Hammond & Newby strikes see off Ilford at Cricklefields
A goal early in both halves by Jeff Hammond and Kris Newby enough to secure a 2-0 win at Ilford
Grays returned to Cricklefield’s where their season began against Waltham Forest and it wasn’t long before they took the lead.
In the 7th minute a free kick from the right by Lee Flynn was played into the centre of the penalty area. David East headed towards goal where Jamie Adim could only parry the ball into the path of Jeff Hammond who had the simple task of tapping home from close range.
Grays came close to doubling their lead in the 28th minute as Jeff Hammond did well on the left wing to hold off two Ilford defenders before feeding the ball to Joao Carlos on the edge of the area. His right footed strike was on target and Jamie Adim did well to push the ball clear for a corner which came to nothing.
The away side again came close just after the half hour mark as another corner was swung into the six yard box. Junior Baker headed towards goal and with Jamie Adim standing behind the goal line, he pushed the ball away, the assistant unmoved as Grays claimed the ball was already over the line.
In the 36th minute Grays were awarded a free kick on the edge of the Ilford area. With Lee Flynn, Kenny Beaney and Kris Newby all positioned around the ball, it was Kenny Beaney who took charge and curling a vicious effort around the wall towards the corner of the net, but Jamie Adim did well at full stretch the push the ball away.
The second half started much the same as the first with Grays dominate and pushing for a second goal.
They didn’t have to wait long as a corner from the left, their 11th of the game already, was not dealt with by the Ilford defence and with his back to goal, Kris Newby did well to hook the ball over his head from the penalty spot and passed the despairing dive of Jamie Adim to double the lead.
Kris Newby almost grabbed a second goal on the hour mark as Lee Flynn fired the ball across the face of goal and with Kris Newby positioned at the back post for a simple tap in, the ball bounced up off the dry pitch and passed the far post.
Ilford’s best chance of the match came in the 67th minute as a shot from the right hand corner of the area was saved by a diving George Kamurasi. Kai Bichard pounced on the rebound to fire towards goal but George Kamurasi reacted brilliantly to get down low again and stop the second effort to maintain the two goal lead.
Grays made three subs in the final fifteen minutes with Jeff Hammond, Joao Carlos and Kris Newby all making way for Jack West, Danny Bunce and Brian Moses respectively abut no further chances fell to either side.
This win makes in fifteen consecutive for Grays as they maintain their six point lead at the top of the league.
Grays Athletic: George Kamurasi, David East, Junior Baker, Ryan Kirby, Lee Flynn, Kris Newby (Brian Moses 84), Kenny Beaney, Leon Lalite, Joao Carlos (Danny Bunce 76), Jared Small, Jeff Hammond (Jack West 74)
Unused Subs: Luke Marshall, Daniel Subuola