GRAYS Athletic have really hit the ground running this season. Five game, four wins and a draw. Suddenly expectations are high and that can be a tricky thing to manage.
Grays have played well, looked settled and controlled. The defence has been peerless with the mixture between experience at left and right back and class and timing in the middle with Bradley Thomas and Junior Baker. Things look even more settled with the addition of Andy Hall between the sticks.
In some ways the jury is out on the midfield and that may be a little harsh. On the plus side: David Cowley and Joao Carlos are a handful on the flanks with opposition using up a lot of energy combatting their attacks whilst in the middle, Kenny Beaney marshals very well and Harry Agombar is able to express himself more and more (as evidenced on Saturday).
Up front: Louis Dennis is a class apart. The challenge there is for the other players to read his game (someone might, someone like…..Stuart Thurgood). It is also a question of finding him the right partner. Joe Sweeney went off the boil very quickly and Jean-Micjel Sigere is yet to put his stamp on a game. Jared Small still looks good until he needs to score and then he freezes.
The subs have been the key. Danny Bunce and Eljay Worrell would walk into any team in this league and are brought on at precisely the right time.
Let us not forget Hakan and his “entourage” who have made selection look a simple progress, have not been afraid to drop people and know that this is a very long haul.
If Grays win tonight then they will stretch their lead to four points. You get the feeling that some teams are just getting into their stride (Needham in particular) so it could be vital that Grays steal a march on them.
Sometime you see a team and question what they are doing in a particular league: Lowestoft two seasons ago comes to mind. At the moment, that is not the case with Grays and you can see a canny manager opening them up but for now, they are on top of their game and top of the league.
Grays play AFC Sudbury at 7.45pm tonight (Wednesday) at Rookery Hill, Corringham.
Details of ticket prices are on the Grays Ath website.