Blues Held By Brentwood
Another draw as Blues are frustrated by Brentwood
Blues are fast becoming draw specialists with their 14th stalemate of the season at Brentwood on Thursday evening. Once again they failed to convert a plethora of opportunities into goals, after dominating possession and territory particularly in the second period. Conceding an early goal, they restored parity courtesy of an Ade Cole strike and went on to conjure up enough chances to come away with three points, but a combination of desperate defending and poor finishing denied them the victory.
Blues made a sluggish start to the evening, failing to show any urgency allowing Brentwood dominance in the middle of the park, where they found time and space to build their attacks. It was no surprise then when the home side edged in front in the 7th minute, Blues failure to pick up runners in midfield was the catalyst, the ball was shifted out wide to the unmarked Alfie Hilton, who drilled the ball into the bottom corner past the exposed Lamar Johnson. Town looked sharper and eager for the ball at this stage, in contrast to a disjointed and ponderous Blues, who squandered what possession they managed to garner with wayward passing and control.
Somewhat fortuitously Blues were given a lifeline in the 14th minute , good work down the right flank saw Cole given too much space on the edge of the box, taking a touch he sent in an effort, which took a deflection wrong footing Tim Brown in the home goal to bring the scores level. Minutes later Joao Carlos had an opportunity to put Blues in front, seizing on a loose ball he powered past his marker and just as he was about to pull the trigger was dispossessed and the chance was lost.
Spurred on by the goal, Blues showed more urgency wrestling control in midfield with skipper Stan Muguo a leader who kept the whole operation functioning with his strong presence and calm consistent covering and passing. Tommy Wade engineered an opening for Kieran Bishop saved by Brown, Cole then funnelled a pass into Carlos who outfoxed James Pugsley, firing a cross shot which drew a fine save from Brown turning the ball behind.
Town despite the pressure exerted on them didn't crumble and could have gone in front when Tony Stokes got on the end of a cross, seeing his effort take a deflection and miss the target. At the other end a Wade snap shot was saved and then a Brentwood break saw Johnson save comfortably from Brad Hunter.
In the dying minutes Carlos fed Cole, who saw his drive slide wide of the upright.
After the restart, early Blues pressure saw Cole denied in quick succession the ball blocked and hacked away. Not to be denied Blues kept foraging, Bishop set up Cole, striking the ball hard and low forcing Brown into a scrambling save. Town so nearly punished Blues, a free kick to the far post found Brendan Cavalier in acres of space, but he failed to hit the target sweeping the ball wide of the upright.
Cole was next to create an opening for Blues, running at a backtracking defence he flashed a low cross, which eluded all in a congested six yard box. A corner provided a rare opportunity for sub Joe Bruce hitting the ball first time seeing it flash just wide. It was all Blues now as Brentwood notably tired, but despite the pressure Blues could not construct a clear cut opening, too many times the final ball was delayed and lacked quality allowing Brentwood to funnel back and defend in depth.
Brentwood, when they did break free of their defensive shackles, looked dangerous on the break helped by some careless defending. Johnson almost handing them a gift goal when he completely missed a clearance, fortunately the opportunity was not capitalised on.
Cole had a golden opportunity to win the game when Bishop played him in, but he inexplicably missed the target. Cole then cleverly weaved his way to the byeline flashing another low cross which just eluded the head of Wade. Bishop had Blues last opportunity when a cross cum shot had Brown back pedalling to turn the ball over.
Blues then, not for the first time this season, having to settle for a share of the points after dominating for long periods of the game failing to clinically put away the many chances created. The game appeared to take a toll with Johnson ,Muguo and Glenn Poole sustaining injuries,let's hope they can remove in time to meet Dereham at Parkside on Saturday.
Johnson, Mahal, Folkes, Finneran (Bruce 57) Halle, Muguo ( Thompson 84),Cole, Poole (Cogan64), Bishop, Wade, Carlos
Subs not used Simmonds, Howett
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