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24.03.2007 @ 15:00 Marston Road Crowd: 865
Stafford Rangers 4 - 2 Grays Athletic
Referee: A Hendley Conference National-Match

Goalscorers
Neil Grayson (20, 45)
Craig McAughtrie (44)
Guy Madjo (59)
Stuart Thurgood (pen) (49)
Alex Rhodes (85)
Starting Line-ups
Robert Duggan
Richard Sutton
Craig McAughtrie
Wayne Daniel
Nathan Talbott
Craig Lovatt
Antony Griffith
Levi Reid
Robin Gibson
Guy Madjo
Neil Grayson
Ashley Bayes
Andy Sambrook
Jamie Stuart
Anthony Tonkin
Tom Kemp
Stuart Thurgood
Ben Harding
Dean Howell
Dennis Oli
Aaron O'Connor
Matt Bodkin
Substitutes
Andy White
Daniel Edwards
Liam Murray
Alex Gibson
Ged Murphy
Danny Knowles
Anthony Barness
Ashley Nicholls
Alex Rhodes
Pierre Joseph-Dubois
Substitutions
Ged Murphy -> Levi Reid Anthony Barness -> Tom Kemp (64)
Alex Rhodes -> Matt Bodkin (65)
Pierre Joseph-Dubois -> Aaron O'Connor (79)
Yellow cards
None Stuart Thurgood (23)
Matt Bodkin (40)
Red cards
None None
Match report |
Veteran Neil Grayson made it a black day for Grays in the relegation battle at Stafford.

The 42-year-old striker bagged two goals as the Blues crashed to the team with one of the worst home records in the division.

But Stafford are on a roll at the moment and their Cameroonian front man Guy Madjo gave the Grays defence - and Tom Kemp in particular - a torrid time.

Kemp was fooled trying to usher the ball out of play in the 19th minute and Madjo set up Grayson for the opening goal, a simple right footer from about eight yards.

Grays didn't take that lying down though and both Matt Bodkin and Dennis Oli were not far away from an equaliser. Aaron O'Connor though nearly hit the corner flag having worked himself into a great position just past the half hour.

Grays probably knew it wasn't going to be their day when Grayson cleared a lob from Kemp off the line.

But it was a terrible foul by Bodkin on young keeper Robbie Duggan six minutes before the break which was their ultimate undoing. Bodkin escaped with a yellow card, Duggan solidered on for the rest of the game with a shoulder injury. And Stafford took their 'revenge' in the proper fashion - by grabbing two more goals before the break.

The second, in the 44th minute, was a real scorcher, a 30 yard thunderbolt from defender Craig McAughtrie, who had stolen forward for a rehearsed corner kick routine that left him free to lash his shot past Ashley Bayes.

The visitors didn't have time to draw breath before Bayes was pawing away a header by Wayne Daniel. But moments later, in injury time, Bayes blocked a shot from Robin Gibson, only to see Grayson hitting in the rebound.

Grays started the second half as though they meant business and when O'Connor was upended by Craig Lovatt in the box just two minutes after the change-round, the Blues sensed it was not a hopeless cause. Stuart Thurgood netted from the spot.

However, their hopes of a miraculous revival were dashed by Madjo just short of the hour. He'd just given Grayson the chance of a hat trick, which the veteran sidefooted wide of an open goal, when the Cameroonian cut in from the right flank and left Bayes flat-footed with a shot just inside the near post.

To their credit, Grays kept their heads up and had Stafford penned back into their own half for long periods.

But once Duggan had saved shots from Ben Harding and O'Connor, time began to run out on the Blues.

Substitute Alex Rhodes's header from Anthony Tonkin's cross in the 84th minute which cut the deficit again to two goals came too late to put Stafford under any real pressure.

Thanks to the Thurrock Gazette for the match report