Grays’ Carlsberg FA Trophy games against Fisher at the Rec on Saturday had a surreal feel. Grays were always tentative and wisely looking to keep their powder dry and team injury-free for their big FA Cup first round clash on Saturday.
Consequently, Grays manager Mark Stimson played and several of his key players were rested while others – including Leroy Griffiths and the brilliant Freddy Eastwood – were substituted.
Tony Lock opened Grays’ account in the seventh minute, but Fisher Athletic’s Richard Brady came straight back for the visitors with a lethal header in the 18th.
The home side had most of the play in the first half and the majority in the second, but found it hard to convert this dominance into goals.
With less than five minutes of time left Fisher – who had looked more dangerous as Grays pushed forward leaving gaps at the back – scored.
Hero keeper Mel Capleton blundered, allowing Brady’s shot to bobble through his grasp and into the net.
Grays’ recent habit of blowing it in the last few minutes appeared to be coming true again, but this time they came good.
Stimson hit the post with two minutes left on the clock and then a Grays player was brought down allowing Stuart Thurgood to step up and equalise by drilling the ball into the top left hand corner in the 89th minute.
Thanks to the Thurrock Gazette for the match report