Stan Veness Trophy
Tilbury 1 v 2 Grays Athletic
GRAYS ATH won a spirited local derby (and the Stan Venness trophy) with a last gasp goal by Kenny Beaney at Chadfields.
The Dockers started brightly as Tony Jacobs skipped past Craig Pope to surge into the area but his cross was weak.
A minute later he did it again, this time he went past the worryingly erratic Grays keeper, George Kamarusi but his shot went into the side netting.
There are concerns that Grays may go into the season, somewhat under-cooked but they started quite fluently.
In the 12th minute, Joao Carlos produced a beautiful back-heel that allowed Jared Small to surge forward until his heels were clipped however the referee did not call foul.
The game started to become an open affair with Grays exerting more pressure. It paid off as Jared Small fired home from close range after A Jeff Hammond strike meant that Dockers keeper could only spill the ball to Small.
New signing Aaron Gonzales seems to have something about him on the right (think we wrote that about Luke Marshall this time last year) but what was most impressive about Grays was their ability to feed the ball into the channels.
For the Dockers it was backs against the wall. There was the odd chance and Piers Wixon went close just before half time.
Both teams made a few changes at half time. Both teams kept their shape but the match lost a little of its fluency.
Grays won a series of corners but they never really threatened Tilbury.
But from out of nowhere, Tilbury equalised. Grays Ath had been standing off their players all afternoon and so Lewis Weemes exploited that as, from the edge of the area, he picked his spot and placed the ball high into the Grays goal.
Boss Ryan Kirby made more changes and gave a number of young subs a chance to shine. However, the Dockers had the momentum and the Grays keeper produced a great smother save.
Joe Nightingill looked off the pace in the second half and it was no surprise to see him limp off late on.
Grays sneaked a winner in the final minute when Kenny Beaney bundled the ball in from close range.
Tilbury boss Paul Vaughan was pleased with the workout as well as the spirit in the ranks.
Grays did all that was needed, looked comfortable but the real test begins next Saturday against Bognor in the Ryman Premier.
Green M, Mead C, Waters A, Malthouse K, Daniel R, Crooks B, Francis D, Zanelli J, Weemes L, Wixon P, Jacobs T
Subs: Llewellyn M, Christou J, Doyle B, White C, Bidara S.
Grays Ath: Kamuarasi G, Pope C, Flynn L, Nightingill J, Kirby R, Lalite L, Small J, Beaney K, Hammond J, Carlos J,Gonzales J.
Subs: Maxwell R, West J, Baker J, Day D, Robinson H, Dury C, Hamdan V.