Whitehawk 1 - 1 GAFC
Grays battled to a 1-1 draw away at Ryman Premier Whitehawk in the FA Trophy on Saturday.
The game started evenly as both teams looked to take early control of the tie.
Whitehawk forced two corners inside the first minute of the match but could not convert either as Grays cleared the ball.
Jack West had a chance on 8 minutes for the away side as he knocked the ball past the Whitehawk keeper but left himself a narrow angle to shoot from. His shot was on target but not powerful enough to beat the covering defender who cleared off the line.
The home side almost took the lead in the 14th minute as a deep cross from the left to the back post was headed back across goal to the advancing forward. The shot looked to be heading for the far corner but George Kamurasi at full stretched managed to push the ball away from goal.
Shortly after the half hour mark, Whitehawk had another chance as a vicious strike from the edge of the area was on target but Kamurasi was again on hand to parry the ball away to safety.
Grays had the final chance of the half as Tyrone Scarlett found space on the edge of the area to turn and play in Joao Carlos down the left wing. He cut inside two defenders and cut the ball back to Scarlett but his shot went high over the bar.
The second half started slowly as both teams were cautious, not wanting to concede a goal whilst trying to create a chance.
The first chance of the half came in the 63rd minute as a long ball over the top found Luke Marshall through on goal. As he advanced on goal, he cut inside a defender and fired past the keeper, but the ball went agonisingly into the side netting.
As Grays tried to take the initiative in the game and search for a goal they forced a corner in the 68th minute that was headed away to the edge of the area where Scarlett picked the ball up. His shot beat everyone but went inches over the bar.
A minute later Grays were a goal down as a long ball over the top of the defence found Jed Wallace whole stole in between defence and keeper to fire into the corner of the net.
Grays responded by making a double substitution, replacing Tyrone Scarlett and Jack West with Brian Moses and Dan Fry.
The changes worked as Grays forced a free kick on the edge of the area by the corner flag in the 78th minute. The ball was played into the near post by Leon Lalite which was met by the head of Dan Fry to nod his first senior goal for Grays into the corner to bring the away side level.
Grays almost got a winner in the 88th minute as a shot from Dan Fry from the edge of the area was well tipped round the post by the keeper.
Grays made their final sub in the 90th minute as they replaced Luke Marshall with Jon Nash, but he didn’t have much time to affect the game as the referee blew for full time shortly.
A reply is required on Tuesday evening at Rush Green to determine who progresses on to the third qualifying round of the FA Trophy.
Grays Athletic; George Kamurasi, Craig Pope, David East, Ryan Kirby, Lee Flynn, Luke Marshall (Jon Nash 90), Kenny Beaney, Leon Lalite, Joao Carlos, Tyrone Scarlett (Dan Fry 70), Jack West (Brian Moses 70)
Unused Subs: Danny Swallow, Alexander Cruickshank