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Match preview Vs Grays Athletic

Date: 10-09-05 Venue: Recreation Ground Kick off: 15:00hrs
The Harriers will be lining up against another unknown quantity tomorrow.    After just about getting past a surprisingly good Canvey last Friday they will not be relishing this trip down to their near neighbours, Grays.

Grays are a team that seem to have come from no-where to where they are today.    They have spent most of their life in the lower reaches of the London non league scene and it wasn't until winning the FA Trophy, combined with being Champions of the Conference South, that people stood up and took notice of this 'new team on the block'.

Now they look like taking the highest level of non league football by storm too after sitting on top of the pile with just one month gone.    I'd be very surprised if they can maintain that place into the New Year but the manager seems to have bought in some very good players that, on the face of it, aren't household names but have gelled into a formidable team.

For the game tomorrow they may have to do without the services of the ex Rushden man, Andy Sambrook, and striker Jamie Slabber.    They are both returning from injury but may not be fit enough for selection.

The Harriers know they will be facing tough opponents and Stuart Watkiss admitted as much earlier this week:
"Grays have got one of the biggest budgets, if not the biggest, in the Conference and they've got a good coach who has assembled a very good squad of up to 30 players.
I've been hearing only good things about them from the reports."

Following the 5 - 2 win at Tamworth earlier in the week when the reserves faced a similar Tamworth side Stuart has said that there might be some changes for the Grays game.    Gareth Sheldon did his chances of playing no harm when he knocked in four of the five goals with Lee Thompson getting the other.

Simon Russell is the one who could lose his place in the side after a lack lustre showing against Canvey, but then again most of the side that evening were lack lustre.

Simon Heslop is a major doubt for the game after hobbling off last week and so is Michael Blackwood.   He was bought on at half time after supposedly recovering from a hamstring injury but only lasted fifteen minutes before making way for Thompson.

Common sense would say that Blackwood will miss the next couple of games.

I think we're under no illusions that this is going to be one tough game but we're going to have to give it our best shot and hope that our more experienced players such as Burgess, Jackson and Evans can keep the Grays hot shots quiet.    A reckon we'll be sharing the points.


Harriers from:
Danby, Lewis, Hatswell, Burgess, Evans, Burton, Ludlow, Jackson, O'Connor, Fleming, Graves, Heslop, Hurren, Russell, Penn, Christie, Atieno, Hollis, Sheldon, Wilson, Blackwood, Thompson.

Grays from:
Bayes, Eyre, Sambrook, Mawer, Stuart, Bruce, Nutter, Matthews, Olayinka, Brennan, Hooper, Martin, Kightly, Thurgood, Williamson, McLean, Slabber, Battersby, Oli, Brayley, Maddix, Angus.

Links to Grays websites here

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