Sunday, July 21, 2024

Football: Blues stay strong to chop Forest down to size

Ryman Div One North

Waltham Forest 0 v 3 Grays Athletic

Grays Athletic defied the 90 degree heat to put in an effective display on the first day of the season.

It did not start well. In the 3rd minute, Jake Hall received a sickening blow to the head after a clumsy rather than malicious kick from a Forest defender for which he received a yellow card but it was the end of the game for Hall.

Lee Flynn came on which pushed Danny Bunce into an unfamiliar role up front. Indeed, Bunce spent ten minutes making a number of unforced errors as you would when out of position.

Grays were mis-firing as they (understandably) had to deal with a bumpy pitch and a niggly Forest.

Luke Marshall looked inventive on the flanks.

Grays broke the deadlock in the 18th minute when Joao Carlos chased a long ball into the area, he outsprinted the defender Ordono who for some reason decided that the best course of action was to drag Carlos down and concede a penalty.

Danny Bunce stepped up and cooly slotted the ball home.

Grays now controlled the game. They could have made it two in the 28th minute when a Forest defender cleared the ball off the line from a corner.

Carlos was scaring the life out of them. A fine shot was hit the post in the 29th minute whilst a Bunce screamer flew over the bar soon after. Kenny Beaney and Leon Lalite were playing a calm game in the middle.

The rest of the half was played out at walking pace with neither side able to dominate and both making far far too many unforced errors. Grays saving grace was that some of Forest players looked unfit.

Jack West had a half chance in the 50th minute as he broke free but Forest defenders out-hustled him. He had had a quiet game but he had been starved of supply.

Grays continued to struggle to find any tempo or momentum however who could in such sapping conditions.
Fans just feared that Forest were coming back and Grays needed that second goal. West again went close in the 62nd minute but skied it over.

James Bunn came on for Jack West in the 63rd minute and five minutes later got that second goal as he found a little bit of space on the right hand side of the box and thumped it high into the back of the Forest net.

Grays now dominated and showed that they were the fitter team as they started to pour on the chances.

And in the 78th minute, Joao Carlos put it beyond doubt as he cut through the tiring Forest to score from close range.

Grays play their first home game of the season against Brentwood on Tuesday night at 7.45pm.

Grays Ath: Johnson L, Pope C, Baker J, Kirby R (C), Bunce D (Sweeney J,70), Lalite L, Beaney K, Carlos J, Marshall L, West J (Bunn J 63), Hall J (Flynn L 3)

Subs not used: Cooper G,

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