GRAYS Athletic legend João Carlos was pleased to hit the late winner as Grays Athletic secured a 1-0 victory over Great Wakering Rovers.

Carlos volleyed home the all-important goal with just one minute remaining at Parkside.

The triumph ended a run of four outings without a win and Carlos was pleased to play a crucial role as Grays look to get back into Isthmian North play-off contention.

“It was a huge game as we didn’t want to start slipping down the table,” said the winger.

“We had a few chances but luck hasn’t been on our side lately.

“I’m always happy to score and help the team.

“The moment felt even better when we knew it was a must-win game to keep ourselves in the mix.”

Jim Cooper’s side are now six points adrift of the play-off places.

And the late win came just seven days after a 1-0 defeat to Witham Town.

Carlos admits Grays cannot afford to drop many points if they want to finish the season in the Isthmian North’s top five.

“A defeat is always hard to take,” added Carlos.

“Witham is a game we, as a team, know we should not be losing if we want to achieve our goals.

“But we have to keep our heads high and keep battling through a tough period at the moment.”

Carlos reached the impressive landmark of making 400 Grays appearances in the loss to Heybridge Swifts earlier this month.

The winger - who also counts Aveley and Thurrock among his former clubs - has brought up the milestone over the course of two spells with the Isthmian North outfit.

And the 30-year-old was overjoyed after reaching the landmark.

“It was a great feeling to reach 400 appearances as I know it doesn’t happen often,” admitted Carlos.

“This was a personal achievement for me and it’s a moment no-one can take away from me.

“I’m proud and honoured to have achieved that at such a great club.

“I’ve constantly learnt off different people.

“We’ve had so many great footballers come to the club and learning off each other to improve my game would be my high point as it helped me achieve what I have to date.”

The Portugal-born Carlos has also played in the Football League for Dagenham & Redbridge during a fine career.

But Carlos is keen to enjoy success with Grays this term.

And the winger insists consistency is key if Grays want to succeed.

“As a team, we want to get into the play-offs,” confirmed Carlos.

“But we need consistency because that is key.

“Getting into the play-offs would, for me, be a successful season as it shows great character.”