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03.03.2007 @ 15:00 The Recreation Ground Crowd: 1003
Grays Athletic 2 - 2 Weymouth
Referee: C Evans Conference National-Match

Leroy Griffiths (43)
Gavin Grant (79)
Stuart Beavon (70)
Stuart Beavon (76)
Starting Line-ups
Ashley Bayes
Jay Smith
Jamie Stuart
Cameron Mawer
Tom Kemp
John Martin
Glenn Poole
Stuart Thurgood
Ben Harding
Leroy Griffiths
Gavin Grant
Jason Matthews
Adam Cottrell
Tony James
Trevor Challis
Nick Critenden
Danny Phillips
Brian Dutton
Simon Weatherstone
James Coutts
Ishmael Welsh
Stuart Beavon
Ian Joyce
Anthony Tonkin
Tom Williamson
Dean Howell
Chukki Eribenne
Lewis Ironside
Callum Ross-Jennings
Josh Burton
Scott Dixon
Raphael Nade
Anthony Tonkin -> Jay Smith (46)
Chukki Eribenne -> Ben Harding (78)
Raphael Nade -> Brian Dutton (46)
Scott Dixon -> James Coutts (61)
Yellow cards
Cameron Mawer (90)
Red cards
None None
Match report |
In-form Gavin Grant earned Grays a draw against Weymouth but a point was the least they deserved from an encounter they dominated.

Justin Edinburgh's men dominated the visitors but, not for the first time, spurned chance after chance and came within 11 minutes of gifting the Terras their first win since Boxing Day.

But a sublime goal from Grant, his third in as many games, hauled them level and kept them just above the drop zone.

Ironically Grant had missed a hatful of earlier and seemingly easier chances only to create a goal out of nothing.

Grant was not the only guilty party as Edinburgh was left scratching his head once again at the amount of chances that went begging.

And afterwards he admitted, the result was two points dropped rather that one gained.

He said: "We created enough chances but just could not take them and it is two points dropped as far as I am concerned.

I thought we were fairly comfortable. We dealt with their system well, particularly in the first half. We broke them down and created numerous chances but were left ruing them.

"The two goals we did score were fantastic goals but we are missing the simple chances. But, having said that we came back to get a draw and that shows the spirit is there. That's a positive and who knows that point could prove vital at the end of the season."

Weymouth's Simon Weatherall was desperately unlucky not to give the visitors an early lead when his 20-yard shot was deflected off Jay Smith and clattered the bar.

At the other end, Glenn Poole's free kick was comfortably pushed over by Jason Matthews who pulled off a much more spectacular save from the same man five minutes later.

Grant led a rapier-like Grays counter-attack, charging down the right wing before squaring to Leroy Griffiths who exquisitely crossed the play to Poole in acres of space on the left.

Poole stepped into the box and tried to deceive Matthews with a shot at his near post but the keeper was up to the task and diverted the shot over the bar.

It was fast becoming a personal dual between Poole and Matthews with the keeper coming out on top for a third time in the 21st minute.

Again Poole was gifted far too much space on Weymouth's right and was allowed to run unopposed into the box only to be thwarted by Matthews who fielded his shot at the second attempt.

Grays continued to press and Griffiths really should have scored when he was teed up by Grant just six yards out but scuffed his shot against the post.

The Terras looked threatening too and only a magnificent double save from Ashley Bayes prevented them from edging in front.

Stuart Beavon stole in behind the home defence but Bayes was quick off his line and blocked the first effort. The ball rebounded straight back to Beavon who cleverly tried to chip Bayes, who was lying flat on the ground, but the veteran stopper showed great elasticity to claw away the shot.

Grays eventually made the breakthrough three minutes before the interval with a fine goal by Griffiths - his first since his return to the club last month.

The ex-QPR man started off the move, spreading the ball wide to Poole who delivered a wonderful first time cross into the box. Griffiths steamed in at the back post and volleyed left-footed past Matthews.

Grays should have doubled their advantage six minutes after the re-start when Ben Harding chipped a delightful ball through to Grant who drew another super save out of Matthews.

Terras half time sub, Raphael Nade, headed marginally over from Ishmael Welsh's cross but, like the first half, Grays bossed proceedings.

Debutant Tom Kemp headed straight at Matthews from Poole's corner and the lively Grant made space for himself in the right hand corner of the box and flashed a shot wide with the outside of his boot when he probably should have crossed.

Kemp did well on his debut and looked a good acquisition, while Edinburgh's other Friday signing, 27-year-old left back Anthony Grays also madea dcent first impression, coming on in the scond half for Jay Smith.

The hosts were made to pay for their missed chances 20 minutes from time when Welsh was allowed to weave his way down the left wing and stand up a cross for Beavon who managed to find the top corner despite the best efforts of Bayes.

Grant then missed a gilt-edged chance to restore his side's lead when Harding's shot was deflected into his path but Matthews made another terrific save to keep his side level.

Almost immediately Weymouth hit Blues on the counter attack and Beavon was allowed to run free in behind and slot the ball past the on-rushing Bayes to the disbelief of the home crowd.

But Grays showed plenty of spirit to hit back and a moment of magic from Grant restored parity.

Released by Thurgood, the Millwall loanee twisted and turned in the box before sending a curling left-footed shot into the top corner.

Thanks to the Thurrock Gazette for the report.