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16.10.2007 @ 15:00 The Shay Crowd: 1104
Halifax Town 0 - 0 Grays Athletic
Referee: Karl Evans Conference National-Match

None None
Starting Line-ups
Adam Legzoins
Adam Quinn
Greg Young
Jake Wright
Steve Bushell
Thomas Kearney
Daryl Taylor
Ryan Toulson
Steve Torpey
Lewis Killeen
Dean Oliver
Danny Knowles
Adam Gross
Jamie Stuart
Jon Ashton
Simon Downer
Karl Murray
Ernie Cooksey
Stuart Thurgood
Dennis Oli
Danny Kedwell
Ben Watson
Darryn Stamp
Alex Bailey
Peter Atherton
Matt Doughty
Craig Mawson
Ross Flitney
Sheku Kamara
Charley Hearn
Aaron O'Connor
Gavin Grant
Darryn Stamp - Dean Oliver (46) Sheku Kamara -> Simon Downer (79)
Aaron O'Connor -> Ben Watson (85)
Yellow cards
Daryl Taylor (63) None
Red cards
None None
Match report | | Preview
With Justin Edinburgh swapping his suit for his tracksuit for the first time and fielding a side without wingers, Grays adopted a workmanlike approach to Tuesday's Blue Square Premier clash as they sought to haul themselves out of a losing rut.

It might not have been pretty and it was in contrast to the Blues' more adventurous style of recent times but it did the job.

There was a first start of the season for Simon Downer at full back and perhaps an even bigger surprise was the appearance of keeper Danny Knowles, displacing Ross Flitney.

Also on the bench, and launched into the fray in the second half, was 19-year-old defender Sheku Kamara.

The former Charlton apprentic played four times for Blues last season on loan from Watford and is currently a free agent following his release by the Hornets.

When the action started Halifax had the first chance of the game in the third minute when skipper Ton Kearney shot over the bar from close range.

But apart from some sharp running and turning from Daryl Taylor it was the Blues who built up the pressure.

In the 13th minute Dennis Oli sent over a cross from the right which was met by Ernie Cooksey ghosting round the back. The ball went wide but Cooksey summed up his side's commitment by chasing it into the gravel.

The best chance of the half came in the 34th minute, again Oli got to the by-line and his cross was met by Ernie Cooksey whose intelligent header was knocked down to the impressive Karl Murry's feet but when it seemed harder to miss he blazed it over bar.

But this spurred Grays on and for the final 15 minutes of the half Ben Watson's incessant running and Murray's incisive midfield work meant they continued to batter at Town's door and only a fine double tackle from Adam Quinn kept it goalless at the break.

Grays continued on the front foot in the second half when a beautifully flighted throughball put all three Grays strikers through but they were harshly adjudged offside.

In the 55th minute the imperious Jon Ashton headed the ball through to Watson who fed Cooksey and his right foot shot was turned round the post by Shaymen's keeper Adam Legzdins.

From the corner Kedwell had another difficult chance from a sharp angle but couldn't get enough curl on it.

With Daryl Stamp now on, Halifax seemed a lot more fluent up front but they met their match in the best away defence in the league as move after move was snuffed out or they fell into Grays' well-organised offside trap.

With Kamara coming on for Downer and attackers left on the bench it was clear Edinburgh's plan was to crave out at least a point.

It could have been costly in the 81st minute when Halifax had their best move of the match when Steve Torpey turned Grays defenders inside and out on the left hand side of the box and placed a delicate chip into the danger area but it was weakly headed wide by Stamp.

Grays had a chance to steal the points in the closing minutes when Oli ran from his own half but symptomatically he shot wide

Report by Michael Casey
Thanks to the Thurrock Gazette for the match report