Blues are off-colour
After picking up seven points from their previous three games, the Blues went to struggling Tooting & Mitcham looking to extend their unbeaten run but they inexplicably failed to perform up to their recent standard and came away pointless.
It was clear from the opening exchanges that the home side were lacking in confidence but there was no lack of commitment from them. They contested every ball, with the result that, for the first half-hour, neither team enjoyed any decent possession and there was very little goalmouth action.
The Blues were comfortable, though, and beginning to gain the upper hand when they suffered the loss of central defender, Mark Twumasi, with a hamstring injury in the 23rd minute. This brought 17-year-old Lewis Thomas into the game to make his first-team debut in challenging circumstances.
The Blues were clearly unsettled while they sought to adjust to the change and only seven minutes later they fell behind when they failed to deal with a corner from the left and Lexus Beeden latched onto the loose ball and stabbed home from close range.
This goal had a very positive impact on the hosts and they quickly grew in confidence such that it became even more difficult for the Blues to keep possession. There was consequently very little of note for the remainder of the half and the teams went in at the interval with the score still at 1-0.
The stalemate continued into the second half but it was the Blues who looked the more likely to score. Charlie Ruff headed a Joe Clemo cross wide of a post in 50th minute and Dave Keenleyside narrowly failed to find the target with a 25-yard shot that went over the junction of bar and post, two minutes later.
The prospects for a positive result were looking promising but some poor defending in the 63rd minute saw them fall two goals behind when Rassaq Coleman scored at the back post from a right-wing cross.
The Blues came back strongly and, with barely twenty minutes remaining, Charlie Ruff reduced the deficit when he headed home George Lutaaya’s left-wing cross from 12 yards out. This should have given the Blues the perfect springboard to rescue at least a point from the game but, only two minutes later, that were caught out at the back from a quick break that resulted in a third goal, this time from Danny Bassett.
After this the hosts played the game out and earned themselves three much needed points.
Team:, Lamar Johnson, Joe Clemo, Macauley Joynes, Matt Thomson (Tyler Hatherly 62’), Mark Twumasi ( Lewis Thomas 23’), Ollie Sharman, David Keenleyside, Ahmed Mohammed, Elliott Bailey, Charlie Ruff and George Lutaaya (Brian Simpson 89’).
Subs not used: Daryl Mitchell.