Thursday, July 25, 2024

Football: Dull Grays bore draw in FA Trophy

FA Trophy

Grays Ath 1 v  1 Ashford Town

DESPITE never being in danger or under pressure, Grays Ath once again conspired to only draw 1-1 against Ashford Town.

Early on, Grays Ath seemed to pick up where they left off in recent games, wasting possession and making unforced errors.

At the back, Junior Baker continued to play well as he snuffed out most challenges.

In the 16th minute, Jack West found himself in acres of space in the area. Instead of having a go, he simply lobbed it up to the Ashford defenders.

Grays were being hindered by a lack of movement and players on their heels.

In the 21st minute, the deadlock was broken as skipper Danny Bunce placed a 30 yard free kick into the right hand corner of the net.

Grays continued to dominate without particularly impressing. The second nearly came in the 35th minute when Jack West neatly passed to Joao Carlos but keeper Paul McCarthy did well to smother the shot.

Ashford’s best chance came in the 44th minute when Jake Hall kicked the ball off the line from a Scott Weight header.

The second half saw Grays comfortably in control without really impressing. Joe Sweeney was trying to work the ball down the right but once again most moves ended not with a chance or a half chance but wiht a mistimed pass.

Leon Lalite was once again been quietly effective and put in a great tackle in the 57th minute to snuff out an attack and debut keeper Jake Larkins put in a very assured performance as well.

A trademark Carlos run and shot went wide, a Lailte shot went over. But from nowhere, Ashford equalised in the 71st minute when a lovely neat volley from Mark Bitmead curled over the keeper.

Grays needed to find the plan B that has deserted over the last few weeks. Junior Baker nearly provided it when he steamrolled into the area to latch onto a corner but his header went over. Bizarrely, a short time later, Junior Baker also went close when defending a corner when he headed it straight at this keeper, so nearly scoring an own goal.

Grays simply don’t have a player at the moment who is able to change the tempo and direction of the game and they are starting to look like strangers. Perhaps that is a little harsh at this early stage of the season. We feel sure that Hakan has it in hand and may just have a few moves up his sleeves.

The replay is on Tuesday at 7.45pm

Yellow: Scott Weight, Craig Pope

Attendance: 122

Grays Ath: Larkins J, Pope C, Kirby R, Baker J, Bunce D, Hall J, Lalite L, Beaney K, Carlos J, Sweeney J (Marshall L 65) , West (J.Bunn J 90)

Subs not used: Flynn L, East D, Scarlett T, ,

Ashford Town: McCarthy P, Knock H, Thomas E, Canderton R, Conteh B, Weight S, Bitmead M, Luckins P, Brown D, Lockhart-Adams K (Bennett J 65), Duffy A

Subs not used: Tobin T, , Mann J, Robinson C, Mullan J

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