FA Trophy Second Round
Grays Ath 2 v 3 Canvey Island
IT WAS a pulsating cup tie with four penalties but Grays crashed out 3-2 against local rivals Canvey Island in the FA Trophy.
This had all the makings of a good old fashioned cup tie with two teams who had won the cup a few years ago. Indeed, the trip down memory lane didn’t stop there as former chairman Mickey Woodward watched from the terraces.
The league is the priority for Grays but they had a point to prove in, so far this season they had looked a little light against Premier opponents.
A less than confident punch away from Andy Hall gave Canvey the first corner of the game but then Hall made amends with a superb save low on the right on his line.
In the seventh minute, a Joe Sweeney shot whistled over the bar. Harry Agombar was busy but it was Canvey who looked threatening and again Hall did well to keep Jason Hallett out.
Holes started to appear in the middle of the Grays midfield as it had done against Aveley.
Grays broke the deadlock in the 24th minute. Harry Agombar produced a beautiful through ball to Joao Carlos who beat two on the left before being fouled in the box. Agombar who had missed his last penalty against Thamesmead, stepped up and made no mistake as he thumped it past James Russell.
Grays could have had two as Sweeney swept in from the right, Sigere muscled in but Canvey managed to scramble it away. At the other end, Hallett was harshly judged to have fouled Lee Flynn when he just had Hall to beat.
Grays were growing in confidence as their one touch game began to dominate.
Canvey won a free kick on the edge of the Blues area. Hallett stepped up
On the break, Carlos produced a great shot and an even greater save from James Russell in what was shaping up to be a very entertaining game.
Canvey equalised in the 35th minute, when Danny Heale produced a great shot from 30 yards that arced over Hall and in.
Canvey continued to threaten. Pope did well to head away to concede a corner.
The first yellow card went to Ashley Dumas which was a little harsh as it was a very fair game.
Canvey started the second half strongly but it was Grays who went ahead in the 53rd minute when Rob King hacked down Carlos. And once again Harry Agombar stepped up and placed the ball past Russell.
This was now the key part of the game. Sigere was sent in by Carlos and it was Steve Sheehan who pushed it off the line.
Grays had faster feet but Canvey looked strong and came back again in the 67th minute when keeper Andy Hall brought down the Canvey attacker. Having received a red card last week he was lucky to just get a yellow. Rob King stepped up and powered the penalty home.
The smart money was on Canvey who looked stronger.
Joao Carlos was out away by Joe Sweeney. He sped into the box but his shot was turned around by Russell.
Jared Small came on for Joe Sweeney. Three Grays corners rained down on the Canvey goal but they held firm. and as the game entered the last five minutes you felt that Canvey were the stronger side.
In the 86th minute, Canvey earned a free kick on the edge of the area but it was handled in the area by Grays and a fourth penalty for the game. Canvey converted it to go through to the next round of the FA Trophy.
Grays Ath: A.Hall, C Pope, B Thomas, G Cooper, L Flynn, D Cowley, H Agombar, K Beaney, J Carlos, J-M Sigere, J Sweeney,
Subs not used: J Small, D Bunce, S Muguo, L Dennis, Charlie Brien
Canvey Island: J Russell, M Alaile,A Dumas, R King, S Sheehan, J Easterford, K Dobinson, M Game, J Hallett, D Heale, L Gordon.
Subs not used: J Curran, K Asante, D Kerrigan, T Gonnella, A West