Ryman Div One North
Grays Ath 3 v 1 Aveley
IT was not pretty but it was pretty effective for Grays Athletic as they registered their fourteenth win in a row in a scrappy 3-1 win against Aveley at Rush Green Stadium.
The game gave Kris Newby his first start for the Blues and he began it with a number of robust challenges that underlined his appetite for the game.
First chance fell for Grays as Craig Pope got to the near post to head just over from a corner.
The second came to Joao Carlos who pounced on a loose ball in the area but was marshalled out by Spencer Harrison.
But there was no mistake in the 11th minute when the ball popped out of a goalmouth scramble and Carlos tucked it away.
Jordan Cox had a good chance in the 13th minute when he broke free from Ryan Kirby but his shot was well saved by Lamar Johnson.
Cox had another good chance in the 19th minute which led to a corner. He was clearly the danger man who was making life very difficult for the Blues.
But Cox made a fatal mistake in the 27th minute when a back pass fell into the path of Joao Carlos and the dangerous winger made no mistake in sliding it under Miller’s keeper Foster.
Grays were now threatening to run away with this. And they did when Carlos was upended by Danny Hopkins in the box in the 34th minute, Jack West put the penalty away.
The Millermen were thrown a lifeline when chaos in the Grays box saw Junior Baker head into his own net.
Aveley started brightly in the second half, still believing that a point was still there. However, tempers rose with a number of reckless challenges. Grays defender Ryan Kirby was lucky not to be sent off after raising his hands to Marcus Rose.
The wind was making life very difficult for Lamar Johnson as Grays looked to hold on.
It was inevitable but soon after the first red card came when Jack West was judged to have raised his hands on Spencer Harrison. Video footage may tell a different story.
The referee had to impose himself on the game. At that point, an Aveley official was seen to counsel his manager as things were in danger of getting out of hand.
Aveley kept exerting plenty of pressure but couldn’t really carve out a decent chance. One came in the 83rd minute as the Miller attack flooded forward but Jordan Cox shot wide. Soon after both Alex Read and sub Sheldon Sellars went close.
Grays held on to maintain their six point lead with six games to play. They travel to Ilford on Saturday whilst Aveley have eight to play and next play Waltham Abbey on Thursday night at 7.45pm.
Grays Athletic: Johnson L, Pope C, Baker J, Kirby R, Flynn L, Newby K, Lalite L, Beaney K, Small J (Hammond J 82), Carlos J (Bunce D 90), West J
Subs not used: East D, , Marshall L, Moses B,
Aveley: Foster A, Rose M, Nesbitt T, Leader J, Harrison S, Hopkins D, Read A, Stevenson J, Cox J, Burnett P (Dadson J 55)
Subs not used:, Sellars S, Opiah J, Kamara R, Sonuga G