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Grays Athletic
Wed 25 Apr 19:45 - The Bostik Football League - North Division Full time Attendance 165


Blues produce another poor performance writes The Mariner

Blues disappointing end to the season continued with an abject display against bottom of the table Romford, the game was over as a competition with only 30 minutes played. Romford needing to win to keep their hopes alive of avoiding relegation to the Essex Senior League simply blew away a feeble Blues outfit who had no answer to their hosts blistering start to the encounter. Romford were gifted all three goals with yet another display of schoolboy defending. In contrast Blues were made to work hard for their goals but again like so many times this season they had enough chances in an improved second half to have at least shared the points. The great mystery is why a team who proved difficult to beat just a matter of weeks ago have now conceded fourteen goals in the last four games the majority of them handed on a plate to the opposition.

From the first whistle Boro'made their intentions clear playing with aggressive attacking intent leaving Blues nonplussed and chasing shadows. After just 8 minutes the hosts saw their quick start rewarded after winning three successive corners . Blues failed to pick up Carlos Djalo who received the ball from a short corner on the edge of the box, advancing unchallenged he struck the ball and although it lacked any real pace it deceived Blues defenders ,Chris Taylor was quickest to react to touch the ball home.

Blues could so nearly have found themselves two down minutes later when a poor Johnson kick went straight to Kris Newby who struck a 40 yard effort that looked bound for the back of the net, only to see the ball cannon of the bar much to the relief of Johnson.

Romford swarmed and buzzed around Blues allowing them no time on the ball , Ade Cole summed up Blues poor start when he had an opportunity on the edge of the Romford box but produced an air shot and the danger was cleared. Boro' were running a languid Blues outfit ragged and it was no surprise when they doubled their advantage just past the half hour mark. Stan Muguo picking up the ball on the edge of the Romford box played a poor ball easily intercepted by Jonathan Nzengo, he accepted the gift raced forward through the back pedalling Blues back line finding Greg Akpele he shifted the ball to Djalo who beat the exposed Johnson.

It was 38 minutes before Blues won their first corner, Richard Halle seeing his header turned over by Rob Budd,. The resultant corner saw Dennis Oli blast over from 3 yards although in his defence the ball took a nasty bounce making it a difficult chance to convert.

The half time whistle came as a great relief to Blues who had suffered a torrid time failing to put together any moves worthy of note.

HT 2-0

Johnson was quickly in action from the restart fisting the ball away only to find Nzengo who fired over. It was Blues now though who at last showed a sense of urgency , Budd was forced to make his first real save of the evening getting down to block an Oli effort. Tommy Wade was played in but failed to hit the target firing over. Blues were now building pressure,Kieran Bishop was next to be denied by Budd when the keeper performed acrobatically to turn the ball behind.

Blues were now in the ascendency but despite the pressure they rarely troubled Budd, failing to hit the target on a number of occasions.Cole missed a golden opportunity to reduce the arrears when he inexplicably screwed his shot wide of a gaping goal. Blues were made to rue the miss when Romford in a rare attack increased their advantage and it was another poorly defended score. In the 74th minute a Newby free kick was played to the far post, with Johnson rooted to his line a poor defensive header found Akpele who gratefully accepted the gift and drilled the ball past Johnson.

With a mountain now to climb Blues continued to push forward and in the 80th minute they at last breached the Boro goal. Good work by Cole saw him weave his way to the byeline where he flashed in a low cross bundled home by the onrushing Wade. The final ten minutes saw Blues continue to look for a goal but they were frequently denied by some frantic defending coupled with more wasteful finishing. With the game reaching its conclusion Bishop found himself in front of goal and made no mistake blasting past the prostrate Budd.

The goal was too little too late ,all the damage being done in a languid lifeless first 45 where they had no answer to their hosts pace and power. Romford deservedly took the three points consigning Blues to their fourth defeat in a row leaving them without an away win on the road this year.

The season comes to an end at AFC Sudbury on Saturday and nothing short of 100% will be expected from Blues to reward their long suffering fans.

Johnson, Thompson, Folkes ( Gogo-Ibiama 87), Bruce ( Cogan 46),Finneran, Halle, Muguo (Oli 45), Cole, Bishop, Poole, Wade,

The FA Respect: We Only Do Positive

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
14. Aveley 46 57
15. Hertford Town 46 57
16. Grays Athletic 46 56
17. Tilbury 46 56
18. Waltham Abbey 46 49
19. Cheshunt 46 49
20. Ware 46 48

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