FA Trophy 2nd Qualifying Rnd Replay
Grays Ath 0 v 1 Whitehawk
GRAYS ATH suffered a frustrating night as a fast and furious Whitehawk outpaced them to win 1-0 in the FA Trophy at Rush Green Stadium.
Grays started extremely brightly with Joao Carlos looking chipper in particular and with Leon Lalite nipping in, you wondered if the long journey would take its toll on Whitehawk.
But the first chance of the game came in the 11th minute when quicksilver Jed wallace ran from the half way line and saw his fierce shot hit the post.
A moment later, Grays had a fair shout for a penalty when after good work on the right, Craig Pope sent a cross over and Luke Marshall was dragged down. The referee waved play on.
Marshall and Jack West combined well a few minutes later and illustrated that the Blues are in a very confident mood.
But Whitehawk are fast and when David East did well to fend the ball away for a corner, you felt that Grays had to make their chances count.
With a player from each side being booked, there was a concern that the referee could lose control of this game.
Once again, a fast Whitehawk forward had another chance to speed forward but his shot went wide.
In the 35th minute, Whitehawk had a free kick in a perfect position: just outside the box, Josh Jones stepped up and put it straight into the wall.
Whitehawk took the lead from the re-start when James Fraser leapt high in the area to head the ball home. Good work by George Kamarusi prevented a second.
Hawks were now on top and showed why they are near the top of the Ryman Premier whilst Grays could not get out of their area as the midfield and attack became separated.
Young Dan Fry came on from an inexperienced bench to see if he could change things as he did on Saturday.
As a matter of policy, YT does not criticise weak, ineffectual referees and we won’t begin now with Mr Ian Fissenden.
Grays had their chances. Joao Carlos put the ball over the bar from less than two yards after a great free kick, Lee Flynn fired a shot over the bar and they continued to press and press but Whitehawk absorbed the pressure to go through to the next round.
Grays Ath will regroup as they travel to league leaders, Maldon and Tiptree on Saturday for the biggest game of the season.
Grays Ath: Kamarusi G, Pope C, Flynn L, East D, Kirby R, Hall J (Moses B 69), Beaney K, West J (Baker J 86), Marshall L (Fry D 57), Carlos J, Lalite L
Subs not used: Scarlett T, Cruickshank A,