Football 3 -1 Rugby as Grays defeat Aveley at Rush Green
By Andrew Packer
A Joao Carlos brace and Jack West penalty saw Grays outclass Aveley 3-1 at Rush Green
Grays started the better of the two teams and came close to taking the lead in the 4th minute. A corner from the right was met by the head of Craig Pope at the near post but went narrowly over the bar.
The home side did take the lead in the 11th minute as a free kick on the edge of the area by Lee Flynn deflected off the end of the wall into the path of Joao Carlos who made no mistake, firing low into the corner of the net from close range.
Aveley came close to an immediate reply as Jordan Cox ran at the heart of the Grays defence before firing towards goal from the edge of the area but Lamar Johnson was down well to save.
The away side came close to equalising again in the 19th minute as Alex Read played the ball over the Grays defence into the path of Jordan Cox. His flick toward goal was on target but Lamar Johnson was out well to smother the effort.
Aveley were made to pay for their missed chances as Grays doubled their lead in the 28th minute. A misplaced pass by Jordan Cox on the halfway line fell to Jack West who flicked the ball into the path of Joao Carlos. He attacked into the area and fired low into the corner of the net before either defenders or goalkeeper could close him down.
Grays extended their lead further shortly after the half hour mark. Joao Carlos drove down the left and into the area before being brought down for a penalty. Jack West stepped up and fired into the corner, Grays dominance reflecting in the score line.
Aveley did grab a goal back just before half time as a scramble in the box was flicked towards goal. The ball was headed by Junior Baker but he could not prevent the ball from crossing the line.
After the one-sided first half, the second half became a game of football vs rugby, with the football team being penalised for rugby style tactics.
The first chance of the second half fell to the away side as Paul Burnett fired towards goal but Lamar Johnson did well to tip the ball over the bar.
With neither side being allowed to create any chances due to the referee stopping and starting the game, it rapidly descended into a series of late tackles, flying elbow’s and surrounding the referee at every opportunity.
The football team were made to suffer in the 68th minute as Jack West and Marcus Rose challenged for a ball on the left touchline. After the ball had gone, Marcos Rose elbowed Jack West in the back of the head and Jack West reacted by kicking out. The referee failed to see the elbow but sent Jack West off for the kick.
Despite the player advantage, Aveley were still unable to break down a resolute Grays defence and continued to try and reduce Grays numbers through foul play.
Grays made a couple of late changes replacing Jared Small and Joao Carlos with Jeff Hammond and Danny Bunce respectively.
In the final few minutes, Aveley finally remembered there was a football match going on, with Alex Read and Jordan Cox both having chances to score. Lamar Johnson reacted well both times to deny the away side and ensure Grays run of consecutive wins continues.
Grays Athletic: Lamar Johnson, Craig Pope, Junior Baker, Ryan Kirby, Lee Flynn, Kris Newby, Kenny Beaney, Leon Lalite, Joao Carlos (Danny Bunce 90), Jared Small (Jeff Hammond 83), Jack West
Unused Subs: David East, Luke Marshall, Brian Moses