Saturday, June 22, 2024

Football: Grays hit four as they get back on the winning trail

Ryman Premier

Grays Athletic 4 v 2 Lewes

A RE-ENERGISED Grays Athletic produced a positive, determined performance to beat Lewes 4-2 at the Mill Field.

This was their first league win after a row of seven defeats in a row and will go a long way to instil a belief that they can avoid relegation.

The first attack of the game came in the third minute when Lewis Blewden ran on to a through ball. His pace was frightening and outstripped the Grays defence.

Grays looked sharp and Joel Nouble nearly scored when his shot rolled across the penalty area. Debutant Leroy Griffiths looked like he was enjoying the supply of Joao Carlos.

But the lack of understanding was evident in the 13th minute when Nathan Crabb was able to draw three defenders in the box, leaving Blewden unmarked. He couldn’t get the ball across but it was symptomatic of why Grays had lost seven league games in a row.

Leroy Griffiths sneaked in again in the fifteenth minute. His presence was causing unrest in the Rook’s defence.

Grays opened the scoring in the 20th minute, when Danny Bunce got first to a cross and from close range headed it into the net. Grays had settled and Alex Cruickshank nearly made it two when he nipped in behind the defence but his shot was smothered by the keeper.

On the half hour, Crabb once again had a great chance as he sprang the offside trap. He rounded the keeper but put the ball into the side netting.

Grays made it 2-0 in the 33rd minute when Joel Nouble did what he had been threatening to do and unleashed a cracking shot from outside the area.

The game was very similar to those games at the beginning of the season, when the supposedly better side could not quite understand why they were losing to a team that was playing better football.

Grays made it 3-0 in the 50th minute when a Lee Flynn free kick was floated in and Ruddock Yala bundled the ball home from close range. Once again, it was no more than the Blues deserved.

Lewes reacted immediately and Nathan Crabb curled a ball over the head of Lloyd Anderson from outside the box. The game seemed a lot more open. That was until Joel Nouble wrestled free from the Lewes defence, rounded the keeper and scored.

But once again, Lewes go their head down and had a go. In the 61st minute, Jack Dixon blasted the ball from outside the box to make it 4-2.

Lewes tried to press on. They had a few attacks that were repelled by keeper Lloyd Anderson but in the end the Rooks ran out of ideas as Grays Ath stood firm.

Despite a very low crowd of just 156, the fans applauded the Blues warmly at the end of the game. Grays now face AFC Hornchurch away on Saturday.

Grays Athletic: Anderson L, Pope C, Flynn L, Kirby R, Yala R, Cruickshank A (Mtyanda L 65), Bunce D (Small J 77), Beaney K, Nouble J, Griffiths L (Moses B 86), Carlos J

Subs not used: Greene L, Maxwell R

Lewes: Rikki Banks R, Crabb S (Treleaven R 81), Gore S, Pearson A (Austin B 63), Lovett J, Walder J (Maloney J 69), Wheeler N, Dixon J, Blewden L, Crabb N, Logan F

Subs not used: Murrell-Williamson R, Badger J

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