Victory’s given away
Grays dominated their Conference League rivals Margate at The Rec – but pressed the self-destruct button in the dying minutes of the FA Cup 4th round qualifier.
Blues were 3-1 up in the 88th minute. But two late goals from the visitors – one in the eighth minute of injury time – scuppered the would-be-giant-killers hopes.
Grays got off to a great start when Freddy Eastwood’s sixth minute shot rebounded off keeper Phil Smith, and was slammed home by Leroy Griffiths.
Griffiths got Grays’ second in the 23rd, shrugging off a visiting defender and sliding the ball into the net.
Margate managed to get one on the scoreboard in the first half. A mysterious pushing incident in the area resulted in a twice taken penalty for top Margate marksman Adrian Clarke. He beat Mel Capleton who had virtually nothing to do for the first 43 minutes.
Margate’s resolve stiffened a little for the second half. Jean Michel Sigere and attacking defender Greg Oates occasionally prodded Blues defence.
But it was still Eastwood and Griffiths who were causing the problems for the visitors. Eastwood scored the goal of the match with a diagonal stunner in the 81st.
Then it all began to go wrong for Grays. With the whistle only minutes away Grays were pushed back, and in the 88th minutes Darren Watson headed home from a Clarke corner.
But the body blow came in the eighth minute of extra time when Jay Saunders bundled the ball into the Blues net – leaving home supporters furious at the length of injury time played.
When, seconds later the final whistle went, a dozen Grays fans ran onto the pitch before being ordered off by stewards.
Thanks to the Thurrock Gazette for the match report