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09.02.2008 @ 15:00 KitKat Crescent Crowd: 2531
York City 2 - 0 Grays Athletic
Referee: Paul Tierney Conference National-Match

Nicky Wroe (pen, 53)
Leo Fortune-West (72)
Starting Line-ups
Tom Evans
Darren Craddock
Ben Purkiss
David McGuirk
Danny Parslow
Anthony Lloyd
Martin Woolford
Emmanuel Panther
Stuart Elliott
Nicky Wroe
Richard Brodie
Ross Flitney
Jamie Stuart
Jon Ashton
Cameron Mawer
Simon Downer
Jack Obersteller
Jamie Day
Karl Murray
Michael Standing
Danny Kedwell
Scott Taylor
Josh Mimms
Craig Farrell
Onome Sodje
Leo Fortune-West
Simon Rusk
Bradley Gibbons
Santos Gaia
Neil McCafferty
Aaron O'Connor
Ben Watson
Leo Fortune-West -> Richard Brodie (46)
Onome Sodje -> Emmanuel Panther (73)
Simon Rusk -> Martin Woolford (84)
Neil McCafferty -> Cameron Mawer (67)
Aaron O'Connor -> Scott Taylor (74)
Ben Watson -> Jack Obersteller (84)
Yellow cards
None None
Red cards
None None
Match report | | Preview

Penalty hoodoo strikes again as Grays go down at York

A controversial refereeing decision and a fatal goalkeeping hesitation by Ross Flitney cost Grays dear as they slipped to a Blue Square Premier defeat at York.

Beaten by York at the New Rec in a replay, Grays were keen to avenge their FA Trophy exit on the ground where they had controversially been denied a cup win by a cruel refereeing blunder. They came out with a restructured 3-5-2 formation and started brightly.

In the first minute a Danny Kedwell shot inside the box was well saved by Tom Evans and Evans was well placed again in the sixth minute to stop a Jon Ashton header, following a Jack Obersteller corner.

The midfield allaince of Michael Standing and Jamie Day worked hard to cut supply and turn defence into attack and as the half progressed York became devoid of ideas and the impatient crowd grew restless.

In the 23rd minute Obersteller should have made more of a shooting opportunity outside the box but blasted wide.

advertisementGrays ended the half on a high note when Scott Taylor broke free and from 40 yards out made a strong run but again his shot lacked venom.

At that point Grays would have been confident of going on to win in the second half but just six minutes after the restart misfortune again struck.

In the FA Trophy Blues had been looking good for a victory when Jamie Stuart was controversially adjudged to have conceded a penalty and the spot-kick demon struck again.

It was a case of deja-vu as York's new loan signing, the much-travelled Leo Fortune-West, lumbered past two Grays players and got into the box. Stuart challenged him and the man mountain went down theatrically. Unbelievably referee Paul Tierney pointed straight to the spot and Nicky Wroe put the penalty to the left of Flitney.

Grays didn't panic and their formation held firm but the team lacked any real penetration with Kedwell looking out of sorts.

It was difficult to see where a goal might come from and when it did, it was at the wrong end for Justin Edinburgh's men.

Disaster struck in the 72nd minute. York defender Darren Craddock launched a speculative ball from his own half 40 yards into the path of Fortune-West. As he entered the area Flitney froze and West was able to simply dance round him and slot the ball home.

In a bid to save the game Edinburgh threw Aaron O'Connor on for Taylor for the last 15 minutes and he looked sharp. In the 81st minute his rasping shot from outside the box was well saved by Evans but by then the game was beyond Grays and all but the most optimistic hopes of a play-off spot had disappeared.

By Michael Casey
Thanks to the Thurrock Gazette for the match report