LiveGrays Athletic vs Romford

First published in News Thurrock Gazette: Matt Abbott by , Chief Reporter

This live event has finished


  • FT: Grays Athletic 3 - 2 Romford
  • Ryman Division One North
  • LIVE from Rush Green


So to sum up:

Blues, after a slow first five minutes, took the lead through Joao Carlos after great work from Jared Small.

Two minutes later, Harry Agombar saw his free kick take a big deflection to beat the keeper.

The rest of the half was a little scrappy, with Romford coming closest as they hit the bar.

Blues were "still in the dressing room" when the second half started. Lewis Francis put several free kicks in from the left, which caused Blues a few problems. But they didn't learn and in the 59th minute, Paul Clayton brought the visitors back into the game as he headed, unmarked, another Francis free kick.

Ten minutes later, the referee gave a penalty as Kurt Smith burst into the box, was barged, but stayed on his feet, before toppling over Kamurasi.

Francis missed the penalty, but Ben Jones reacted quickest to slot home the rebound.

Jeff Hammond was dismissed with ten minutes to play. He was shown a straight red for kicking out as he challenged for the ball.

Blues then started playing. They applied the pressure with five minutes to go before sub Joe Sweeney darted into the box, played a low ball across goal with Junior Baker on hand to tap in on the line.

A goal his performance and endeavour deserved.

Blues keep the pressure on league leaders Maldon, regaining second place over Heybridge Swifts and narrowing the gap on Maldon to 12 points. Blues have a game in had, too.

Great night at Rush Green and a big win for Hakan Heyrettin's men.

Thank you for joining us! We'll be back on Saturday.


What a game at Rush Green. Huge win for Blues and they remain unbeaten at home.

Imperious performance by Junior Baker. He's my man of the match for sure.




Free kick in a dangerous position now after Kirby fouled Smith. Francis scoops it up into the box and Baker heads clear. The keeper had come up for it!

Luke Marshall broke for Blues, he was being urged to shoot but elected to carry it all the way. And the keeper saved it!


Joe Sweeney darts in from the right wing, he fires a low ball across and who else is there but Junior Baker to convert on the line. Superb endeavour by the centre half!


GOAL! GRAYS ATHLETIC 3 - 2 Romford - Junior Baker


Great save from Clarke! Good ball in from the right by Agombar and Beaney heads at goal from six yards, but Clarke is down quickly to save.


Agombar fires over after some good pressure by Blues. They're looking more likely as the game draws to a close, Romford have done very little since equalising.


Grays sub:

Joao Carlos is replaced by Luke Marshall


Hammond is sent off for Grays!

There was a bit of a scuffle between a few players as Grays tried to win the ball back. It looks like Hammond has been shown a straight red for kicking out.


Romford sub:

Billy Hunt on for Ben Jones.


Oh dear, farcical from Kurt Smith who went down like he'd been shot after being beaten for pace by Ryan Kirby. He went down holding his face, the referee stopped the game for a head injury, only for Smith to get up quite promptly.

Very unimpressive from the Romford forward who's been good since coming on.


Grays sub:

Jake Hall off, Joe Sweeney on.


Blues fans very unhappy with the referee here. Not a lot of consistency from the man in the middle, it must be said, as Hall was tackled from behind.


Jeff Hammond booked for Blues.


Really poor from Blues who squander a two goal lead here at Rush Green.


Very dubious penalty. Kurt Smith burst into the box and was perhaps fouled as he did so, going shoulder to shoulder with Kirby, but he continued his run. Kamurasi came out and gathered the ball, with Smith then toppling under his challenge.

Penalty given. Lewis Francis stepped up, hit it poorly as Kamurasi guessed right but couldn't hold it and Ben Jones reacted quickest to tap home the rebound.


GOAL! Grays Athletic 2 - 2 ROMFORD - Ben Jones




Romford sub:

George Woodward is replaced by Kurt Smith.


Excellent stuff from Junior Baker. Twice in the space of a minute he wins the ball back just inside the blues half. He then starts the attack before marauding forward. Agombar's cross comes into him, but he's offside as he turns the ball just wide.

Big cheers for him from the Blues fans. Just what it needs for Blues who have been very sloppy so far in the second half.


Grays sub:

Jack West on for Jared Small


Shocking defending by Blues and Romford are gifted a way back into this. It's the visitors fourth free kick from the left of this half and Lewis Francis puts in another peach of a ball. Clayton, unmarked and on the edge of the six yard box rises to head home with consumate ease.

It's been coming!


GOAL! Grays Athletic 2 - 1 ROMFORD - Paul Clayton


Francis plays another free kick in, this time from the left. Kamurasi completely misses it, but it fortuitously bounces into his arms while he's on the floor.

Romford have started this half well.


Now Bunce is booked for scything down Francis as he goes to cross from the right. Free kick is clipped in and cleared, but Adam Salmon's volley at goal spins well wide.


That's a super free kick by Lewis Francis, from a could 35 yards out. The ball went like an arrow, flashing just wide of Kamurasi's right hand post.


Now a free kick for Blues on the right hand edge of the box, after Carlos is felled.

Agombar whips it into the near post but Hammond heads just over.


Poor defending by Grays early on sees Ben Jones go through on goal. His low shot is straight at Kamurasi! Good save by the Blues stopper.

He's called into action again as Romford come forward in numbers again, the low cross is collected well.


KICK OFF - second half


Blues emerging for the second half then! Should be a few more goals in this. Romford have been pretty lacklustre at the back while Grays have a new-found cutting edge in Hammond, Small and Carlos.


262 here tonight. So I was only 38 out, but a little optimistic.


So after a mediocre first five minutes, Grays, inspired by Small came to life scoring two goals in two minutes. They've come close on one or two occasions since then, but it's Romford who came closest as the half played out, with Reynolds heading Francis' shot, which hit the bar just over.




It's played in but Kamurasi gathers easily.


Late free kick to Romford, centre of goal 30 yards out (maybe a bit more) after a foul by Jake Hall.


Grays are unbeaten at home in the league this season. Won 6, drawn 4. If they win here, they'll climb back into second over Heybridge Swifts, 12 points behind league leaders Maldon with a game in hand.


Beaney delivers well, Baker's at the back post but Clark punches clear and the referee gives a free kick.


But it's poor. Cleared away at the near post. But the ball works its way back to him in that right hand corner and he wins a free kick.


Corner for Blues now with the lively Small winning it down the right.

Carlos to take..


Lewis Francis hits the bar for Romford! Great 20 yard effort after getting in behind Bunce beat Kamurasi all ends up.

The ball fell kindly to Nick Reynolds who had the whole goal to aim at as the ball came down onto his head, but he put it over. Golden chance for Romford.


Blues winning the ball back very well but now struggling to be incisive when they go forward.

Perfect example as Baker wins the goal kick before punting the ball aimlessly up field.


More nice stuff from Bunce at left back. He cuts inside of his marker who slides in before trying a lob from 40 yards that goes wide.


A very healthy crowd at Rush Green for this game. Looks to be around 300 here in what is sort of a Romford derby!


Terrific save by Kamurasi, as he deflects a shot by Tom Richardson wide. The corner is cleared but Grays fail to make anything of the break.


Well after a frantic first ten, the game has fizzled out a little. Romford are seeing more of the ball again, but aren't doing much with it in the final third. Pope, Baker and Kirby are dealing quite comfortably.


Nice run at goal by Danny Bunce this time as he beats three players before shooting low at Clark who saves with his feet.


More super football from Blues as they come forward with Agombar. He feeds a delightful ball through to Joao Carlos who just loses out. Grays carving Romford open everytime.

Small excellent in the opening moments, as Hall lashes a shot high and wide.


What a start this is for Blues!

The first goal came from some super football down the right from Small, who for the second time in the game found himself in acres of space on the right. And at the second attempt, crossed to the back post where Carlos was on hand to head home.

Then minutes later, Grays win the ball back, win a free kick and Harry Agombar's free kick from 25 yards bounced off the top of the wall into the net. It looked to be going off target, so it can only be given as an own goal really!


GOAL! GRAYS ATHLETIC 2 - 0 Romford - Own goal (Unknown)


GOAL! GRAYS ATHLETIC 1 - 0 Romford - Joao Carlos


Lots of good early pressure from the visitors here, who currently sit 13 in the RD1N.

Grays not seen much of the ball at all in the opening six minutes.


First break for Grays as Hammon looks to latch on to a nice angled ball, but Romford stopper Chris Clark is there first.


It's a bit soggy here at Rush Green after an afternoon of rain.

First chance goes to Romford. Ben Jones shoots from 30 yards, trying to catch Kamurasi off his line, after the ball had broken very kindly for him.


We're about set then.

Kick off


Here are tonight's teams:

Grays Athletic:

Kamurasi; Pope, Baker, Kirby, Bunce; Carlos, Beaney, Hall, Agombar; Small, Hammond

Subs: East, Marshall, Lalite, West, Sweeney


Clark; Salmon, Dicks, Clayton, Payne; Sammut, Richardson, Francis, Woodward; Reynolds, Jones

Subs: Hilton, Ngos, Smith, Oates, Hunt


Good evening!

Happy New Year!

So after a very wet festive period, welcome to Rush Green. Time for the second half of the non-league football season.


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