1st Team - Report
|Grays Athletic||3||vs||2||Great Wakering Rovers|
Grays Athletic 3 - 2 Great Wakering Rovers
Blues moved back to the top of the table following an exhilerating match at Rookery Hill in which Eljay Worrell netted a late winner.
Some lovely inter-passing between Kenny Beaney, Cowley and Sweeney still couldn’t penetrate the defensive wall in front of them. Sam Lake and Nikki Beale were throwing everything at the ball to halt the Blues attacking movements as they frustrated the Grays attack. A long clearance from Rovers Jack Carlile found Luca Frankis clear in the Blues area, and a slip by Brad Thomas allowed Nathan Dewberry to tap the ball past Ali Aksoy to open the scoring for Rovers, against the run of play, to stun the Blues players.
Grays came forward from the restart looking to level but for all their movement and good play, the ball would not go into the goal. Sweeney, Small, Joao Carlos and Cowley all saw their shots saved as the away defence packed their area. Junior Baker headed against the post from a Carlos corner, Carlos had a shot saved well by Green, a Sweeney shot skimmed the bar as Grays pushed forward but the goal would not come. The whistle blew for half time with everybody amazed that Grays were still one down.
The Blues came out for the second half with the same enthusiasm and once again attacked. Harry Agombar started to get into the game as the midfield controlled the play. Agombar found Small clear but his shot was blocked, and neither Sweeney nor Agombar could find their way through the defensive wall. Anthony Ryan came on for Small to try to change the game as the Blues attacked.
The leveller finally came from Bradley Thomas when a Beaney strike came back out and Thomas turned and struck from the edge of the area. The Blues concentration seemed to slip for a few minutes as they attacked and left a large space behind their defence. A long clearance from Carlile found Danny Curran clear as he went past Baker and slotted the ball past the outstretched arms of Aksoy to give Rovers the lead again within two minutes.
A double substitution brought on Danny Bunce and Eljay Worrell for Cowley and Carlos and the determination of the home side was evident as they moved forward looking to correct the error, and as a shot from Beaney came in, the ball hit the hand of Lake for the ref to award a penalty. Bunce stepped up to level the game again on 75 minutes.
The last minutes of the game were end-to-end, as both teams went looking for the goal that would decide the match. Sub Michael Pinder beat the offside trap to bear down on Aksoy but a superb diving stop cleared the danger, and Curran was adjudged offside when clear.
With the clock running down Grays pushed forward and forced a corner and Sweeney thought he had scored when the ref blew for a foul in the box. One last push saw Craig Pope run into the box to be brought down for the ref to award another penalty. Bunce stepped up once again but Green saved the shot only to see Worrell following up to give Grays the win they were looking for.
The Blues ran down the dying seconds to make it three wins in four and joint leaders in the league. An exciting game and great entertainment for the home crowd and on run of play the correct result.
Grays Athletic: - Ali Aksoy, Lee Flynn, Bradley Thomas, Junior Baker, Craig Pope, David Cowley (Eljay Worrell 70), Kenny Beaney, Harry Agombar, Joao Carlos (Danny Bunce 70), Joe Sweeney, Jared Small (Anthony Ryan 57)
Subs not used: - Ian Gayle, Jason Fontaine.