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19.07.2008 @ 15:00 The Recreation Ground Crowd: 425
Grays Athletic 1 - 0 Gillingham
Referee: F Graham Friendly-Match

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Match report |

Grays boss delighted as Gills are beaten

Grays Athletic continued to make good progress with their commitment to a stylish passing game as they defeated League Two opposition Gillingham.

Fans were keen to see the effect the many new players would have. Well travelled midfielder, Stuart Elliot picked up where he left off, shoring up the midfield and giving the Gills very little room to manoevure.

Danny Kedwell and Jamie Taylor started together as if they had never been away with Kedwell oozing class and commitment while Taylor ferrets around for the loose ball.

In the 11th minute, Kedwell should have made more of a nicely flighted Alex Campana corner but a curled shot four minutes later, easily held by the keeper, showed last year’s top scorer full of confidence.

Matt Bodkin looked lively on the right flank and Barry Cogan attempted several surging runs from midfield. In the 17th minute, Stuart Elliot produced a smart snap shot from 30 yards that the Gills keeper turned smartly over the bar.

The best chance came against the run of play for Gillingham. Trialist Fabian Willnis misjudged a back-pass. The Gills striker pounced but fatally hestiated and let Blues stopper Joe Woolley gather up at his feet.

The only goal of the game came in the 28th minute. Kedwell opened up his account against Braintree on Wednesday and he got a second when a perfectly flighted Sam Sloma corner found him unmarked. He cooly slotted the header home.

The first half settled down into an exhibition of solid possession football. Grays’ defence, marshalled by Jamie Stuart, snuffed out any potential threat.

Gillingham made 11 changes and Grays six for the second half. Grays fans in the crowd of 425 were immediately impressed by the lightning speed of Ishmael Welsh. The former West Ham trainee created panic in the heart of the Gills defence and could be a considerable capture for Grays.

Gillingham’s new X1 looked more sprightly and threatened to spilt Grays apart early on. In the 50th minute, Simeon Jackson shot over the bar.

Mark Molesley looked impressive in midfield as he made several moves that linked midfield with attack. In the 75th minute he left two Gillingham midfielders standing as he feinted past them before putting a deft through ball to Charlie Ide.

At the other end, Jon Ashton took over from Jamie Stuart and showed with one last ditch tackle in the 78th minute why he was Player of the Year last year.

Gillingham had no real answers. The second half played out with Welsh ploughing a furrow down the left flank and Alex Campana whipping in first time balls on the right.

After the game, boss Mike Woodward was pleased with the progress his team has made.

He said: “This is the type of football that Mark Stimson's Grays used to play and I want to bring that quality of play to the club this year. This was a top quality performance and very promising.”

Thanks to the Thurrock Gazette for the match report

Grays Starting Lineup:
Joe Woolley
Rob Gier
Fabian Wilnis
Jamie Stuart
Sam Sloma
Matt Bodkin
Stuart Elliot
Barry Cogan
Alex Campana
Danny Kedwell
Jamie Taylor

Subs Used
Kenny Davis
Jon Ashton
Jon Munday
Ishmael Welsh
Stefan Bailey
Mark Molesley
Danny Carey-Bertram
Charlie Ide
Adam Gross

Gillingham Starting Lineup
Simon Royce
Tom Wynter
Barry Fuller
Simon King
Mark Bentley
Adam Miller
Stuart Thurgood
Andrew Crofts
Charlie Howard
Luke Rooney
Gary Mulligan

Subs Used
Alan Julian
John Nutter
Danny Walder
Garry Richards
Leo Roget
Rory Hill
Stuart Lewis
Nigel Atangana
Tayler Thomas
Dennis Oli
Simeon Jackson