Met Police 2 v 4 Grays Athletic
BLUES staged a marvellous recovery to claim the three points at Imber Court writes The Mariner
After a disastrous opening twenty minutes in which the Blues found themselves two goals down they came away with a comfortable victory thanks to a brace from top scorer DD Dumaka and one apiece from Roman Michael Percil and Jake Hutchings who is proving to be an excellent replacement for the departed Jay Leader.
The Met made a blistering start pinning their visitors back in their own half with wide man Joe Turner the focus of their attacks, Blues could have been one down in as many minutes when a Turner cross was scrambled away with a goal looking likely.Blues were finding it difficult to gain any sort of possession as the Met denied them time and space feeding Turner at every opportunity.
It was not a surprise then when the hosts went ahead in the twentieth minute, Smith fed the unmarked Turner and he made no mistake beating the exposed Lamar Johnson,it was no more than the home side deserved as they continued to dominate the early stages.
The situation became a whole lot worse in the 19th minute when Johnson made a hash of a clearance hitting the ball straight to Smith who quickly played in danger man Turner who rounded Johnson to put the Met two up.
The many travelling Blues fans must have been fearing the worst as their side had no answer to the early onslaught, but stung by the setback the Blues gradually began to see more of the ball.They were rewarded in the 22nd minute when a flowing move found Bradley Fortnum-Tomlinson out wide on the left outpacing the fullback he sent in a low cross finding the onrushing Percil who made no mistake to give Blues a lifeline.
The goal really lifted the Blues as they began to take the game to their hosts with Kenny Beaney and Montel Angyemang seeing more of the ball.Dumaka was looking back to his menacing best causing the Met’s back four real problems it was no surprise then went he got on the scoresheet with a well taken goal in the 35th minute,good work by Luke Ifill saw him feed the pacy Tomlinson he laid the ball into the feet of Dumaka who turned his marker and drilled the ball into the bottom corner to bring the Blues level.
The turn around in fortunes was remarkable given the opening period with Blues finished the half the stronger of the two sides Dumaka proving a real danger for the Blues.
HT 2 2
With barely two minutes of the half played Blues found themselves in front Jey Siva played a ball into space,Dumaka picked up the ball on the edge of the Met’s box he outmuscled his marker and curled a delightful ball into the top corner giving Pain in the home goal no chance.
Dumaka was displaying the form that had the scouts taking an interest earlier in the season, the hosts defenders could not handle his physicality as he looked for his hat trick,winning a header in midfield he drove forward smashing an effort just wide of the post.
The Met were not done however and Johnson turned villain to hero making a good block from Smith following a Met break.Turner who had been so dangerous in the early stages was seeing less of the ball as the Blues midfield shut off his supply when he did find the ball Ifill denied hmi the space to cause problems.
Manager Bentley looked to protect the Blues advantage bringing on Nick Symons in midfield for his debut in place of Tomlinson,the debutant slotted in well with some timely interventions and astute passes.
Sean Cronin came close to adding to to the scoreline heading over from a Siva corner but Blues didn’t have to wait long for their fourth.Good work by Percil resulted in a corner the ball was played in eventually finding Dumaka his first time effort was blocked but Hutchings was quickest to react stabbing home from close range to give Blues a two goal advantage on 65minutes.
The goal proved decisive as Blues took control of midfield although a Met break brought a good block from Johnson again denying Smith,Hickey came closest for the home side rattling the upright following a corner.It was the nearest the home side came to a goal in the period with Blues increasingly looking like they would increase their advantage with every attack.
Percil made way for Corey Davidson as Blues ran down the clock,but the Met’s miserable afternoon was complete when substitute Barret received a straight red for an horrendous tackle on Beaney who fortunately came out of it without serious injury.
Man of the match Dumaka limped out of proceedings sustaining what at first glance looked a nasty injury it was the only damper on what proved to be tremendous fightback and victory a win that looked so unlikely in the opening period.
Great credit must go the the management and whole squad to gain such a positive result after an unsettling week off the field and the acrimonious departure of Leader,certainly the team spirit was evident for all to see,the victory leaves Blues just five points off the playoffs with games in hand and stretches the unbeaten run to five matches.
Grays Ath return to league action next Saturday (Jan 30th) against Wingate and Finchley.