Ex Blues manager Julian Dicks bring his Heybridge Swifts to Parkside tomorrow Saturday 1st December in what promises to be a mouth watering league encounter with both teams currently in a rich vein of form , a win for either side could see them continue to put pressure on teams above them.
Swifts hit the headlines last season after a tremendous run in the FA Cup ,in contrast this season they have endured a less than happy time hitting the headlines regarding matters off the field. The acrimonious departure of ex Blues manager Jody Brown who resigned criticising league officials, referees and supporters had an unsettling effect on the club. Swifts acted quickly and appointed Dicks as first team manager who quickly steadied the ship leading to an upturn in form. Their last match saw them record a 2-0 win over Barking with a brace from Matt Price, on Tuesday evening a weakened team went out off the Essex Senior Cup at Brentwood Town 2-1. As well as manager Dicks two other ex Blues feature in the Swifts squad with popular fullback Jey Siva and Luke Wilson probably featuring tomorrow. Harrison Chatting and Matt Price are their current leading goal scorers with six goals apiece.
Blues go into the game on the back of a sparkling run of form with just one defeat in their last ten league games. Saturday saw them come from behind to beat AFC Sudbury after finding themselves two goal down inside the first twenty five minutes. Michael Toner started the fightback in the first half, a second half scintillating display of attacking football saw Tommy Wade grab the equaliser setting the stage for another Mitch Hahn thunderbolt to grab the points to record Blues fourth consecutive win.
Tomorrow is also significant and should mark another milestone in the career of fans favourite Joao Carlos who could be making his 350th appearance for the club, a remarkable achievement and testament to his loyalty to Grays Athletic in an age when players move from club to club many times during their careers.
One thing is for sure Blues fans will be hoping there is no repeat of the scoreline in the corresponding fixture last year when Swifts ran out 4-1 winners with a brace from Matt Price and one apiece for Luke Callender and Joe Gardner, Callum Thompson replying for Blues with his first goal for the club.
Current Form Last Six League Games
Supporters are advised tomorrow is a 2 pm kick off
Statistics courtesy of Chris Jones Grays Athletic Archive