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Grays Athletic
Dagenham & Redbridge
Wed 6 Dec 19:45 - Essex County Cup 17-18 Full time Attendance 245


Blues produced another hard working performance to beat Dagenham and Redbridge writes The Mariner

These are heady days for Blues fans as they continued their resurgence with this hard working team performance against a strong Daggers team.
The win was made more impressive given Blues were without five first team regulars in the starting eleven and included two 16 , one 17 year ,and one 18 year old who contributed to the win.Goals from Ade Cole and Kieran Bishop in the second half was enough to secure a quarter final tie against Romford at Ship Lane

Daggers started brightly and immediately pinned Blues back playing some attractive football illustrating the divisions between the two sides.Blues were finding it hard to get hold of the ball as the Daggers pushed and probed for an opening but Blues were proving a difficult nut to crack forcing their opponents to play across the park and getting bodies behind the ball .

Robinson,Hyde and Kandi tried their luck without success and it fell to Adams to provide the clearest opportunity, his drive took a deflection off a Blues body glancing off the base of the upright, from the resultant corner Pennell blasted wildly over.Shortly after Kandi tested Lamar Johnson from range but the Blues custodian saved comfortably.

Gradually Blues came back into the game , Bishop was proving a ready outlet once again his pace causing problems for Dagenham at the back, he was well supported by Joao Carlos testing his full back at every opportunity.Bishop could so easily have put Blues in front when he latched on to a through ball rolling it past keeper Moore only to see a last ditch clearance from Gordon deny Blues an unexpected lead.

The visitors were still enjoying plenty of the ball but Blues remained solid as a unit denying them further opportunities whilst still looking dangerous on the break.

HT 0-0

Blues made the best possible start to the second period when they edged in front in the 46th minute.Patient build up saw skipper Glenn Poole,Tim Monsheju and Carlos combine well to feed Ade Cole, his clever shimmy opened up space and taking a couple of paces he finished outstandingly with a shot that flew past the despairing dive of Moore.Bishop nearly made it two moments later when he just failed to divert an effort from Carlos.

The goal clearly stunned the Daggers who set about restoring parity, pressing forward they put together a series of attacking moves but like the first period were coming up against stern resistance . Richard Halle and Jack Fowler were winning the arial duels,James Folkes and 16 year old Callum Thompson supported them and with Johnson looking secure behind them Blues goal remained intact.

Despite the pressure they were under Blues still looked dangerous on the break, a long ball from Johnson saw Carlos deftly bring the ball under control and lob Moore clipping the bar.

Daggers continued to apply pressure and came close to equalising when Adams fired in, the ball took a nasty deflection off Fowler but Johnson adjusted his footing and made a vital save. Eventually the pressure on Blues goal produced an equaliser in the 72 minute,intricate build up saw the ball played wide to Nunn, his low cross caused consternation in the Blues defence ,Johnson failed to hold the ball allowing Romaine to prod the ball home.

Almost immediately Blues hit back from a corner ,Carlos got his head to the ball only to see it cannon off the bar falling to Monsheju but his effort was blocked.

With just 6 minutes remaining Blues notched what was to prove the winner. Bishop chased down a long ball and cut into the Daggers box, sliding the ball to the closely marked Monsheju , twisting and turning he managed to squeeze a shot which deflected kindly to the alert Bishop who touched the ball round Moore and fired home.

An anxious closing few minutes ensued but Blues remained resolute to protect their lead and register what some would say a surprise win but it was well deserved based on solid hard work and taking chances when they presented themselves. It must have pleased manager Jamie Stuart to see youngsters Kai Brown Tre Zialor ,Callum Thompson and Geoffrey Okonkwo acquitting themselves so well ,not looking out of place in this company..

Johnson ,Folkes, Thompson,Fowler, Poole, Halle, Brown,Cole,Bishop, Monsheju, Carlos,
Subs used ;Zialor,Okonkwo Not used; Bruce, Cogan

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