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09.12.2008 @ 19:45 Broadhall Way Crowd: 1289
Stevenage Borough 0 - 0 Grays Athletic
Referee: D Coote Conference National-Match

None None
Starting Line-ups
Chris Day
Luke Oliver
Ronnie Henry
Mark Roberts
Scott Laird
Andy Drury
Lawrie Wilson
Gary Mills
Mitchell Cole
Steve Morison
Callum Willock
David Button
Damien Batt
Jamie Stuart
Jon Ashton
Kenny Davis
Sam Sloma
Ishmael Welsh
Barry Cogan
Stuart Thurgood
Wesley Thomas
Jamie Slabber
Ashley Bayes
Mark Albrighton
Lee Boylan
Peter Vicenti
Jordan Parkes
Steve Arnold
Rob Gier
Gavin Dayes
Luke Hickie
Scott Forrester
Peter Vicenti -> Mitchell Cole (69)
Lee Boylan -> Scott Laird (75)
Scott Forrester -> Jamie Slabber (73)
Luke Hickie -> Ishmael Welsh (81)
Rob Gier -> Kenny Davis (86)
Yellow cards
Gary Mills (33) Jon Ashton (3)
Sam Sloma (61)
David Button (90)
Stuart Thurgood (90)
Red cards
None None
Match report |
Four points in four days has brought a smile and an air of confidence and determination to Wayne Burnett’s team.

Compliments often come from outsiders, and after last night's game the spectators in hospitality, behind the press box, made comments such as: “Are you sure they're third from bottom?” And “It's very surprising that a team in their position would play such an attacking game.”

This is where the ‘Playing Without Fear' philosophy comes in - and that's what you saw from the Blues last night.

There were periods of frustating inaccuracy and unforced errors but the one-touch play was excellent and it will be interesting to see how the team performs at home over the Christmas period as this brand of game develops.

There are concerns: Going back to the Mansfield game where Welsh and Sloma supplied the front two with ammunition that could not be converted. Grays may be at a similar juncture.

Slabber has a complex game. His lumbering gait and diffidence in front of goal make him a frustrating figure but he does bring midfielders into the game. Wes Thomas didn’t do an awful lot but it's clear that they must be given a run.

Both Welsh and Sloma were lively down the wings and well-served by Kenny Davis who vitally gets down the flank as well.

With Damian Batt, the team are no further forward than they were with Adam Gross (then again we all saw the Crawley performance) and Batt made a ricket with the penalty.

Jamie Stuart gave hm an earful - but Stuart himself had made two crass defensive slips that Steve Morison should have done much better with.

David Button’s penalty save was excellent. It was well struck by Morison and apparently total credit has to go to Gary Phillips. Morison is a prolific striker but has real problems against the central pairing of Ashton and Stuart. Two games, two clean sheets is no co-incidence.

The key thing about the league now is that Grays are steadying the ship both off and on the field.

Meanwhile, clubs such as Salisbury, Mansfield, York, Kettering and even Ebbsfleet have slipped into neutral or reverse.

Stuart Thurgood marshalled the midfield effectively, especially in the second half and Barry Cogan flit around him sporadically but energetically.

The midfield need to drive into the area more but a lot will depend on the Slabber/Thomas axis bearing gifts over the Xmas period.

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