GRAYS Athletic leapfrogged Bury Town in the Isthmian North standings after claiming a 3-1 win at Parkside.

Kieran Bishop grabbed a brace, while Joao Carlos also got his name on the scoresheet as the home side raced into a three-goal lead inside the opening 20 minutes.

Cemal Ramadan was on target for the visitors, but it was not enough as Grays climbed up to ninth in the Isthmian North standings.

The clash was only able to go ahead thanks to the hard work of ground staff and Craig Johnson – the chief executive of Parkside landlords Aveley – following the big freeze that swept across the country.

And the hosts took a ninth minute lead as Bishop found the bottom corner of the net moments after Noel Aitkens had hit the side-netting for Bury.

Just three minutes later, Carlos doubled Grays’ advantage as he fired home via the underside of the crossbar.

And Bury were given a mountain to climb as they fell three goals behind inside the opening 19 minutes. Richard Halle’s free kick picked out Dennis Oli, who turned well before finding Bishop to tap beyond visiting goalkeeper Luis Tibbles.

Ramadan was denied as Lamar Johnson saved his effort and, although the strike was still goalbound, Halle was there to clear off the line.

Grays then failed to play the offside trap and Ramadan was put through on goal. But the frontman poked his effort wide of the target as Johnson closed down the angle.

Tommy Wade should have got his name on the scoresheet just before the break, but Tibbles saved the low strike with his legs after the frontman had been found by the in-form Bishop.

Ryan Jolland was lucky to escape a red card early in the second half following a lunging tackle on Oli after the referee had already blown his whistle for a free-kick. However, the central midfielder was only booked after the referee consulted his two assistants.

And just moments later, Bury reduced the arrears as Ramadan found a way past Johnson.

Halle headed a Glenn Poole free-kick over the crossbar after Carlos had been fouled.

Stanley Muguo tried his luck from long range, but his strike arrowed wide of the target, while Carlos forced Tibbles into a smart save.

But Grays’ first half blitz allowed Jamie Stuart’s side to climb the Isthmian North standings.

Grays Athletic: Johnson, Mahal, Folkes, Finneran, Muguo, Halle, Oli (Poole 65’), Cole (Gogo-Ibiama 73’), Bishop, Carlos (Thompson 87’), Wade