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11.03.2008 @ 19:45 The Recreation Ground Crowd: 496
Grays Athletic 0 - 0 Burton Albion
Referee: A Halliday Conference National-Match

None None
Starting Line-ups
Ross Flitney
Andy Sambrook
Adam Gross
Jamie Stuart
Simon Downer
Jamie Day
Marlon Patterson
Neil McCafferty
Aaron O'Connor
Jamie Taylor
Scott Taylor
Saul Deeney
Mark Greaves
Paul Hurst
John Brayford
Darren Stride
Aaron Webster
Michael Simpson
John McGrath
Andrew Corbett
Jake Edwards
Daryl Clare
Nicky Eyre
Cameron Mawer
Santos Gaia
Charley Hearn
Danny Kedwell
Shaun Harrad
Daniel Holmes
Keith Gilroy
Marc Goodfellow
Martin Taylor
Nicky Eyre -> Ross Flitney (10)
Charley Hearn -> Jamie Day (60)
Daniel Holmes -> Michael Simpson (72)
Shaun Harrad -> Jake Edwards (79)
Yellow cards
Jamie Stuart (88)
Red cards
None None
Match report |

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