GRAYS Athletic produced a gritty performance to seal a 1-0 victory over Histon.

Steve King grabbed what proved to be the only goal of the Isthmian North contest.

And, having netted, King also played a key role as Grays kept their first clean sheet of the season.

The first opportunity fell to Ed Rolph, with the Histon man flashing a header narrowly wide of the target.

Grays, having adjusted to the testing conditions, responded with George Purcell sending a fierce drive over the crossbar following an incisive Mitch Hahn pass.

Purcell was then brilliantly denied by a one-handed Sam Roach save after connecting with a Macauley Joynes cross.

Histon hit back with Danny Gould’s strike cannoning off the crossbar.

But Grays broke the deadlock six minutes before the break as Joynes’ free-kick was glanced home by King.

Purcell passed up the opportunity to add his name to the scoresheet seconds into the second period as, after racing clear, the frontman sent a shot inches wide.

Histon went in search of a leveller but overhit several passes as Grays allowed the hosts to have possession in their own half.

Grays’ rearguard held firm and Histon were unable to take advantage of a succession of corners.

As a result, Jim Cooper’s Grays moved back into the Isthmian North play-off places.