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GRAYS ATHLETIC 1st TEAM - Match centre

Bury Town
Grays Athletic
Sat 20 Apr 15:00 - The Bostik Football League - North Division Full time Attendance 344

BLUES LOSE DUEL IN THE SUN

By

It was a hot and torrid day in Suffolk writes The Mariner

It was a bad day at the office for Blues, who produced a wretched second half performance conceding three poorly defended goals. A first period saw them take the lead and create a number of chances, but yet again they failed to reproduce that form after the break. A Bury goal early in the second half put the hosts in front - Blues managed to get back on level terms, but a madcap two minute spell in which they conceded almost identical goals ensured they came away from Ram Meadow pointless. The ability to put together consistent performances has been a problem all season and Saturday saw more of the same - the midfield was outplayed and defensive frailties came to the fore again even allowing for the loss of Michael Finneran early in the first half.

An encouraging start saw Blues win a corner inside the first two minutes and continue to put pressure on the home defence without making an early breakthrough. The hosts posted a warning though, when Tanner Hall made a ramapaging run through Blues midfield, only stopped by a Clarke Bogard save.

Blues continued to make the early running, searching balls over the top were providing rich pickings for Joao Carlos and Correy Davidson - from one such move Davidson broke free, but saw his shot deflected behind for the first of a succession of corners and free kicks. Great build up saw Carlos get behind the Bury back line where he delivered a low cross into the path of the predatory Jake Hutchinson just two yards from goal, but the youngster normally so lethal in the box somehow spooned the ball on to the bar and over.

It wasn't long after that Blues broke the deadlock on 24 minutes, when Hutchinson making amends slipped a deft ball into the path of Davidson, rounding Luis Tibbles he rolled the ball into the bottom corner. Shortly after Finneran sustained an injury to be replaced by Robinson Wokoma.

Clearly stunned by the goal, Bury came into the game prompted by the impressive Jake Chambers Shaw and Ryan Horne, both finding the space and time to orchestrate a fightback. Pushing their visitors back Bury built pressure and were rewarded in the 31st minute - Chambers Shaw delivered a free kick into the box finding an unmarked and unchallenged Ollie Fen who gave Bogard no chance to bring the scores level.

Hall nearly increased the hosts advantage with an effort which drifted wide - Blues though still looked good value going forward again forcing a number of corners, unfortunately the delivery was left wanting, failing to trouble Tibbles - whilst at the other end Bogard was forced into a diving save to cut out a dangerous low cross from Ryan Stafford leaving the scores level at the break.

HT 1-1

Alarm bells rang inside the first two minutes of the restart when Bogard was forced into a save conceding a corner. Bury were now camped inside the Blues half who looked like they were still in the dressing room.

With their midfield overwhelmed, the Blues goal came under increasing pressure and for ten minutes they failed to venture into the hosts half - it seemed only a matter of time before Bury would breach an overworked Blues barrier and so it proved in the 58th minute. A high ball into the box seemed to hang in the air for an age, Bogard remained on his line leaving Michael Toner to deal with the danger - Chambers Shaw took advantage - left unchallenged he planted a firm header past Bogard.

It now looked bleak for Blues, failing to put together any passages of play of note - Hutchinson tiring in the heat was replaced by Dennis Oli who won a series of flick ons to give the home defence some anxious moments, but Bury came close to increasing their advantage when Fenn nodded just over.

Blues looked ragged but managed to level the scores in the 66th minute. A corner was only half cleared out to Carlos, his effort was blocked by Tibbles, the rebound falling to Toner who hammered the ball home.

After coming under heavy pressure Blues were back in the game, albeit much against the run of play - they were level for only seven minutes though, conceding two goals in two minutes to put the game beyond them. The goals were identical in construction - the first on 73 minutes came from a low cross from Hall, where Emmanuel Machaya was allowed a simple tap in from two yards - 75 minutes saw a similar cross finding Machaya unmarked inside the six yard box smashing the ball past Bogard.

From two goals down Blues never looked like getting back on level terms, they lacked the cohesion and tenacity required and looked relieved at the final whistle after a very disappointing display.

Romford are the visitors to Parkside Easter Monday and no doubt manager Jim Cooper will be looking for a reaction from his players anything less will see Boro' who are fighting to stay in the league continue their winning streak over Blues.

Bogard, Mahal, Joynes (Gordon), Toner, Finneran (Wokoma), Muguo, Pinto, Davidson, Hutchinson (Oli), Hahn, Carlos

Subs not used: Pearce, Livings

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# Team Pl Pts
1. Bowers & Pitsea 38 92
2. Aveley 38 80
3. Maldon & Tiptree 38 79
4. Coggeshall Town 38 74
5. Heybridge Swifts 38 74
6. Bury Town 38 59
7. Grays Athletic 38 53

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