BLG 2 v 3 Grays Inn
The Beckham Academy was privileged to witness another event-filled 90 minutes which unfortunately saw Barlows emerge as unlucky losers on the night. Some eye-catching goals and impressive football were not enough to counter a contentious 'advantage' decision and some decisive Grays finishing.
We started the game in a more composed and controlled manner than usual with Lenagan and Rich running the show in midfield and using the wings to push in behind the Grays back four. Our dominance was soon to reap dividends and within 15 minutes the first blow had been inflicted. Si Lenagan, from a wide right position, picked out the perfect cross and Jo Jo headed the ball past their hapless keeper. Five minutes later and we had doubled our lead. Lenagan again the mastermind when a free kick was given 30 yards out and he audaciously sent the ball into the top of the net with the keeper left stranded outside his penalty area. According to the independent adjudicator this was quite a bit better than Eccles' free kick last week for the record.
At this stage we were cruising with the midfield dominating effortlessly and the back line, being run by TC and Piers, remaining watertight. Hogan and Seale were linking up well on the right and Jo Jo causing all sorts of problems for the Grays defence. Neverthless, minutes before half time, Grays got one of their only chances of the half and their impressive No. 11 managed to send a looping overhead kick into the net. Half time and 2-1 up. The message was very much more of the same.
Instead though, Barlows crashed into the second half like a bull in a china shop giving away a penalty within 30 seconds. Bushey dived the right way and the ball pinged off the post to be quickly despatched by a white shirt. For some reason this still wasn't enough to get the game-heads back on and Grays seemed to have gone up a gear. Within minutes they had scored one of the most ridiculous goals ever conceded by a Barlows team. The lineo's flag went up for a Grays offside and Bushey, in possession, moved the ball forward to take what we thought was an awarded free kick. As Bushey started winding it up one of the Grays Inn scallies darted forward and put the ball in the net. Amid much protestation the referee awarded the goal on the basis that an advantage had been played and the play had never been stopped. Absolute wounder. 2-2.
Grays were now firmly in control and, as Barlows heads started to drop, had the win in their sights. Some slick play brought them their third goal and suddenly we were fighting for a point. As Jo Jo beat the last defender and put the ball in the net it looked like we had salvaged the draw only for a free kick to be awarded against him for a dubious push. Bad decision and ultimately our last throw of the dice.
Leaves us third in the league on seven points. Next game a 7pm kick off in Walthamstow against Norton Rose (bottom bar one).