Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Football: Fry looks spry as Grays earn fine draw at Whitehawk

By Chris Jones

TEENAGE substitute Dan Fry scored for Blues, as Hakan Hayrettin’s injury hit side came back from a goal down to force a replay against Whitehawk.

Blues went into the match without eight member of the first team squad, with Lamar Johnson, Junior Baker, James Bunn and Joe Sweeney all injured, Jake Hall and Danny Bunce suspended, Harry Agombar ineligible and Jared Small cup-tied. As a result, the entire bench was made up of youngsters who have featured for Andy Swallow’s Southern Counties under 18 side this season.

David East, Luke Marshall and Tyrone Scarlett all came into the starting line-up in place of Baker, Agombar and Sweeney respectively, as Blues reverted to 4-4-2.

On a bitterly cold afternoon on the South Coast, Blues took to the field and played uphill in the first half, and were thankful that George Kamurasi continued his good form with an excellent save early on.

The home side shaded the majority of the first half in terms of chances on goal, but resilient defending ensured the half ended goalless.

Jed Wallace gave the hosts the lead midway through the second half, as he broke clear through midfield. He calmly slotted past Kamurasi, and with the Premier Division side unbeaten at home since the opening day of the season, they would have been confident of holding out for a narrow win.

With Jack West and Scarlett having worked tirelessly without reward, Hayrettin turned to Brian Moses and Dan Fry with 20 minutes remaining. Moses was making his senior debut, with Fry making his second appearance from the bench, after making his debut in the recent home League Cup defeat to Waltham Forest.

Blues grabbed the all-important equaliser 12 minutes from time, as Fry stole in ahead of his marker at the near post, and headed home a Leon Lalite free-kick. It was no less than the team deserved for their performance.

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