Ryman Div One North
Tilbury 0 v 1 Grays Ath
A FANTASTIC strike by Jake Hall saw Grays Athletic take all three points at Chadfields as they beat Tilbury 1-0.
The first real piece of action came in the 8th minute when Harry Agombar produced a fine curling shot that just went over James Marrable’s bar.
Infact Agombar was oozing class as he flummoxed the Docker’s defence.
Grays dominated early on. A rampaging run from Craig Pope saw him slip the ball to Jaoa Carlos but the winger’s shot was weak.
The Dockers kept a sold shape with the midfield pairing of skipper Gary Henty and Jack Carlile in control and with Emiel Aiken lurking on the right you felt that anything could happen. However a shoulder injury soon after saw him replaced by Martin Llewellyn.
It was the Bunce/Agombar/Hall axis down the left that was providing the most trouble and you had the feeling that the Grays management had found a key formation.
Tilbury’s Jack Carlile was lucky to stay on the pitch after a cynical hacking down of Joao Carlos. He received a yellow.
The deadlock was broken in the 30th minute, when Harry Agombar released Jake Hall in the area. Hall darted between two Dockers and curled the ball past the outstretched Marrable.
The Dockers had not threatened and so had to come up with a response as Grays threatened to cut loose. The Dockers defenders were standing off the Grays attackers too much, giving them time and space.
Aaron Waters floated in a couple of free kicks but they drifted away.
The Dockers needed a plan B in the second half and pressed immediately. A speculative scissor kick by Danny Francis at least made George Kamarusi make his first save of the game. Tilbury won a corner. Joel Barnett sent it over but Grays easily defended it.
Tilbury looked a lot more robust and gained a series of free kicks and corners as the pressure intensified.
At the other end, good work by Joao Carlos saw him getting to the by-line. He crossed but James Marrable did enough to smother the ball away.
Grays really needed that second goal but the team were not as fluid as they were in the first half.
On the hour, Jack West got into a good position outside the box, he passed right to Jake Hall and his shot was parried away by James Marrable.
Hall was a revelation, putting in a tremendous shift that saw him run to a standstill.
The heavens opened but it only served to raise temperatures. In the 70th minute, both Danny Bunce and Joel Barnett were sent off after a melee in the middle.
Both teams needed to regroup with Lee Flynn and Joe Sweeney coming on for Grays.
Tilbury were starting to fling themselves at the game as they desperately wanted to preserve their record against Grays Ath but the Blues were working hard.
Jake Hall went close in the 84th minute but his attempted chip went wide whilst Joe Sweeney worked across the line well.
The action was non-stop. Joe Sweeney went past two defenders, found Hall free in the area but the ball went agonisingly past him.
The Dockers could not get the ball upfield and the old head of Ryan Kirby made sure of that.
But Grays held out and the scenes of both jubilation for Grays and deperation for Tilbury spoke volumes as to how important this game was for both sides.
Tilbury will put this down as a bad day at the office. No more, no less.
Grays Ath will be overjoyed at the six points in five days against one and two in the league. The momentum is theirs.
Tilbury: Marrable J, Smith D, Waters A, King P (Pooley J 45), Nightingill J, Henty G, Aiken E (Llewellyn M 20), Carlile J, Francis D, Barnett J, Matthews A.
Subs not used: Barnes B, Mead C, , Hooper M, Hooper B,
Grays Ath: Kamarusi G, Pope C, Bunce D (Flynn L 70), Baker J, Kirby R, Carlos J, Beaney K, Lalite L, Hall J (Sweeney J 85), Agombar H, West J (Bunn J).
Subs not used: Scarlett T, Cooper G