Goals by Joao Carlos and Jack West extend win streak to eighteen away at Heybridge Swifts
After the slow start Grays made to their last game away at Thamesmead, there was a clear determination and focus on starting well again Heybridge.
In only the 2nd minute Lee Flynn found space twenty five yards from goal on the left and fired a long range effort towards the corner of the net, but ex-blue Nicky Eyre was alert to save comfortably.
Heybridge’s first chance came in the 8th minute as Michael Cheek broke through the Grays back line and drove towards goal. His low shot from the edge of the area was on target but George Kamurasi was out well in the Grays goal to smother the shot and clear to safety.
Grays came close to taking the lead in the 17th minute as Jack West battled well down the left wing, working his way into the box and finding space for a shot But Nicky Eyre was out well to block the shot.
The away side came close again the 25th minute as Joao Carlos drove to the left hand corner of the area before firing towards the far corner of the net. Only a smart diving save by Nicky Eyre prevented a goal and from the resulting corner, the ball was played to the edge of the area where Kenny Beaney headed towards goal, beating everyone with his looping header apart from the defender on the line who cleared.
The game looked to be heading toward a goalless interval until the final minute of the half.
Kris Newby worked space for himself well down the right wing before firing a superb diagonal cross to the back of the six yard box where Joao Carlos had ghosted in to head low into the corner of the net.
Heybridge came out for the second half with real determination as realisation set in they needed to win to keep their playoff hopes alive.
It took only 42 seconds of the second half for the home side to level as the ball was played across from the right to the back post where Luke Callander was in the right place for a simple finish.
Heybridge should have taken the lead two minutes after equalising as Luke Callander broke through the Grays defence and found himself through on goal. His shot was parried by George Kamurasi into the path of Michael Cheek and with the whole goal to aim at from six yards; he inexplicably fired high over the bar.
Grays showed why they are champions however, by retaking the lead in the 53rd minute with another superb move.
Leon Lalite picked up a loose ball in midfield and played a perfect diagonal ball out to the right wing for Kris Newby to run onto. His cross was fired into the six yard box at head height, perfectly between goal keeper and defenders where Jack West timed his run perfectly to meet the ball and head home.
The home side came close to another equaliser in the 57th minute as a free kick from the right was played to the back post before being headed back across the face of goal where Lee Kersey was well placed, but his shot was blocked on the line by several diving defenders and cleared to safety.
Heybridge again came close to levelling in the 79th minute as a deep cross from the right was headed low towards goal which George Kamurasi reacted well to, saving with his feet.
Grays made a late substitution replacing Joe Sweeney with Jared Small but the away side easily saw out the last few minutes to keep their run of consecutive wins going, now up to eighteen games.
Grays Athletic: George Kamurasi, Craig Pope, Junior Baker, Ryan Kirby, Lee Flynn, Kris Newby, Leon Lalite, Kenny Beaney, Joao Carlos, Jack West, Joe Sweeney (Jared Small 87)
Unused Subs: Lamar Johnson, Danny Bunce, Jake Hall, Danny Swallow