GRAYS highly entertaining 3-2 victory against Great Wakering Rovers may be looked at as everything that might go right with Grays’ season and possibly everything that might go wrong.
The game put every Grays fan through the wringer as they simply couldn’t batter the Wakering door down.
Grays had the vast majority of the possession but nearly every attack ended with them hitting the ball at the keeper. Joao Carlos and Dave Cowley out a vast number of crosses in from the left and right but to no avail. There was no tall bustling centre forward to put them in. Instead neither Jared Small nor Joe Sweeney who was as quiet and ineffective as he was on Saturday could capitalise. Indeed, neither Kenny Beaney nor Harry Agombar could impose themselves either as the game was played in diagonal direction.
However for all their possession, it was Great Wakering who went ahead, when Nathan Dewberry was given far too much room to turn by an overwise imperious Brad Thomas and his shot went under the hapless Aki Aksoy.
With new signing, Andy Hall from Brentwood looking on, it could be his last game for some time.
Grays fought back but it was much of the same for the whole of the half. After half time, there was ten minutes of pinball action until Grays went quiet for a time as if they grew very frustrated.
Anthony Ryan came on for Jared Small and created a bit of bustle up front. In the 67th minute, Brad Thomas equalised as he deftly turned in the area after (you guessed it) a goalmouth scramble and placed the ball away from keeper Louis Goodwin Gordon.
You would have thought that Grays would have cracked on but Rovers hit straight back as Danny Curran in acres of space on the right fires the ball under Aksoy.
Grays now had subs Eljay Worrell and Danny Bunce on and they gave the team the injection they needed.
Rovers defender Beale handballed in the area and Bunce slotted the penalty home to make it 2-2.
Grays now had fifteen minutes to win the game. They certainly were not holding back and players were popping up in all sorts of places in order to give the team the lead.
Indeed it was a forceful run Danny the Tunnel King look-a-like by Craig Pope that created the great escape by marauding into the area inducing a foul that saw the young referee point straight to the spot.
Danny Bunce stepped up once more but his penalty was saved by the excellent keeper however Eljay Worrell was on hand to bundle the ball in and put Grays back on top of the league.
The fans went away happy. Nerves shredded but happy. For Hakan, there is a gap now as the FA Cup approaches and he will use this time to ensure players return from injury and a little bit of thinking time on how to approach the next trance of games.