By Scott Hatley
GRAYS Athletic advanced to the quarter finals of the Robert Dyas League Cup at Aveley's expense on Tuesday night, winning the battle of the tenants vs the landlords 2-1 at Mill Field.
It was the Millers’ first competitive football since December 28th and the 'visitors' made the better start by taking the lead after eight minutes when Anton Stephenson bundled home.
But Grays, who made five changes from their battling defeat to Maidstone on Saturday, responded immediately when Joao Carlos converted a Joel Nouble cross at the far post, just moments after Jeff Hammond had struck the post.
The second half started just as quickly as the first when Hammond gave the ‘hosts’ the lead for the first time, dragging a shot across the face of Jack Giddens and into the bottom corner.
And although the second half couldn’t match the pace of the first, the blue-touch paper was lit when Jack West saw red for a reckless studs-up challenge on Alfred Kamara with more than 20 minutes remaining.
But despite the man advantage Justin Gardner’s side were unable to force an equaliser with Kyle Asante coming closest with a shot from distance that was tipped around the post by Lamar Johnson.