Monday, 5 March 2018

Grays Athletic 3 Bury Town 1

Match 97/17/1547 - Saturday, 3rd March 2018 - Bostik North

Grays Athletic (3) 3 Bishop 9,18 Carlos 11
Bury Town (1) 1 Ramadam 57
Attendance: 251
[Bracketed tick]

Entrance: £6 Senior
Programme: £2
Mileage: 72/6,861

Match Report

The Beast from the East roared in like a grumpy Adebayo Akinfenwa, firstly blasting us with sub-zero temperatures and then dumping a snowfall of proportions not seen for five years. Transport ground to a halt, the shops emptied of staple supplies as the south east descended into the panic which would make most European countries wet themselves in amusement. Naturally, football wasn’t immune and the week’s plans were wiped out in an instant. I have to say the postponement of the trip to Leiston on Tuesday was met more with relief than disappointment having already completed one aborted attempt. Wednesday’s game at Lordswood fell and eyes turned to the weekend as the weather showed little signs of relenting. Gillingham’s home game against Rotherham was an early postponement on Thursday and by Friday the list had lengthened to the point where it was easier to list the ons rather than the offs. 3G alternatives at Bromley and K Sports went the same way and on Friday evening the choices were very sparse. East Kent seemed to have suffered less harshly and Folkestone and Dover were good to go, but it was the 3G surface at Aveley’s Parkside that, whilst still needing a morning inspection, ticked the box of the easiest to get to. Inspection passed it was the home game for tenants Grays Athletic against Bury Town that got my vote.

At the risk of this post becoming a weather report, the morning’s warm sunshine on the Kent side of the Tunnel had turned to freezing fog on the Essex side, a temperature drop that hit you as soon as you got out of the car.
Grays fielded a couple of old friends, ex-Gill Dennis Oli and ex-Angel James Folkes, one of the game’s real nice guys.

The match was seemingly over as a contest after 18 minutes as Grays raced into a 3-0 lead. A couple of early chances for Bury had gone begging before Kieron Bishop collected a clearance, cut in from the left and fired into the bottom corner to open the scoring after nine minutes.

Two minutes later, Grays were two up with Joao Carlos unleashed a thunderous shot that found the net via the underside of the bar.

Unsurprisingly the visitors were a rattled side and goalkeeper, Luis Tibbles, did well to save at the feet of Bishop. But goal number three was not long in coming. A free kick played in Oli whose cross allowed Bishop a tap-in at the far post.

At this point, it looked like a humiliating afternoon was on the cards for the Suffolk side, but to their credit they rallied and had chances to reduce the arrears before the break with Cemal Ramadam sent clear but pulling his shot wide left.

The game got hot under the collar, almost impossible with everybody’s feet turning to ice, when a melee followed a tackle that ended with the referee issuing three yellow cards.

Ramadam reduced the arrears after 57 minutes when he scored from the left sided angle of the six yard box.

Both sides had chances to either put the game to bed or set-up a grandstand finish but the one to report was an open goal for a Grays' substitute that should get a mention if only to use the wonderfully named Furo Gogo-Ibiama.

To finish with the weather theme, it could be identified that spring is around the corner as the game managed to get to its conclusion without the floodlights being turned on. It was just a shame that nobody told my feet as I hastened back to the comfort of the car’s heater.

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