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27.10.2007 @ 15:00 The Recreation Ground Crowd: 688
Grays Athletic 1 - 1 Lewes
Referee: W Barratt FA Cup / 4th Qualifying Round-Match

Aaron O'Connor (78)
Adam Gross (og, 89)
Starting Line-ups
Danny Knowles
Adam Gross
Jamie Stuart
Jon Ashton
Simon Downer
Karl Murray
Charley Hearn
Mark Marshall
Dennis Oli
Danny Kedwell
Gavin Grant
Steve Williams
Jay Conroy
Anthony Barness
Paul Kennett
Steve Robinson
Ian Simpemba
Jamie Cade
Simon Wormull
Gary Holloway
Paul Booth
Dale Binns
Ross Flitney
Andy Sambrook
Ernie Cooksey
Aaron O'Connor
Ben Watson
Leon Legge
Leroy Griffiths
Kirk Watts
Ian Selley
Matt Groves
Aaron O'Connor -> Mark Marshall (75)
Leroy Griffiths -> Paul Booth (73)
Matt Groves -> Anthony Barness (81)
Leon Legge -> Gary Holloway (81)
Yellow cards
None None
Red cards
None None
Match report | | Preview

Danny Kedwell is tracked by ex-Blue Steve Robinson.
Pictures from the match
An 89th minute own goal by Grays defender Adam Gross saw Lewes steal a draw in this FA Cup fourth round and take the Blues back to the Dripping Pan in Sussex on Wednesday.

The prize of a first round proper trip to Mansfield - scene of Grays' exit the last time they got to that stage - awaits.

Lewes, whose rampaging early season form has dipped of late, were well below par for most of the game and for large parts looked like a team who had lost the rhythm of their season.

Both teams began tentatively in a near funereal atmosphere at the sparsely (688) populated New Rec.

But it was Lewes, with top scorer Paul Booth foraging up front and a midfield wall snuffing out Grays on the flanks, who threatened first.

And in particular Dale Binns looked threatening early on. Simon Downer did had to rely on his outstanding defensive nous to keep his rival at bay.

In the 11th minute skipper Paul Kennet played a lovely through ball to Booth but he wasted the chance, blasting over In the 16th minute Mark Marshall found himself in acres of space on the left hand side of the penalty area but he met the ball with a complete airshot.

The best chance of the half came in the 22nd minute when the dangerous Booth's shot was well turned round the corner by Danny Knowles.

But Lewes' measured play was rather one-paced and after the half hour Grays, having been implored by boss Justin Edinburgh to show a sense of urgency, began to dominate and Lewes started to look like a side lacking belief.

Grays released the ball earlier and although they made no significant chances they had the psychological advantage as the half time whistle went.

Lewes shone for a short time after the break. In the 47th minute, Jamie Cade missed a gilt-edged opportunity as he neatly controlled the ball outside the box, wrong-footing Jamie Stuart but he then blasted the ball over the bar.

At this point far too many clearances from Grays, especially from Gross were being charged down and perhaps a full time outfit would have punished the Blues more severely.

Edinburgh swopped Marshall and Grant over and Grays started to stretch Lewes.

Karl Murray started to make the breaks from midfield that are his trademark, Dennis Oli emerged as the fulcrum once more and Grant began to slip his marker Some fans were starting to give Grays the slow handclap but this was unfair as Grays were digging hard for victory.

In the 60th minute, the bustling Danny Kedwell had a fair claim for a penalty as he was held in the area but the referee dismissed his claims. Charley Hearn came more into the game. He started to link up play and his free kicks and corners unsettled Lewes.

Eleven goal Booth admitted defeat and was substituted. Grays also made a change. Marshall, who increasinlgy looks an impact player not a starting player at this level, was also taken off and Aaron O'Connor came on.

And it wasn't long befoe he made his mark. In the 78th minute Downer, who had an excellent game, threw the ball to Kedwell who twisted and turned on the right hand side of the box. He found Oli who shielded the ball and passed to O'Connor who saw the angle and slotted the ball into the right hand corner of the net.

Lewes tried to come back but with Booth already subsituted they lacked any real fire.

The game looked done and dusted but in the 89th minute, the Lewes keeper gathered the ball after a Grays attack. His long hopeful kick was headed on by defender Gross who assumed that Knowles was near his line and not just behind him. The ball took one bounce and to the joy of the vocal Lewes fans sailed into the net.

After the game Blues boss Justin Edinburgh said: "I'm bitterly disappointed. We took a lot of time to get going and seemed far too tentative.

"But once we got going we threatened and the goal was no more than we deserved.

"We've talked about the equaliser and prefer to keep it in house. But we are not fearful and look forward to the replay."

Lewes will know that Grays have the best away defence in the Blue Square Premier and are now unbeaten in three while the Sussex outfit have failed to win in their last three games.

Lewes will have terrific support behind them but Grays will look to their finest moments on the road this year from Torquay to the recent hard- earned draw in Yorkshire and feel confident that they have the physical power, the higher level of skill and the mental strength to produce a result on Wednesday.

Having said that, expect to see them practice penalties on Monday.

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