Stephen Allen reports
Both teams needed a victory from this fixture after their early season form had deserted them,
but it wasn’t to be for either team as they played out a competitive goal-less draw.
Brentwood started the brighter, attacking straight from the kick off only for their shot to go wide. The Grays players worked hard to break down the Brentwood defence and almost took the lead in the 8th minute with a superb glancing header from debutant Brad Thomas, only for it to just go over the bar.
The first half flowed from end to end with Osborn and Fontaine looking very lively. The Brentwood defence held the Grays forwards with Doyle and Edgar playing superbly in the back four. Attacks from both teams came to nothing as both struggled to break down the off side traps .
In the 35th minute Brentwood thought they had taken the lead with a one to one chance from Joel Barnett, only to find himself ruled offside. Reynolds free kick for Grays, three minutes later, went tantalizingly over the bar. Half time score of 0-0 was a fair reflection of the half, both keepers doing their part in keeping a clean sheet.
Brentwood again started the half the brighter of the two teams with Parmenter and Elbi making telling runs and Grays defence had to rally to hold their lines, Baker and Reynolds making some solid tackles to hold the Brentwood forwards at bay. The introduction of Welsh, for Demetriou then Hudson-Odoi for Fontaine early in the second half galvanised Grays and they started to dominate the half.
A header from Simon Thomas went over, a chip from Odoi just over the bar, and a superb off-the-line header by Edgar from a shot by Odoi and still the visitors defence held firm. The introduction of Remy, on for Barnett, by Brentwood steadied the ship as Brentwood got back into the game.
An excellently timed tackle by Bunce in the Grays penalty area stopped what should have been a good chance by Green, and despite claims for a penalty the ref wave play on.
Another substitution from Brentwood, Ryan on for Green, couldn’t stop the Grays onslaught as they pushed forward to get the elusive goal, an Osborn shot saved by Hall, Si Thomas, Baker and Brad Thomas all headed over the bar to frustrate the home team and fans alike.
Brentwood never gave up and could have won the game themselves, a shot, from the ever dangerous Edgar, deflected for a corner and then a last minute save on the line by Grays stopper Northwood meant that the game ended with honours even, and the Brentwood fans going home the happier with the point they had won.
Teams :- Grays Athletic – Northwood, Thomas B, Baker, Reynolds, Bunce, Fontaine (Odoi 69), Samuel, Demetriou (Welsh,58), Pennant, Thomas, Osborn S
Brentwood – Hall, Doyle, Llewellyn, Noel, Blewitt, Edgar, Muir, Parmenter, Elbi, Green (Ryan 85), Barnett (Remy 77),
Star man :- Andy Hall (Brentwood)