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GRAYS ATHLETIC 1st TEAM - Match centre

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Grays Athletic
Sat 7 Jan 15:00 - The Ryman Football League - Premier Division Full time Attendance 202

Worthing Win Over Sorry Blues

Blues went down in another disappointing display writes the Mariner.

It's been a frustrating season for Blues loyal fans and no more so than this defeat against an efficient but not outstanding Worthing outfit,the visitors task was made easier when they were presented with all four goals in a display that was a far cry from Blues recent mini revival.Manager Jamie Stuart mentioned in his programme notes that the players had set high standards and grafted in recent weeks sadly none of these attributes were evident this afternoon .

Blues made two changes with Ryan Mahal back after injury and Lartey Sarpong replacing Harry Watkins in midfield.

Blues could have gone behind as early as the first minute when a dangerous cross into the box found the head of Bugiel,Amadou Tangara who had been presented with the player of the month before kickoff dived to his right to turn the ball behind for a corner.

Worthing enjoyed a good deal of possession in the opening stages with Hopkinson seeing plenty of the ball courtesy of some lax marking by the home side.A prime example of this came from a short corner allowing Sparks in acres of space to get a shot on target.

Blues first opportunity came in the 14th minute a deep cross from Jamie Mascoll found the head of Llheureux Menga who nodded down to Sarpong who saw his shot deflected behind it was a rare foray forward as Worthing continues to press for an opener.

Blues were not helping their cause with the quality of ball played out of defence too many times the ball was just played aimlessly forward allowing the visitors to build another attack and inviting further pressure .The one occasion a decent ball was played it found Kieron Bishop who easily outpaced central defender Willis with only keeper Fagan to beat he uncharacteristically failed to hit the target.

The visitors made Blues pay for the miss , firstly in a close call a long clearance from Fagan saw Bugiel bludgeon forward and rifle the ball towards goal Tangara doing well to save the shot but moments later in the 26th minute Dawes was allowed to run unchallenged laying the ball off to Hopkinson he drew a clumsy challenge from Luke Wilson a clear penalty duly dispatched by Dawes.

Worthing were playing a high line and catching Blues front men offside on numerous occasions negating any goalscoring opportunities although they did fashion an opportunity for Bishop which was deflected behind.

It was Worthing who had the final opportunity of the half when Dawes brought another fine save from Tangara diving to his right to turn his glancing header over .

HT 0-1

Blues forced a corner inside the opening minute of the half suggesting they were determined to get back into the game but that hope was quickly dashed in the 50th minute .Dawes penned in near the Blues corner flag and with no threat to the Blues goal was unnecessarily fouled,Rents delivered a dangerous free kick where Dawes stole in and glanced the ball past Tangara and into the bottom corner.The goal like so many this season was avoidable and made the Blues task all the more harder.

Dawes nearly added to his tally moments later when his goal bound shot was somehow cleared off the line by Mascoll.

Etienne Kababola replaced Menga and just as he had done at Staines on Monday he immediately made an impact providing pace in the final third,he did well to beat his marker pulling the ball back from the byeline into Sarpong who hooked the ball just wide of the upright.

Hopkinson nearly made it three when he lifted the ball over the advancing Tangara and agonisingly over the crossbar.The visitors didn't have to wait long though for their third and it was simplicity itself in the 67th minute a quick throw found Willis who had lost his marker and he struck the ball hard and high into the top corner.

The home side now had a mountain to climb a brief flurry flattered to deceive,sub Hornsley had a half chance saved by Fagan and then a free kick sailed harmlessly over ,Worthing were working hard to shut down the Blues midfield forcing them into misplaced and hurried passes unlike Blues who allowed the visitors time on the ball and not tracking off the ball runs.

Bishop who had chased down lost causes all afternoon was finally rewarded in the 89th minute when he received the ball inside the area turning quickly he gave Fagan no chance hitting a sweet strike into the bottom corner.Worthing were not finished however and it was a goal that summed up Blues performance a long high clearance seemed to pose no danger, Wilson appeared to have the ball covered but he made a hash of his clearance leaving Dawes clear to slot the ball past the exposed Tangara to complete his hat trick.

So a disappointing result and performance which leaves Blues rooted to the bottom and makes next weeks visit from Wingate and Finchley a must win game.It must be frustrating for the management team following some excellent performances in December and they will be looking for the same in the weeks to come to steady the ship .

Train with the Best - Win a training session with the England 6-a-side squad

Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

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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