Grays beaten despite strong second half display

Glenn Poole

Bowers & Pitsea 1, Grays Athletic 0

GRAYS made the short trip to the Len Salmon Stadium on Tuesday evening and came away empty-handed from the Bostik North derby clash.

The visitors included former player Glenn Poole in the midfield after his return to the Blues as player/coach. Poole was a very popular player during his two spells with the club between 2005 and 2009.
He has had a long career in both league and non-league football, having played for Yeovil, Brentford, AFC Wimbledon, Canvey Island, Billericay and Braintree. Most recently he was player/coach at neighbours, Thurrock.

Glenn Wilson

However, while it’s a case of ‘welcome Glenn’, it’s also ‘goodbye Glenn’ as Grays have also had a departure from their squad with defender Glenn Wilson joining National League South Wealdstone.

?Bowers? ?started?  ?the? ?better? ?and? ?Grays? ?had? ?to? ?rely? ?on? ?a? ?string? ?of saves? ?from? ?keeper? ?Lamar? ?Johnson? ?and? ?also? ?the? ?crossbar? ?to? ?keep? ?the? ?match? ?goalless? ?as? ?the home? ?side? ?exploited? ?Grays’? ?weakness in dealing with the  ?long? ?ball? ?game? ?that? ?has? ?been? ?their? ?undoing? ?in recent? ?matches.? ?

Eventually,? ?after? ?20? ?minutes,? ?the? ?pressure? ?told? ?and? ?Bowers? ?took? ?a? ?deserved lead.? ?Keeper? ?Callum? ?Chaffer? ?launched? ?the? ?ball? ?down? ?field? ?and? ?the? ?Grays? ?defence? ?hesitated and? ?allowed? ?it? ?to? ?bounce? ?and? ?as? ?it? ?was? ?played? ?across? ?the? ?box? ?Tony? ?Stokes? ?had? ?the freedom? ?of? ?the? stadium ? ?to? ?tap? ?home? ?into? ?an? ?empty? ?net.?

?In? ?reply? ?Callum? ?Ibe? ?and Kieran? ?Bishop? ?both? ?had? ?speculative? ?shots? ?but? ?neither? ?really? ?troubled? ?Chaffer? ?in? ?the? ?home goal? ?as? ?the? ?rain? ?started? ?to? ?fall.? ?Lamar? ?Johnson? ?once? ?again? ?came? ?to? ?Blues’? ?rescue? ?with? ?a? ?fine save? ?to? ?keep? ?the? ?score? ?1-0? ?to? ?Bowers? ?at? ?half? ?time.

During? ?the? ?interval? ?Grays? ?manager? ?Jamie? ?Stuart? ?brought? ?himself? ?on? ?and? ?the? ?second? ?half? ?was a? ?different? ?story? ?with? ?Grays? ?dominating? ?possession? ?in? ?the? ?search? ?for? ?an? ?equaliser.? ?

Bishop? ?tested? ?Chaffer? ?but? ?he? ?dealt? ?with? ?the? ?shot? ?comfortably.? ?In? ?the? ?63rd? ?minute? ?Blues winger? ?Carlos? ?limped? ?off? ?and? ?Jamie? ?Slabber? ?replaced? ?him? ?to? ?give? ?Grays? ?an? ?aerial? ?target? ?and crank? ?up? ?the? ?pressure? ?even? ?more.? ?Slabber? ?and? ?Ibe? ?both? ?went? ?close? ?with? ?headed? ?chances although? ?Ibe? ?may? ?feel? ?he? ?should? ?have? ?tested? ?the? ?keeper? ?as? ?he? ?glanced? ?a? ?great? ?opportunity wide? ?with? ?the? ?goal? ?at? ?his? ?mercy.?

?By? ?now? ?Bowers? ?were? ?reduced? ?to? ?counter? ?attacking? ?as? ?they looked? ?to? ?protect? ?their? ?lead? ?but? ?the? ?Grays? ?defence? ?looked? ?a? ?lot? ?more? ?solid? ? ? ?and snuffed? ?out? ?any? ?chances.? ?

With? ?time? ?running? ?out? ?the? ?home? ?side? ?defended? ?resolutely? ?and? ?in the? ?end? ?a? ?flurry? ?of? ?late? ?corners? ?come? ?to? ?nothing.? ?It? ?was? ?a? ?case? ?of? ?Grays? ?huffing? ?and? ?puffing but? ?they? ?couldn’t? ?blow? ?the? ?Bowers’? ?house? ?down? ?as? ?the? ?home? ?side? ?held? ?on? ?to? ?claim? ?the? ?points