All Square in Blues Clash
Grays maintained their unbeaten start to 2016 against local rivals Billericay Town writes The Mariner.
Blues were able to field a full strength team with Kenny Beaney and Jaoa Carlos back after injury and DD Dumaka returned from his trial at Barnsley.
Grays started brightly with Correy Davidson and Bradley Fortnum-Tomlinson's pace proving a handful for the Billericay back line.With only minutes on the clock Davidson drew a foul and booking from the home side's centre back from the freekick Sean Cronin firing wide.
The central defender was not to be denied,on 15 minutes after another dangerous run from Tomlinson produced a corner,the ball was cleared only to find Cronin on the edge of the box who made no mistake with a fierce drive leaving Giddings no chance in the home goal.
Billericay up to this stage had offered little going forward but the goal woke them from their slumbers and they began to impose themselves on the game.Grays who had looked assured in possession now began to give the ball away carelessly ceding territory
which the home side took full advantage of.
The Blues goal enjoyed a charmed life in a period of Billericay pressure a quick corner caught the Blues out and Lamar Johnson handicapped by an injury did well to claim the ball,shots rained in on the visitors goal luckily most were off target or cleared under pressure.
After weathering the storm Blues nearly doubled their advantage on the stroke of half time when Tomlinson blasted over when well placed.
Billericay pinned Blues back early in the second period and only some desperate defending kept their goal intact,but they got the breakthrough on 52 minute following sloppy defending allowing Hubble to strike the ball past a clearly less the mobile Johnson.
Blues fans would have probably feared the worse at this stage such was the home sides dominance but just as in the first half the goal this time sparked Blues into life.
Once again the pace of the Blues front line unsettled the home defenders.Tomlinson played in Carlos who saw his effort blocked,Tomlinson then found himself in space out to the left but his shot lacked accuracy Giddings making the save.Tomlinson again shot straight at the keeper in a similar position.
Davidson then had a great opportunity to restore Blues lead put through by Dumaka drawing Giddings he dragged his shot agonisingly wide of the post.
The pendulum swung the other way as Billericay came close on a number of occasions, a corner produced a great header which just shaved the upright.It was Grays though who finished the game the stronger and only a more clinical approach in front of goal denied them all three points.