Ryman Div One North Semi Final Play Off
Enfield Town 2 v 2 Grays Ath
IT was agony for Grays Ath as they lost on penalties in the play offs as they came back from being 2-0 down against Enfield.
It could not have started any worse for Grays. Tony Tucker kicked the ball away but into the path of Adam Wallace who easily rounded Tucker to score.
Grays came back. Joao Carlos forced a corner. From the corner Junior Baker headed the ball and it bounced off the post.
Enfield looked like a Ryman Premier team-elect when they played Grays last week and they continued to impress.
Grays edged their way back into the game. The through ball looked like the best route. Kenny Beaney was bossing the midfield and Grays were also playing with confidence. A Bunn header went close from a corner.
Enfield’s Leon Osei limped off in the 17th minute.
Kenny Beaney received his customary yellow card for a clumsy tackle on an Enfield player. And Lee Flynn went into the book a minute later. It was symptomatic of the season.
Enfield nearly made it 2-0 with a snatch volley from Liam Hope. Junior Baker headed off the line soon after. Enfield were working well in packs.
If there was one thing missing from Grays game from the team who were the early pace setters in the league then it was the lovely one touch flowing moves. Now it tended to break down after a few moves.
The chances dried up for Grays apart from a solid shots by Harry Agombar and Nathan Gordon just before the break.
Enfield made it 2-0 in the 50th minute with a fine header from skipper Mark Kirby.
Grays response seemed to collect more yellow cards: one for Agombar and the less than saintly Pope.
Danny Charge came on for Danny Bunce as Grays had to take risks. Nathan Gordon and Joaa Carlos stayed up. But Grays could not put a solid attack together.
The last throw of the die was to bring on sub Jean Michel Sigere. It was perhaps fitting that Grays problem all season has been finding a consistent combination up front. It was Sigere’s and Charge’s first game up front.
But from nowhere, Grays Ath got back in the game when Joao Carlos was upended in the box and Harry Agombar scored from the spot.
Grays laid siege on the Town goal. A Danny Bunce piledriver was saved off the line. From the corner, Junior Baker sailed high and headed the ball home.
Grays nearly got the winner when a Carlos shot was saved off the line.
And so it went to extra time! Enfield had played all their subs and Jordan Lockie was playing on one leg.
Joao Carlos was rampant. Grays pressed hard. Two corners came in a row. Enfield were now punched out. Players fell like nine pins but could Grays find the killer blow.
Grays corners were too high and fancy flicks didn’t work out. But Enfield could have snatched it when a great ball from the right was beautifully smothered by Tony Tucker.
A tired tackle from Enfield saw a free kick on the edge of the area. Harry Agombar flew the ball in but it was headed away for a corner. Enfield defended manfully as the corners rained down.
Enfield went down to ten men when Barber tried to waste time at a throw and received a second yellow card.
It went to penalties but with Agombar and Beaney missing a very brave Enfield went through to the play off final.
So Grays stay in the Ryman Div One North. Their fans were great tonight and have been terrific all season. Let us hope that with a new home and a settled outlook they can be promoted next season.
Grays Ath: Tucker T, Pope C, Flynn L, Cooper G, Baker J, Carlos J, Gordon N, Beaney K, Bunce D, Agombar H, Bunn J,
Subs not used : Fontaine J, Sigere J-M, Charge D, Sweeney J, Olima P