Grays Ath 2 v 1 Harrow Borough
A TOWERING header by Manny Parry secured all three points for Grays Athletic at Mill Field against Harrow Borough.
Harrow had the majority of the early exchanges with good work down the channels.
Marc Charles-Smith looked especially dangerous.
Grays fans were delighted to see Joel Nouble back on loan and he nearly snuck in at the far post in the 12th minute.
Nouble made a number of chances but seemed terribly one footed.
Harrow should have scored in the 20th minute when Grays failed to clear, Michael Bryon burst into the box but although his pass skidded across the area, no-one was able to latch onto it.
Harrow increased the pressure as it looked like a hard afternoon for the Blues.
Nouble had another good chance but just could not get any power into his shot.
This was starting to frustrate the sparse crowd.
Winger Nik Salapatas’s cleanly struck shot whistled past the post as another chance went by.
However, it was Grays who went into the lead after Joao Carlos was brought down in the box in the 32nd minute. Skipper, Kenny Beaney stepped up and scored.
Grays looked much more assured in midfield and attack as they sprayed the ball around. However, their defence looked very brittle.
And so it proved when more poor defending in the 43rd minute gave Mark Charles-Smith the simplest of tasks.
Grays should have re-taken the lead from the kick-off as Dumebi Dumaka broke free but his shot just trickled past the goal.
But Grays made up for it a minute later when Manny Parry rose high and handsome to head into the net.
This was now a vital time for Grays and with another chance spurned by Dumaka, you did worry whether Grays could hold on.
Inexplicably, the referee gave Harrow Borough a penalty in the 65th minute after a Harrow player backed into Manny Parry. But Connor Gough produced a great save to maintain the lead.
With three new subs on, Harrow had a new lease of life but they just could not find a way through. Player manager Mark Bentley came on and brought an air of authority to the Blues.
Keeper, Connor Gough continued to impress as the whole team put in a real shift for Grays.
A deserved three points. Three wins out of four for Mark Bentley’s young side.
Grays Ath: Gough C, Best-Riley A, Siva J, Leader J, Parry I, Stevens J (Bentley M 76),, Wilson J, Beaney K, Gb-Dumaka D, Nouble J, Carlos J (Morrison-Derbyshire L 88)
Subs not used:, Sidhu J, Young R, Knight J.
Harrow Borough: Jupp N, Dyer D, McCluskey G, Hope R, Soruga J, Maissiat A (Peacock M 66), Bryon M (Sterling-Parker R,75), Smith J, Charles-Smith M, McCluskey C, Salapatas N (English K 60)
Subs not used: Kaba S, Taylor D