Grays Athetic 2, Hertford Town 3
DESPITE having led three times during the tie, Grays Athletic bowed of the FA Cup in Wednesday’s FA Cup First Qualifying round replay at Parkside.
The Blues were pegged back in Saturday’s first game in Hertfordshire, which forced the replay against their fellow Bostik North side, and they led twice on Wednesday before an extra time goal decided the issue and earned Hertford a home Second Qualifying Round tie with AFC Hornchurch.
Grays also saw sent off in the closing stages to compound their disappointment.
Grays started very brightly on Wednesday and visiting keeper Charlie Mann was kept busy right from the off, but was beaten after just four minutes when the Blues’ player of the month for August, Perry Dunn, found the net with a volley.
It was a lead that lasted just eight minutes as Tommy Wade, who scored for Town in Saturday’s 1-1 draw, drifted into the box and made the most of hesitancy in Grays’ defence to head past a flat-footed Lamar Johnson.
Mann then pulled off a fine save to keep parity but Grays’ early dominance continued and they were rewarded on the half hour when Jamie Slabber restored the lead.
Slabber came close to a second with an effort that came back off the metalwork but Hertford’s resilience was rewarded on 64 minutes when they drove towards the edge of the box and Charlie Edwards lashed an angled shot past Johnson into the top corner.
And there was similarity in the build-up to what proved to be the winner eight minutes into extra time, though this time sub Daniel Ferrigo’s shot from 18 yards kept low as it bounced past the Grays keeper.
Soon after Suley Zuhdu saw red after picking up a second yellow card and the ten men were unable to replicate Hertford’s powers of recovery and bowed out.