Sunday, July 21, 2024

Football: Grays work hard for draw at Haringey

Bostik North

Haringey Borough 1 v 1 Grays Athletic

A cold wet afternoon saw Blues produce a steely performance to claim a point in an entertaining and keenly fought encounter against Haringey Borough, it could so easily have been all three points if they had made more of their superiority during periods of the game.Ade Cole conjured up a stunning equaliser in a second half that sparked into life with play ebbing and flowing and goal scoring chances spurned by both sides.Blues included on loan keeper Charlie Burns who acquitted himself well with a confident display making some smart saves in an otherwise unchanged starting line up.

A low key opening quarter saw play confined to the middle of the park both sides probing for an opening, it was Blues who produced the first frisson of excitement in the shape of Stan Muguo . A Barry Cogan corner was cleared out to the Blues skipper lurking on the edge of the box, he powered a superb effort which Austin Byfield managed to touch onto the upright and away to safety.

The let off stirred Haringey and they began to gain the ascendency, Michael Admiluyi was proving a handful for young Callum Thompson but the sixteen year old stuck to his task with some vital interventions.Burns was kept busy during this period claiming a header from McDonald and then coming to the rescue when a mistake allowed Ademiluyi a run on goal but the young keeper made a smart save to deny the hosts an opener.

Blues rallied and took the game to their hosts, Cole released Kieran Bishop who saw his goal bound effort deflected behind, Richard Halle then stabbed the ball over from Cogan’s corner. Joe Bruce was next when his header dropped over and then a Jamie Slabber hooked shot suffered a similar fate. Blues continued to ask all the questions, Halle saw a glancing header turned behind by Byfield, another chance not taken.

As so often this season the missed chances proved costly when with just a minute to go to the break and against the run of play Haringey broke the deadlock .McDonald was given too much space out wide and whipped in a low cross to the near post where the predatory Derek Asamoah stole in front of Thompson and touched the ball past Burns.A clear example of taking your chances when they present themselves.

HT 1-0

Haringey had an early opportunity from a free kick, Ademilyuli firing wide . At the other end neat build up provided an opening for Bishop who turned and flashed a drive into the side netting.

The second period saw an increase in tempo from both sides with Blues eager to restore parity enjoying plenty of possession ,James Folkes sent in a deep cross to the far post where Cole saw his header blocked and cleared. A quick break saw Cogan feed Bishop who was unceremoniously bundled to the floor, Halle should have done better with the free kick blasting into the wall.

Blues pressure finally told in the 74th minute , patient build up saw the ball played into the path of Cole , striding forward he unleashed a thunderous 35 yard strike flying into the top corner past the outstretched fingers of Byfield , a goal that would not have looked out of place at a higher level.

The goal produced an immediate response from the hosts who piled forward looking for a winner, a dangerous ball flashed across the box ,followed by a succession of corners defended resolutely with keeper Burns prominent punching clear and claiming the ball confidently.

Folkes caused consternation at the other end when he finished off a swashbuckling run with a drive flashing across the home box.It was now end to end football ,Haringey in the shape of Staunton wasted a golden opportunity blasting high and wide with the goal gaping.Burns then denied Georgiou turning his effort behind.

A frantic finale failed to bring a breakthrough and the final whistle brought to an end an exciting game to warm both sets of fans .

Blues unbeaten in their last three games welcome Hertford Town to Parkside next Saturday ,both players and supporters will be looking to avenge the defeats in the league and Cup inflicted under acrimonious circumstances.

Burns, Folkes,Thompson, Bruce, Halle,Cogan(Brown 71),Muguo, Cole, Carlos(Fowler 66), Slabber( Sach 59), Bishop

Subs not used Poole, Mahal,


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