Grays Athletic 1-0 Billericay Town
From Mill Field
Ryman Premier League
A STUNNING 90th minute free-kick from Kwabana Osei handed Grays Athletic an unlikely victory against on-form Billericay Town.
Osei bent home superbly to end Town’s five match winning run and keep alive Grays’ survival hopes.
Billericay were strong favourites to get the better of bottom side Grays, having overcome second-placed Needham Market 6-0 just three days previously.
But Grays gave as good as they got early on, without truly testing Alan Julian, handed his debut between the posts having arrived from Bromley on Thursday.
The first shot of the game was from Grays’ Kieran Bishop but it rolled harmlessly wide of the near post.
It took Billericay 18 minutes to create an opportunity. A neat counter attack saw Adam Cunnington send Lewis Taaffe clear. His pullback found Billy Bricknell but a fine block from Jon Ashton kept the scores level.
From the resulting corner Danny Fitzsimons forced Grays goalkeeper Amadou Tangara into a brilliant save, tipping the ball onto the crossbar.
Matt Baxter was denied by Julian up the other end following a fine break.
Chidi Williams-Agunabor flicked a Kreshnic Krasniqi long throw inches past his own post, with Rob Swaine’s header flicked wide of the other upright.
Goalless at the break, Grays again had the first clear-cut chance of the second period.
Baxter lined up a strike from 20 yards which crashed off the frame of the goal with Julian beaten.
Joe Ellul went over in the box appealing for a penalty although had little luck, with Cunnington the next to come close.
A cross from Lewis Taaffe was met by the front man and his header hit the base of the post before the rebound was blocked away.
Ellul had a header cleared off the line as the pressure grew, with the same man hitting the outside of the post in the final 15 minutes.
But then came Osei’s moment. A free-kick was awarded 20 yards out and the midfielder bent the ball into the top corner.
Billericay Town: Julian, Eyong, Fitzsimons, Seymour, Ellul, Swaine, Taaffe, Johnson, Bricknell (Assombalonga 60’), Cunnington, Krasniqi (Layne 45’)