Thursday, April 18, 2024

Grays Athletic 3 v 1 Tilbury Town

GRAYS Ath will make the rest of the league sit up with a stylish 3-1 victory against local rivals Tilbury Town.

In an exciting first half, Grays dominated the game playing football that made you double-check what league they were in.

Dockers gained a free kick in the first twenty seconds which was easily dealt with by Grays keeper Stuart Robinson.

A Grays free kick a minute later was scrambled away. .

The Blues looked very stylish and when Simon Thomas nodded on to Jared Small who passed to Jason Fontaine; the move broke down but Grays commitment to quality football didn’t.

Steven Demetriou was giving the Dockers a real headache on the right luring them into a free kick which Reynolds headed just off target.

Grays defending looked solid as Tilbury soon started to look for the fouls.

In the 15th minute Joel Ettiene Clarke  sent over a free kick that failed to threaten the Grays goal.

Chances were coming thick and fast: Jared Small blasted wide again

But twenty minutes in you couldn’t say that Grays had carved out a decent chance and the fear was that Tilbury on the back of two good victories were gaining in confidence.

But nineteen minutes into the game, Danny Bunce broke the deadlock and how, with a thunderous piledriver thirty yards out that would have graced any ground in the country.

Grays were buoyed. Three minutes later, Jared Small was fouled just outside the box. The point blank free kick was well saved by James Marrable.

With a bumper 427 crowd, there was a real carnival atmosphere as the team sprayed diagonal balls and dynamic one-twos that belied their status.

You started to think, if this is what Grays are like, marauding down the right hand side, what will they be like with Ishmael Welsh down the left?

Tom Harvey and Marvin Samuel were marshalling their troops with Junior Baker chivvying the troops.

In the 31st minute, Marrable made an outstanding smother save from Samuels while Turner was lucky to just see yellow after a scything tackle.

A minute later a booming thirty yarder was spectacularly turned over the bar by Robinson.

It should have been two when Marrable again produced a marvellous point blank save from Small.

Docker Lewis Bourne imposed his identity on the game just before half time as his twenty yard shot hit the bar.

The game changed when Ibrahim Conteh’s clumsy challenge on saw a second yellow and an early bath.

In the 50th minute Duran Reynolds leapt above the Dockers defence but again just couldnt find the target.

But whereas Grays should have pressed on, they lost their way a bit but they pushed on and when Simon Thomas ran forty yards to block a clearance you could sense the commitment from all the Grays team.

However from nowhere sub Jack West nodded in from close range  in the 66th minute to put the Dockers on level terms.

Grays immediately attacked but now the play looked like the over-egged fare that saw them beaten by Harlow.

The Dockers under Paul Vaughan are made of tough stuff but in their next attack only two men attacked. It seemed to be a question of whether there stamina would hold out.

It took a moment of individual class as Jared Small, from the edge of the area turned, controlled and dinked the ball beyond the flailing arms of James Marrable.

One of Grays best players was Jerome Ingram as he continued to probe down the right. Another cross was met by Small but  a flailing Tilbury boot just ensured they stayed in the game.

The game was wrapped up in the 82nd minute when Bunce passed to Tom Harvey in the middle who smoothly passed to  Small in space and Small with confidence high, passed the ball past Marrable to secure the three points.

Grays Athletic (4-4-2)

Stuart Robinson Jerome Ingram Junior Baker Duran Reynolds Danny Bunce Stephen Demitriou Tom Harvey Marvin Samuel Jason Fontaine Jared Small Simon Thomas

Nick Wilson Glen Kendall Joe Nightingill Emile Aiken Eljay Worrell

Tilbury Town (4-4-2)

James Marrable Lewis Bourne James Cunningham Ben Turner Sam West Callum Leahy Ben Boyce Bobby Port Joel Ettienne Clarke Chris Taylor Ibrahim Conteh
Jamie Pooley Jack West Harry Cook Terry Griffiths Dean Driscoll


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