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GRAYS ATHLETIC - Match centre

Grays Athletic
Unknown (48')
Full time
L Menga (69')
Sat 13 Aug 15:00 - The Ryman Football League - Premier Division Attendance 207

Blues And Tanners Finish All Square

Battling Blues came so close at Fetcham Grove writes The Mariner.

When Jamie Stuart was appointed Blues manager he stated that he wanted a set of players who would be committed to the cause and fight to the end of every game.Well that's just what he got in the season's opening encounter against Leatherhead.

Blues gave debuts to keeper Mikheil Kharshildze and striker Lheureux Menga in a line up that included just one player,Jake Hutchings from last season.

Leatherhead made the early running bringing a sharp save from Khashildze after just three minutes.

80 photos

Blues went close moments later when Adeyinke Cole jinked inside laying the ball into the path of Siao Blackwood he just failed to get good contact on the ball seeing it slide harmlessly wide.

The visitors then enjoyed a long period of possession pinning Blues back in their own half,they did get the ball in the net on 16 minutes but it was disallowed for offside.

Blues were restricted to the occasional break as they soaked up constant Tanners pressure,although Aaron Wickham came close with a speculative drive.

Former Blue Barry Cogan was orchestrating proceedings for the home side but despite the pressure the Blues goal remained intact thanks in part to keeper Kharshiladze who commanded his area taking the pressure off of his defenders.

HT 0-0

Leatherhead went ahead just three minutes into the second period. A Blues attack broke down on the edge of the Tanners box, the ball was cleared out to Cogan his astute pass found Adeloye in space and he made no mistake crashing the ball past the exposed Kharshiladze.

The Blues fans must have feared the worst as the home side exerted more pressure, but a double substitution by manager Stuart, himself coming on for what looked like an injury to Hafeez Sunasi and a tactical change with Daniel Ajakiye replacing Blackwood changed the course of the match.

Stuart despite the advancing years showed all his old fighting spirit encouraging his young charges and winning the vital tackles.Ajakiye's pace out wide allowed Blues to begin to put the home side under some pressure.

Harry Watkins replaced Wickham on 66 minutes and together with Cole they began to push the Blues forward.

It was Cole who started the move that brought the equaliser in the 69th minute . A searching cross field pass found Ajakiye,running onto the ball, he outpaced former Blue Jey Siva and whipped a low cross into the near post where Menga appeared to get a touch on the ball which went in off a Tanners defender.

Cole was again the provider when he played in David Fallah his goal bound effort was touched round the post by home keeper Taylor.

Clearly the home side's efforts had taken it's toll but they still looked dangerous going forward.They came close to snatching the winner in the dying minutes only to be denied by a stunning save from Kharshiladze.

Blues finished the game the fresher of the two sides and the final whistle brought to an end a tenacious fighting display much appreciated by the vociferous travelling Blues fans.

The Blues own "barmy army" certainly gave the team the support they deserved and was something which Jamie Stuart was anxious to harness.

Next up is AFC Sudbury at home on Wednesday evening.

Key moments

Goal Goal for Leatherhead
Goal Lheureux Menga scores for Grays Athletic

Videos and photos

80 photos


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69:00 Goal 1 - 1
Lheureux Menga scores for Grays Athletic
66:00 Sub Off
Arron Wickham is substituted off for Grays Athletic
66:00 Sub On
Harry Watkins is substituted on for Grays Athletic
53:00 Sub On
Daniel Ajakaiye is substituted on for Grays Athletic
53:00 Sub Off
Siao Blackwood is substituted off for Grays Athletic
50:00 Sub On
Jamie Stuart is substituted on for Grays Athletic
50:00 Sub Off
Hafeez Sanusi is substituted off for Grays Athletic
48:00 Goal 1 - 0
Goal for Leatherhead
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Leatherhead
  • Grays Athletic
  • 0
  • Goal 48:00'
  • Jamie Stuart Sub On 50:00'
  • Hafeez Sanusi Sub Off 50:00'
  • Daniel Ajakaiye Sub On 53:00'
  • Siao Blackwood Sub Off 53:00'
  • Harry Watkins Sub On 66:00'
  • Arron Wickham Sub Off 66:00'
  • Lheureux Menga Goal 69:00'

Team selection

 Kharshiladze,  Mikheil Kharshiladze, Mikheil
Pilbeam, George Pilbeam, George
Mascoll, Jamie Mascoll, Jamie
Wickham, Arron Wickham, Arron
Hutchings, Jake Hutchings, Jake
Sanusi, Hafeez Sanusi, Hafeez
Osei, Kwabena Osei, Kwabena
Cole, Adeyinka Cole, Adeyinka
Menga, Lheureux Menga, Lheureux
Fallah, David Fallah, David
Blackwood, Siao Blackwood, Siao

League round up

League table

# Team Pl Pts
18. Hendon 46 54
19. Burgess Hill Town 46 54
20. Merstham 46 53
21. Harrow Borough 46 53
22. Canvey Island 46 52
23. AFC Sudbury 46 46
24. Grays Athletic 46 38

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