FA Trophy Preliminary Round
Grays Athletic 0 v 3 Bedfont Town
Another low par performance writes The Mariner
BEDFONT staged a smash and grab raid to dump Blues out the FA Trophy at Parkside . The visitors looked sharper and more determined than their hosts who lacked the spark so evident in past weeks – ponderous going forward in contrast to Bedfont who broke with pace and purpose capitalising on their opportunities with clinical precision . Blues could point to what looked a clear penalty when Luke Callander was pushed inside the area, but even allowing for that they never recovered from a seventh minute goal from Darryl Sanders, from that moment they lacked the belief and drive to gain the ascendency.
Could Blues for the first time this season keep a clean sheet? Well we had the answer in the seventh minute when Danny Sambridge played the ball to Mitch Hahn on the edge of the box – hesitating he allowed Sanders to steal the ball and fire decisively past Sambridge.
Clearly stunned by the early setback Blues allowed Bedfont to dictate the pace of the game – wide man Ezekiel Bademosi was their danger man featuring prominently early on with darting runs, coming close to doubling the visitors advantage when his goal bound shot was blocked.
Blues failed to respond, lacking the conviction and physical presence to build momentum and threaten the Bedfont goal – the midfield tended to play across and back allowing the vistors to funnel back in numbers. Hahn had Blues first opportunity when his shot from outside the box was saved comfortably by Dimitrios Kyriatzis. But it was the visitors who looked the more dangerous going forward, Bademosi broke free again whipping in a low cross met by Sanders who nodded over.
Shortly after the near miss Blues should have been awarded a penalty, when Callander, who had shown glimpses of what he is capable of was clearly pushed in the back, but amazingly the referee failed to react. The missed opportunity clearly affected Blues who went back into their shells for the remainder of the half.
Inside the first two minutes of the second period Joao Carlos thought he had claimed an equaliser when his downward header was somehow hacked off the line, but despite strong appeals for a goal Blues only reward was a corner.
There was certainly more energy in Blues play, but they were hit with a sucker punch in the 55th minute when an attack broke down. Bedfont reacted quickly – breaking clear cutting through an over committed defence the ball reached Nathan Wood, who slotted confidently past Sambridge.
Now with a mountain to climb Blues pushed forward with a series of raids, but they lacked decisiveness – shots rained in on goal but rarely caused Kyriatzis too many problems. Steve King was pushed forward in an effort to produce arial supremacy – it worked to a degree, but his headers lacked power and accuracy.
The introduction of Denzel Adibiye added the impetus out wide that had been lacking winning a number of free kicks, but again they failed to create an opening. Bedfont were coming under increasing pressure, but they stuck to their game plan and when the opportunity came they broke with pace, Keanu Williams came close with an effort drifting wide.
Despite their increased energy, it was clear the goal that would give Blues a way back into the game looked less likely and so in injury time Bedfont added to Blues misery when another clinical break saw them register a third when Williams beat the advancing Sambridge to wrap the game up.
Sambridge, Fox, Joynes, Miller, King, McQueen, Hahn (Pindy 71), Dark, Ogunrinde (Adebiye 68), Callander (Muguo 61),Carlos
Subs not used; Martin