Grays Athletic 2, Felixstowe and Walton 2
JIM Cooper’s first match in charge of Grays Athletic proved an eventful one.
In the end, despite taking the lead twice, Grays were somewhat lucky to take a share of the points as their Bostik North visitors missed a late penalty – conceded by Mitch Hahn who received a red card for handball two minutes from time.
Hahn, who had impressed throughout, took one for the team, so to speak, and it proved worth it when penalty take Jack Ainsley, who had converted a penalty earlier in the game, missed the target.
Grays had recorded wins against Felixstowe in the league and league cup earlier in the season and a hat-trick of successes looked on the cards when a bright start saw them take the lead through Joao Carlos on 10 minutes after being set free by Hahn’s incisive pass. It was certainly a hat-trick of sort for Carlos who had notched twice in the league and Velocity Trophy clashes.
However, Felixstowe responded well and they were on level terms on 22 minutes when Miles Powell was brought down in the box and Ainsley converted.
Just four minutes later Grays’ lead was restored when Aron Gordon went through in a one-on-one with keeper Jack Spurling and slotted the ball home confidently.
Within 30 minutes of what was proving an entertaining match with plenty of good football parity was restored when Rhys Henry levelled things again with an impressive drive from just inside the penalty area.
Grays had impressed in the first half but one of their downfalls this season – which contributed to the departure of former boss Jamie Stuart, has been inconsistency and it raised its head again with a second half performance that was woefully short of what had been produced in the first 45 minutes.
And the longer the game went on, the more it looked like Felixstowe were going to get a victory.
And that looked extremely likely with two minutes to go when Hahn blocked a ball looking for all the world to be heading across the line, and that brought about Ainsley’s chance to win the match but he spurned the opportunity.