Thursday, July 25, 2024

Football: Grays win through in FA Trophy

By Chris Jones

BLUES won through to the FA Trophy Second Qualifying Round with a 2-1 win at Ashford Town (Middx), to book a trip to Isthmian Premier side Whitehawk.

With traffic delaying a number of players, changes were made to the intended line-up, with Grant Cooper replacing Junior Baker at the centre of defence, whilst Lee Flynn returned to the team in place of Leon Lalite; Danny Bunce started on the left hand side of midfield.

Jack West gave Blues the perfect start just after a quarter of an hour, firing home from the edge of the area, scoring his fourth goal of the season.

It was two shortly before half time as Jake Hall stormed through the Ashford defence, and buried his shot past Paul McCarthy.

The hosts introduced Joe Bennett for the injured Perry Luckins on the hour, and it was he who made the difference, as Ashford got back into the match.

Kofi Lockhart-Adams latched onto a loose ball inside the area, before slotting past Jake Larkins to ensure a nervy last third of the game.

Despite coming under pressure late on, the defence held firm to give Blues a much-needed win after having gone three games without one since the 3-0 victory over Heybridge Swifts a fortnight ago.

A first ever meeting with Whitehawk beckons on the 27th October, after they overcame Bury Town 1-0 in their replay this evening.

Up next for Blues is the visit of Needham Market to Rush Green on Saturday, as league football makes its return.

The match is the second in a busy October, in which eight matches are scheduled.

Grays Athletic: – Jake Larkins, Craig Pope, Ryan Kirby, Grant Cooper, Lee Flynn, Joao Carlos, Jake Hall, Kenny Beaney, Danny Bunce (Junior Baker 82), Joe Sweeney (Tyrone Scarlett 86), Jack West

Subs not used: – Leon Lalite, Luke Marshall, James Bunn

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