Grays outclassed by organised East Thurrock
Grays suffered their first defeat of the season against a well organised East Thurrock side on Saturday.
East Thurrock came close to taking the lead inside the first five minutes as Nathan Korateng was played in behind the Grays defence but his low shot was blocked by George Kamurasi who came off his line well to close down the shot.
The home side again came close to going ahead in the 20th minute as a Grays attack broke down and an incisive breakaway ensued, concluding with a shot from the edge of the area by Stuart Thurgood which was pushed to safety by George Kamurasi.
Grays registered their first (and subsequently only) shot on target on the half hour mark as a free kick from the edge of the area by Lee Flynn was blocked by the wall before breaking to Joao Carlos who’s snap shot was well saved by Darren Behcet in the East Thurrock goal.
As the game entered the final five minutes of the half, the home side pressed further and further forward.
In the 43rd minute Leon McKenzie was played through on goal but fired narrowly wide from a tight angle.
Leon McKenzie again came close in the 45th minute as a cross from the left was headed towards goal but the ball went narrowly over the bar.
Just as it looked as if Grays had ridden the storm and made it to the interval all square, a freak goal gave the home side the lead.
A free kick from just inside the Grays half by Stuart Thurgood was played high into the box where George Kamurasi rose to claim, but the slippery ball spun out of his hands and into the far corner of the net.
East Thurrock started the second half much the same as the first, with Leon McKenzie playing David Bryant through on goal in the 49th minute. His shot was passed George Kamurasi, but also evaded the cross bar as he tried to chip over the goalkeeper.
In the 53rd minute, the same two players linked up again, this time David Bryant firing narrowly wide of the far post.
The pressure on the Grays goal finally took its toll in the 66th minute as David Bryant was played in down the right hand side, before a sharp turn allowed him a yard of space before curing a left footed strike into the top corner of the net from the corner of the area.
With the game approaching the last five minutes, East Thurrock came close to extending their lead as the ball broke to the edge of the Grays area where Lea Dawson tried a spectacular overhead kick, the ball going narrowly passed the far post.
As the game entered the fourth minute of added on time, the home side did get their third goal as a shot from the edge of the area by Nathan Korateng was well saved at full stretch by George Kamurasi. Leon McKenzie reacted quickest to pick up the loose ball as his pass found David Bryant in front of goal for a simple tap in to finish the game.
Grays Athletic: George Kamurasi, Craig Pope, Junior Baker, Joe Nightingill, Lee Flynn, Aaron Ramos-Gonzalez (Usama Hamdan 56), Kenny Beaney, Leon Lalite, Joao Carlos, Jared Small, Jack West
Unused Subs: Lewis Greene, Phil Anderson, Ryan Kirby, Alex Cruickshank