Blues Frozen Out At Enfield
Two second half strikes were enough to to consign Blues to another defeat.
Another week another defeat and another case of avoidable errors costing Grays in a game where yet again they matched their opponents at times but defensive frailties allowed their opponents to claim the points.
The game kicked of on a cold crisp afternoon and it was Enfield who had the first opportunity inside five minutes with a free kick on the edge of the Blues box but it failed to beat the defensive wall and was cleared from danger. Campbell the hosts wide man was seeing plenty of the ball in the early stages testing Ryan Mahal at every opportunity .
Etienne Kababola was looking lively so it was no surprise when he was the first to test the hosts stopper McDonald, picking the ball up wide on the right and then cutting inside but his shot lacked the power and was saved comfortably.
Enfield were getting the better of the early skirmishes and beginning to find their rhythm, a dart forward by the lively Devyne saw him feed Ottaway who glanced his header over,moments later they came close to opening the scoring when a cross flashed across Blues area where Campbell just failed to make contact at the far post .
Blues found chances difficult to come by but they did have an opportunity when McDonald clearing his area made a hash of his kick and the ball fell to Luke Wilson just inside the Enfield half,quickly seeing the keeper out of position he tried a speculative shot the ball sliding wide of the unguarded goal.
The hosts continued to probe for an opening with Campbell looking to be the likely provider, he fired in a cross which Amadou Tangara did well to push out only to find the combatiive Shulton who failed to hit the target firing wildly over.
The firm playing surface was making control difficult for both teams play was scrappy at times and clearcut chances at a premium but the hosts were asking most of the questions . Blues held firm maintaining their shape and closing down the space,Wilson was looking commanding at the back for winning the arial duels and key tackles.
Tangara had to be alert when he rushed from his line to hack clear from the marauding Devyne and then saving well from Campbell,at the other end Kieron Bishop fired in from 25 yards McDonald saving at the second attempt.
Enfield should have gone in front as the half was coming to an end that they didn't was due to a point blank save from Tangara denying DevyneI.It was then Bishop who had a golden opportunity to put Blues in front in the dying seconds connecting with a cross but he failed to get enough purchase on his header sending the ball over the top.
Although not creating a lot of opportunities in the opening period Blues would have been satisfied with their first half efforts restricting their hosts goal scoring opportunities .
Blues started the half with a lot more purpose Mahal had an effort saved and then Kababola embarked on a mazy run but his shot lacked power,Joao Carlos produced a good run and cross finding Bishop who prodded the ball goal wards seeing the ball deflected for a corner,Nathan Campbell failed to hit the target from the kick.
With Blues pushing forward Enfield were able to exploit the space behind breaking quickly and winning a succession of corners which Blues dealt with comfortably.From one corner the ball was cleared out to Kababola deep in Blues half he embarked on a run which took him to edge of the Enfield box where his effort on goal whistled over.
The hosts gradually ramped up the pressure causing Blues some anxious moments as they battled to keep their goal intact but in the 57th minute the pressure at last told. It was another goal typical of Blues season there seemed to be no danger when a ball was played down the left when with a rush of blood to the head Tangara sprinted off his line but failed to block the ball allowing the cross to find Devyne who rolled the ball into the net.
Once again Blues conceded a goal at a crucial stage of the game through an individual error just when they were beginning to frustrate their hosts and looking likely they could grind out a result.
Buoyed by the goal Enfield upped the tempo and pegged Blues back without increasing their advantage, Blues continued to search for the equaliser Kababola receiving the ball from a corner tried to curl the ball past McDonald who managed to gather comfortably.It was the hosts though that were exerting more pressure,Tangara was kept busy saving from Parcell .
The 71st minute saw Enfield increase their advantage and once again it came courtesy of a defensive error,following a free kick the ball was played out wide and hesitation between keeper and defender allowed Cook who's run had not been picked up to steal in and slot the ball home.
Blues now had a mountain to climb but they failed to trouble the home defenders in the closing minutes and could have conceded a third when their opponents were awarded a penalty with just a minute remaining following a rash challenge from Wilson,Tangara saved the defenders blushes with a fine save from the resultant spot kick.
A disappointing afternoon then in a game where although not at their best Blues could have earned at least a point if only they could have cut out the costly errors.
Next week see Blues travel to high flying Bognor Regis Town where they will need to be absolutely on their game if they are to come away with any kind of result.