about looking for an equaliser ,Tomlinson, Carlos and Correy Davidson were using their pace to outstrip the visitors back four and it worked in the 35th minute when Carlos fed Tomlinson with just Taylor to beat he made no mistake rolling the ball home.
Harrow still looked menacing going forward Charle-Smith looked lively.goalscorer Okerrabihre saw his snapshot fly just wide but it was Blues who created the more chances, Dumaka side footed wide and then Tomlinson had a golden opportunity to add to his total breaking clear his effort beating 7 and sliding wide of the upright.
The second period started with Blues firmly on top again using the pace of their front runners Dumaka had a great chance to put Blues in front only to side foot wide.
Tomlinson though made no mistake in the 51st minute again finding himself clear on goal he slotted the ball past the onrushing Taylor,the same player had a similar opening minutes later but this time missed the target.
To their credit Harrow stuck to their task a dangerous cross from fullback Dobson just failed to find the head of Charles-Smith.
After several near misses Blues increased their advantage in the 68th minute,Dumaka picked up the ball outside the visitors box moving forward making space he fired into the top corner as Taylor stood rooted to the spot.
Chances came and went as Blues looked to increase their advantage ,Luke Ifill saw his shot blocked after good work by Davidson,sub Glen Little was unlucky from a free kick .
Blues still had to be alert ten man Harrow to their credit were still looking to get back in the game.Substitute Newman in particular was sending in some searching crosses but the new centre back pairing of Sean Cronin and Jake Huthchings managed to hold firm that was until the 80th minute when sub Montel Angyemang gave the ball away on the half way line the ball was played out to Charles-Smith turning inside he drove the ball past the stranded Hadler to make it a nerve-wracking last ten minutes for the Blues fans.
Davidson did have a golden opportunity to add to Blues tally using his space he broke clear of the visitors rearguard and with only Taylor to beat he shot straight at the keeper and the chance was gone.
Almost immediately Harrow broke forward with Newman outpacing Ifill cutting inside he sent in a low drive saved gratefully by Hadler,it was to be the last real chance of an eventful afternoon.