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09.03.2004 @ 19:45 Park Lane Crowd: 732
Canvey Island 1 - 1 Grays Athletic
Referee: M Cairns Isthmian League - Premier Division-Match

Goalscorers
Lee Boylan (44) Wes Daly (81)
Starting Line-ups
Darren Potter
John Kennedy
Chris Duffy
Ben Chenery
Gavin Cowan
Steve Ward
Lee Protheroe
Jeff Minton
Neil Gregory
Lee Boylan
Neil Midgley
Mel Capleton
Steve Robinson
Eddie Youds
Daniel Lunan
Joe Bruce
Wes Daly
Danny Hayzelden
Martin Carthy
Stuart Thurgood
Freddy Eastwood
Leroy Griffiths
Substitutes
Kevin Dobinson
Junior McDougald
Peter Smith
Dave Theobald
Ashley Harrison
Scott Barrett
Ade Olayinka
Dean Bradshaw
Ellis Remy
Lloyd Opara
Substitutions
None Lloyd Opara -> Danny Hayzelden
Yellow cards
None None
Red cards
None None
Match report |

Grays cling onto Canvey record


Grays may be able to look back at the end of the season with the proud boat of being the only side not beaten by champions elect Canvey in the Ryman Premier this season.

The only other team capable of avoiding being on the losing side to Jeff King’s men this term are Hornchurch who, after a goalless draw at Bridge Avenue in November, come to Park Lane on the final day of the season.

The point gained on the Island last night certainly keeps a Grays side managed by former Gulls’ midfielder Mark Stimson very much in the hunt for runners-up spot.

That position is currently held by Hendon, whose game at Heybridge Swifts was called off due to the host club’s dressing rooms being flooded.

Ironically, on a night when they dropped points at home for the first time since September, Canvey actually increased their lead. They are 21 points ahead of Hendon with a game in hand.

The Park Lane affair proved to a replica result-wise of the meeting between the two sides at Grays last month.

In a hard-fought contest watched by 732 fans, Canvey very much held the upper hand in the opening half.

After hot-shot Lee Boylan had twice been foiled by outstanding saves from visitors’’ former Canvey goalkeeper Mel Capleton, the goal machine put his side ahead with his 46th go the season, latching onto a Jeff Minton ball.

Apart from ex-West Ham wonder kid Freddy Eastwood firing into the side netting, Grays seldom got a look-in during the opening half against a rock-solid home rearguard in which Steve Ward was back against his old club after injury.

Grays then came out determined to take the game to their hosts in the second half and showed their ambitions by introducing a third striker in the shape of Lloyd Opara.

Danny Potter in the home goal did well to hold a snap-shot from Stuart Thurgood, who enjoyed an outstanding game in the visiting midfield. And the stopper had to be at his most alert to snatch the ball from Opara’s feet.

Opara also had a hand in the equaliser, which arrived eight minutes from time. Gulls dithered at the back and the striker set-up on-loan QPR man Wes Daly to score his first goal for the club with a shot that gave Potter no chance.

Thanks to the Thurrock Gazette for the match report