Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Grays Athletic 1 v 1 Maldon and Tiptree

AN EXCELLENT performance by Grays Athletic should have earned them three points but a superb strike in the 94th minute gave high-flying Maldon a share of the points.

It was evident in the interview afterwards that boss Julian Dicks was beating himself up after the game. He shouldn’t as Grays have produced two performances out of three which show they should be much further up the league than they are at present.

The reality is that their landlords have just won ten games in a row with far less resources, so regardless of performances such as this, John Coventry’s men are the benchmark by which Grays will be judged.

Maldon were never in this game as Grays controlled it throughout. Alex Osbourn and Simon Thomas looked a much better pairing up front while Stephen Demetriou was a constant thorn in Maldon’s side. Bradley Thomas looked much more assured in the centre of defence.

Grays had a chance to go ahead in the 11th minute but a profligate Simon Thomas blasted the ball over the bar.

The pitch cut up very quickly. It didn’t spoil the game but it led to very few clear cut chances as the ball pinged around the park however as the whistle went for half time Grays felt the three points were there for the taking.

Grays kept up the pressure in the second half. In the 56th minute, Alex Osbourn twisted, turned and played a superb ball into John Docker whose cross was bundled out for a corner.

The game changed when a Maldon defender Grant Cooper was sent off for a second bookable offence. From the free kick, Bradley Thomas knocked the ball into the path of Dean Pennant who rifled the ball into the back of the net.

Grays had the game in their control. Jason Fontaine came on and terrorised the left flank. The Grays players worked very hard, kept the ball moving and tried to go for the second goal.

The game was into the 94th minute when Maldon midfielder’s Ollie Berquez 20 yard strike sailed past Stephen Northwood and into the net.

Grays next fixture is against Enfield Town on Wednesday night.

Grays Ath: 4-4-2

S.Northwood, E Worrall, D Bunce, B Thomas, J Baker, J Docker, M Samuel, S Demetriou, S Thomas, A Osbourn, D Pennant

Subs: T Harvey, R Brown, J Small, E Aiken, J Fontaine

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