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13.03.2007 @ 19:45 The Recreation Ground Crowd: 779
Grays Athletic 1 - 0 Tamworth
Referee: G Ward Conference National-Match

Gavin Grant (42)
Starting Line-ups
Ashley Bayes
Andy Sambrook
Jamie Stuart
Cameron Mawer
Anthony Tonkin
John Martin
Stuart Thurgood
Ben Harding
Dennis Oli
Alex Rhodes
Gavin Grant
Jose Veiga
Graeme Laws
Simon Weaver
Ricky Bains
Michael Briscoe
Michael Touhy
Daryl Taylor
John McGrath
Simon Heslop
Taiwo Atieno
Jake Edwards
Danny Knowles
Anthony Barness
Glenn Poole
Aaron O'Connor
Leroy Griffiths
Jon Stevenson
Kyle Storer
David Bampton
Ludobic Quistin
Steve Burton
Glenn Poole -> Ben Harding (71)
Leroy Griffiths -> Dennis Oli (73)
Anthony Barness -> John Martin (86)
Ludobic Quistin -> Simon Weaver (46)
Steve Burton -> Jake Edwards (79)
Yellow cards
None Michael Briscoe (41)
Red cards
None None
Match report |
Grays Athletic do not make life easy for themselves and this narrow victory over fellow strugglers Tamworth was no exception.

Justin Edinburgh's men have to be applauded for the way they stuck to the task against a classy but strangely one-paced Tamworth, who had just won their last three games.

The first half was a typical relegation dogfight with both teams doing nothing wrong but there was little evidence of individual flair or creativity.

Dennis Oli continued to do the work of two men up front and unsung hero John Martin kept harrying the Tamworh midfield. However as on previous occasions, the opposition keeper remained relatively untroubled.

Indeed a call from the Blues fans to the Grays players "You're playing in blue" gave an indication as to the quality of passing in the first half.

But the Blues' high tempo game and resolute defending finally paid off in the 41st minute when Gavin Grant on the right side of the penalty area met a Jamie Stuart free kick with a volley that went straight down on to ground before bouncing strangely over the keeper's head.

A touch lucky but Grays have been long overdue some.

The second half was far more exciting and frenetic. Grant and new signing Alex Rhodes had shots blocked by the keeper around the hour mark while at the other end, the unheralded defender Mawer made a series of vital clearances.

Tamworth began to move up the gears in the last half hour but many of Grays players stepped up to the plate.

In the 67th minute, right back Andy Sambrook made a couple of incredible goalline clearances. The first with his feet and then a header off the line.

Martin was also equal to the task, blocking a ball in midfield in the 82nd minute with his whole body.

Grays should have put the game beyond Tamworth with Rhodes and Griffith missing easy chances in the final ten minutes.

Six minutes of injury time didn't help the crowd's nerves but Grays remained steadfast.

After the game Justin Edinburgh said: "Getting three points today was so important for the boys. They have a great spirit and I am very proud of them."

By Michael Casey
Thanks to the Thurrock Gazette for the report