Parker gives us the lowdown as we welcome AFC Sudbury in our first home league match of the season
The Opposition: AFC Sudbury
The Location: Aveley FC, Mill Field
The Time: Wednesday 17th August 2016, 7:45PM
The History: Since Grays were relegated back to the Ryman League in 2010 they have met AFC Sudbury on 7 occasions, this is the first one at this level since Sudbury achieved promotion to the top flight of the Ryman structure last season. The last meeting was in the quarter final of the League Cup in 2015, the season that Blues were runners up to Hendon after the final at Whyteleafe. All the other encounters have taken place at Division One North level with Grays having a record of 4 wins, 2 draws and a single loss. The last league meeting was also the last time that Blues hosted Sudbury and the match took place at Rush Green in 2013. The result was a thumping 60 win as Grays went on to claim the league title that season. Jeff Hammond scored the first 5 goals that day before Craig Pope rounded off the scoring.
The Form: Grays kicked off their league campaign with a solid draw away at Leatherhead. After falling behind early in the second half, Blues fought back and forced an own goal to claim a share of the spoils. AFC Sudbury also started off with a draw in their first game. They hosted Dulwich Hamlet in an exciting 22 draw that see former Grays skipper, Kenny Beaney, net for the visitors.
The Players: AFC Sudbury have some great attacking options and their goals on Saturday come from Sam Clarke and the ever dangerous Luke Callander. They also have Craig Parker who has an eye for goal and will be worth keeping a watch out for.
Grays impressed last Saturday and despite Lheureux Menga not actually scoring the goal, perhaps his all round display deserved him being credited with it. Siao Blackwood and Adeyinka Cole both looked lively and Jamie Stuart looked as good as ever when he subbed himself on. The star of the show though was debutant Mikheil Kharshiladze. The Georgian goalkeeper done the simple things well and on the few times he was called into action he produced a great display of shot stopping, especially in the closing minutes to preserve Blues point hitch hopefully they can build on this coming Wednesday.