Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Carlos wonder strike sees Grays go four points clear

Ryman Div One North

Grays Ath 4 v 0 AFC Sudbury

A WONDER strike by winger Joao Carlos put Grays Athletic on the way to sitting three points clear in the league.

Grays picked up where they left off on Saturday playing expansive attractive football that put the opposition on the back foot.

Grays had most of the early exchanges. In the 10th minute, Harry Agombar whipped in a corner that deserved but failed to have a head on it.

Grant Cooper’s style and calm was welcome at the back.

In the 16th minute the game exploded with the goal of the season so far. A long ball, Jean-Michel Sigere headed on to Joao Carlos unleashed a wonder-strike from 25 yards that went like a rocket into the back of the Sudbury net.

Sudbury looked shell-shocked but did well to regain their composure and their swift midfield and attack started to press.

Grays got a little bogged down and once again very little was coming through the middle and down the flanks they started to go down cul-de-sacs.

Gray should have made it two when on the break Sigere released Louis Dennis whose shot beat the keeper but struck the post.

Grays earned a corner in the 37th which Sudbury did well to head away. Agombar sent another over that Gay did well to hold.

The final chance of the half fell to Grays: Carlos once again breaking free on the left hand side of the box but his shot went wide.

With the dew falling, you had the feeling that one slip could change the game.

The first chance of the second half came in the 51st minute when Louis Dennis’ header just flashed across the area after a super cross from Craig Pope.

David Cowley deserves some luck and he got it in the 52nd minute. He jinked across the area, shot and the ball deflected off a Sudbury defender and in.

By all accounts it said more about Sudbury’s season so far.

Grays now relaxed. A Grant Cooper shot was well held by Gay. The next fifteen minutes had few chances but Grays enjoyed a great deal of possession.

Andy Hall didn’t have much to do but his ability to pluck the ball from the feet of an attacker who went clear with just him to beat showed why Grays had signed him.

A Sudbury free kick in the 73rd minute was easily defended as the Suffolk side continued to look for any chance.

Grays made it three in the 77th minute. A cross which looked far too deep was met at the far post by Joao Carlos who volleyed it first time across the goal and Louis Dennis had the simplest of tap ins.

Grays didn’t stop as Joao Carlos continued to rampage down the left but he was soon subbed as Grays got all three subs on.

The fourth came in the 88th minute when the rampant Craig Pope was fouled in the box. Harry Agombar cooly made it four from the spot.

Grays Athletic: A Hall, C Pope, D Bunce, J Baker, G Cooper, D Cowley, J Carlos (E Worrell 85), K Beaney, H Agombar, J Sigere (J Small 74), L Dennis (J Sweeney 82)

Subs not used: J Fontaine, I Gayle,


  1. A good performance from Grays, but not as one sided as the score might suggest. Sudbury were by far the best side to date to play Grays at Rookery Nook and hardly deserved to lose by 4 goals. Grays had about 6 chances and scored from four of them. Had Andy Hall not saved the side when he dived at the attacker’s feet, then Sudbury did look as though they might go on and score a second, such was their dominance at the time.. A rather flattering scoreline but Grays could have scored four against GWR and in the end had to settle for a narrow one goal victory. Strange game this football!


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