Ryman Div One North
Grays Ath 2 v 0 Ware
THEY went down to ten men but a Danny Bunce pile-driver ensured that Grays Athletic continue their promotion pursuit as they beat basement team Ware, 2-0 at Rush Green.
Grays took up where they left off in their last league victory against Thamesmead, with three up front.
Debutant Jeff Hammond looked a strong aggressive attacker.
In the 6th minute, Danny Bunce slipped, letting Aime Blessing in but George Kamarasi was quick enough to pounce on the ball.
However, in the 9th minute, Joao Carlos burst through on the left, played it square to Jack West who, despite the close attention of the Ware defender, forced the ball home.
Ware defender John Stevenson was cautioned for a clumsy tackle on Jeff Hammond on the edge of the area.
In the 25th minute, Jeff Hammond showed his value and a clean pair of heels to the Ware defence. He shot from close range but it was turned around for a corner.
The shots reined in from Jack West and Joe Sweeney as Grays were head and shoulders against the perennial strugglers from Hertfordshire.
The only frustration Grays had was the referee seemed to be penalising Jack West for even the slightest of contacts.
And sure enough, referee Benjamin Furneaux sent Daniel Subola off in the 42nd minute after the player’s slightest of lunges in the tackle was adjudged dangerous.
The second half started slowly as Grays looked to contain at first. A Danny Bunce shot in the 52nd went wide. In the 54th minute, Joaa Carlos headed from close range but keeper Rhys Madden produced an outstanding save.
Ware were growing in confidence. Sub Tyler Christian-Law side netted and Elliot King blasted over. In the 70th minute, Kenny Beaney did well to save off the line.
The game looked like it was descending into mediocrity until the 84th minute. Grays Ath were awarded a free kick on the edge of the area after Joao Carlos was upended. Danny Bunce stepped up and blasted the ball home to secure the three points and maintain the pursuit of Maldon.
Grays Athletic: Kamarusi G, Pope C, Baker J, Kirby R, Bunce D, Baker J, Carlos J( Marshall L 88), Beaney K, Subola D, Sweeney J, West J, Hammond J.
Subs not used: Cruickshank A, East D, Smith G, Scarlett T