Bill Robinson reports from The Rookery…….
Grays Ath 1 Potters Bar Town 2
Not for the first time this season that Grays have outplayed the opposition but come away with no points, on numerous occasions today the Grays strikers had the goal at their mercy but there poor aim meant each time the ball went high over the bar. Combined with two lapses of defending which gifted the visitors two goals saw Grays defeated again.
The match was played at a fast pace throughout with the initial attacks coming from the visitors but gradually Grays took control to dominate the game.
The opening goal from Potters Bar came in the 24th minute when a long ball out of defence found Luke Croll on the left, his cross was perfect for Elvis Balic who was waiting around the penalty spot completely unmarked to head home to give them a surprised lead.
Grays rallied and put pressure on the Potters goal, Simon Thomas, Ishmael Welsh and Steven Demetriou all having good attempts on goal but failing to make keeper Shane McWeeney work for his money.
The second half continued in the same manner with Grays looking the most likely to score. Then just after the hour Potters Bar were awarded a free kick just inside the Grays half, the ball was sent deep towards the far post and dropped to the feet of central defender Dennis Paratusic who struck a perfect shot beyond Robinson and into the net.
Manager Julian Dicks made some tactical substitutions, one being the introduction of Alex Osborn the Grays favourite, he immediately made an impact and there was a buzz of anticipation back in the Grays side.
With just seven minutes remaining Osborn reduced the deficit with a super strike after evading two defenders putting the ball wide of McWeeney into the corner of the net.
The referee added an addition four minutes and within that period Grays should have scored twice, first Emiel Aiken had the ball delivered to him in front of an open goal but somehow volleyed high over the bar.
Then with just seconds left Aiken had another chance, this time he shot from the edge of the box and the ball struck the inside of the post and unbelievably did not cross the goal line but rolled out of play.
Grays Ath: Stuart Robinson, Junor Baker, Tom Harvey, Ishmael Welsh, Marvin Samuel, Steven Demetriou, Simon Thomas, Danny Bunce, Manlee Browne, Cam Mawer, Dean Pennant.