Grays hold high-fliers and upbeat Woodward looks forward
A lack-lustre match played out in difficult conditions did little to warm up the meagre crowd of 496 but an improved second half performance by the home side indicated that things are starting to look up.
Indeed chairman-cum-manager Mike Woodward was in upbeat mood afterwards saying: "I think we deserved the three points and I'm delighted the with performance of the players who stepped in today. We are cutting out cloth and trying to make the most as we prepare for nest season."
After the disappointing defeat at Kidderminster, Grays supremo Woodward and his coaching team rang the changes, both in formation and faces.
They started Scott Taylor, Aaron O'Connor and Neil McCafferty and switched to a 4-5-1 formation, packing the midfield.
The home side began steadily with Scott Taylor, McCafferty and Jamie Day providing a solid triangle in the middle.
However, Blues were to suffer an early blow when they lost keeper Ross Flitney in the seventh minute when he was taken out of the game after bravely coming out to meet a robust challenge from Burton striker Jake Edwards. Nicky Eyre, who has only recently returned to the New Rec, replaced him.
For all their high-flying status Burton looked devoid of ideas and couldn't break down the stoic Grays defence.
Going forward Grays were lacking something though and a number of attacks broke down with unforced errors and Burton's defence was hardly troubled.
The nearest anyone came to a first half goal was a shot in the 20th minute by Marlon Patersson, one of few players growing in confidence, but his dipping effort just cleared the bar.
Grays picked up the pace in the second half a solid last ditch tackle from Jamie Stuart as Burton attacked the area showed that they business.
They then enjoyed a purple patch largely inspired by Jamie Taylor and O'Connor as the Blues played at a tremendous temp.
In the 50th minute McCafferty, coming more and more into the game, produced a 20 yard screamer just over the bar.
Charley Hearn, returning from loan at Lewes, was introduced on the hour mark and showed renewed vigour.
In the 70th minute the hard-working Jamie Taylor carved himself a chance outside the box which was saved low down by Saul Deeney.
Burton stepped up the pace over the last ten minutes with substitute Shaun Harrad producing a series of runs that threatened the home defence.
His best chance came in the 89th minute when he skipped past two players but shot point blank at Eyre.
Meanwhile Grays have announced that the Football Association have requested a meeting with with the club next Monday, march 17 to try and resolve the current situation reagrding wages owed to Ashley Sestanovich.
Woodward says he hopes that common sense will prevail with this meeting and assures fans that Grays Athletic Football Club will never die.
By Michael Casey
Thanks to the Thurrock Gazette for the match report