Grays cruise to comfortable victory against Redbridge
Grays ran out comfortable 3-0 winners against Redbridge at Rush Green on Saturday courtesy of goals from Danny Bunce, Jared Small and Jeff Hammond.
The Blues started the game well and put the away side under early pressure.
Redbridge eventually wilted under the pressure, as Joao Carlos attacked down the left hand side in the 10th minute, before being brought down in the area for a penalty. Danny Bunce stepped up and fired low into the corner to give the home side the lead.
Grays doubled their lead in the 19th minute as Danny Bunce found space on the right hand side before cutting onto his left foot and swinging a cross into the area. Jared Small rose highest to flick the ball towards goal and into the far corner of the net.
The home side looked to kill the game off before half time and came close on numerous occasions.
First, in the 26th minute, a long ball over the Redbridge defence was chased down by Jared Small, who squared the ball into the path of Jeff Hammond. His fierce strike was heading for the corner of the net until Dean Neil made a good diving save.
Second, in the 39th minute, a well placed through ball by Leon Lalite to Danny Bunce opened up the Redbridge defence, before he cut inside and fired towards goal, but again Dean Neil was on hand to parry the shot.
Further chances came in the 40th minute as a cross form the left by Joao Carlos was deflected onto his own post by Nikki Beale, followed a minute later by a volley from Danny Bunce on the edge of the area that went narrowly passed the left hand post.
If Grays failed to put the result beyond doubt in the first half, it took them less than a minute to do it at the start of the second half.
Jared Small was played in down the right wing where he drove to the corner of the area before feeding the ball to Jeff Hammond who lifted the ball passed the advancing keeper and into the corner of the net.
Grays continued to create chances to add to their goal tally, as in the 51st minute, Joao Carlos found space twenty yards from goal in a central position to unleash a curling effort. The shot beat the diving Dean Neil, but struck the inside of the left hand post and bouncing back into play before being cleared.
In the 70th minute, a corner to Grays was played into the six yard box where a goal mouth scramble ensued before the ball broke to Jeff Hammond, but his snap shot went narrowly over the bar from close range.
With the game won and a fixture pile up coming, Grays brought off Danny Bunce, Joao Carlos and Jared Small, to give a chance to the young guns a chance with Daniel Subuola, Brian Moses and Dan Fry coming on.
Further chances came in the closing minutes as a free kick from the right by Kenny Beaney was played to the back post where Brain Moses headed towards goal but hit the side netting.
The final chance came in the 85th minute as a surging run by Junior Baker from deep in his own half to the edge of the Redbridge area. A quick one-two with Jeff Hammond saw Junior Baker through on goal but his shot went narrowly wide.
Grays Athletic: Lamar Johnson, Craig Pope, Junior Baker, Ryan Kirby, Lee Flynn, Danny Bunce (Daniel Subuola 67), Kenny Beaney, Leon Lalite, Joao Carlos (Brian Moses 71), Jared Small (Dan Fry 82), Jeff Hammond
Unused Subs: Jack West, Joe Sweeney