Relegation-doomed Grays continued to frustrate boss Julian Dicks as they were sunk 3-0 at Cambridge.

The ex-West Ham defender had been encouraged by his side’s display at home to top dogs Stevenage on Tuesday night when they suffered a narrow 2-1 defeat after a battling display.

But here they were back to their listless worst in the opening half and there was no way back from a 2-0 interval deficit.

The man to destroy the New Rec visitors was Cambridge marksman Danny Crow, who took his goal tally for the season past the 20 mark with a fine hat-trick.

Dicks lamented afterwards: “In the first-half we looked a different team from the one that battled so well against Stevenage in midweek.

“Of course it’s frustrating for me. All you ask is that your players work hard, but in the first-half we never got going.

“We didn’t get near anybody and there were no tackles going in from us. We got punished for our mistakes and generally the display was a long way short of what we produced against Stevenage.

“Even when we created chances we failed to find the target.”

Building for next season in Blue Square South, Dicks will undoubtedly look for big improvement when play-off chasing York City come to the New Rec tomorrow night.

Crow opened the scoring on the 30 minute mark and ensured his side were in the comfort zone by half-time with a second seven minutes later.

He put the icing on the cake by completing his hat-trick after 63 minutes to the delight of home fans in a 3,125 crowd.