Sunday, December 10, 2023

Football: Grays Ath make further progress in FA Cup

FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round

Hanwell Town 1 v 2 Grays Ath

Report courtesy of Grays Athletic

Blues won through in this tricky tie against a plucky Hanwell Town writes The Mariner..

A penalty missed in the opening minutes,a penalty scored in the closing minutes was a feature of this intriguing cup tie at Hanwell Town on Saturday. The home side owed a lot to their man of the match keeper Kacinvecius. He was the difference between the two sides, preventing the Blues running out comfortable winners with a string of superb saves but ironically was to give away the penalty that ultimately saw the visitors through to the next round.

Hanwell gave warning they were not to be underestimated when a quick break in the opening minutes saw the ball flash across the Grays box and was gratefully cleared to safety.

Blues first opportunity of the match fell to Montel Angeymang,James Stevens played one of his trademark cross field passes picking out Roman Michael-Percil the winger cut the ball back into the path of Angeymang who sliced his effort wide of the post.

Blues had a lucky escape moments later,Hanwell were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box the ball was driven in hard striking the arm of James Stevens a clear penalty.Lamar Johnson came to Blues rescue saving the initial kick and making a block save to defy the homesters the lead.

After this let off Grays began to settle into their game with Stevens and Angeymang pulling the strings.Joao Carlos and Percil were seeing a lot of the ball out wide,a great ball from Carlos found Percil with a deep cross but his subsequent volley lacked pace.

Blues were now dominating the play pushing Hanwell back and won a succession of corners.DD Dumaka back in the side picked up the ball and ran at the home defence sending in a searching cross on to the head of Sean Cronin who brought the first of many fine saves from keeper Kacinvecius

The pressure eventually told on the Hanwell, in the 17th minute another Blues corner saw Cronin’s goal bound header cleared off the line only to find the head of Jay Leader who made no mistake to put Grays one up.

The lead was short lived when barely a minute later Cronin went from hero to villain ,he dwelt on the ball on the half way line allowing Vicente to dispossess him and with a clear run on goal he slid the ball neatly past the exposed Johnson.

Despite this setback Blues continued to enjoy the lion share of possession,first Carlos brought another save from Kacinvecius,from the corner Stevens was again denied by the keeper.

Luke Ifill drove forward and delivered a great ball into Dumaka who should have done better firing high and wide.

To their credit Hanwell although under pressure for long periods still looked dangerous on the break with Vicente the pick of the bunch.

Blues had a great shout for a penalty following Stevens freekick,he found Dumaka picking the ball up he jinked past a couple of home defenders and was just about to pull the trigger when he was upended from behind despite vigorous appeals bizarrely the referee awarded a free kick to Hanwell and gave Dumaka a yellow card for simulation!

As the half drew to a close both Carlos and Dumaka came close Carlos hitting the side netting and Dumaka firing just over.

HT 1-1

Straight from the restart Blues again took the game to Hanwell,a Jey Siva corner was cleared out to Stevens his first time effort slipped wide of the post.

Kacinvecius then made a stunning save from a Dumaka volley and then Tomlinson latched on to a Stevens through ball but failed to hit the target.

Hanwell came close following a freekick the ball found Law but his effort lacked direction and sailed harmlessly over.

As the half progressed so the Blues pressure increased but it was the final ball in the last third that was letting them down as move after move broke down,Percil tested the keeper who uncharacteristically fumbled the ball but no Grays forward was able to capitalise.

Angeymang weaved his way forward slipping the ball into the path of Tomlinson who failed to hit the target.

Hanwell in a rare attack came close following Addaes shot on the turn but this was a short lived forward incursion as the Blues continued to dominate play but kept coming up against Kacinvecius who was in inspired form coming off his line to claim crosses and saving anything thrown at him.

With the game increasingly looking to be going to a replay Kacinvecius Was finally beaten albeit from the penalty spot.Blues won a corner in the 90th minute the ball was played in to sub Glen Little his deft chip was dropped by the keeper In an effort to claim the ball he brought down Cronin with the resultant kick and winning goal scored by Dumaka.It was cruel on the keeper but Blues fans breathed a huge sigh of relief to see all that pressure finally bring a goal.

To their credit Hanwell mounted a desperate last minute assault on the Blues goal but the visitors held out to secure a win which their work rate and dominance deserved.

So a professional performance but perhaps not one of their best by Grays in what could have been a potential banana skin,the only concern would be yet another defensive error gifted their opponents a goal.if we disregard the game against East Thurrock it’s now seven goals gifted in three games.

Blues were missing Nathan Ferguson and Skipper Kenny Beaney today so will be anxious to see these two influential players return in the near future.

All connected with the club will be anxiously looking to the all important draw on Monday,hopefully the club will receive a favourable tie and a possible passage to a bumper pay day in the first round proper.

In the meantime Wednesday sees a return to the bread and butter of league football and a chance to get their promotion push back on track.

GRAYS ATH: Johnson Ifill Siva Cronin Leader Stevens Michael-Percil Agyemang Dumaka Fortnam-Tomlinson Carlos

SUBS: Cummings Osei Little Bentley Addai Reynolds Agombar


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