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Grays Athletic 5 Harriers 1

Date: 18-08-07 Venue: Recreation Ground att: 1017 away fans: 107
Gray day as Harriers get a thrashing
I can see a pattern forming here regarding Grays.    They have now scored seventeen goals against us in just six games while we could only respond with a paltry five and this latest embarrassing defeat is our worst defeat since, err, Grays two seasons ago.

We lost 5-0 then and one would have thought we had learnt our lesson by now.    This time it was made all the worse because we all thought that Mark Yates was starting to get it right.

Grays Athletic are officially our new bogey team.

Today looked destined to be one to forget the moment that we found out that Sir Jeffery Kenna had been dropped to the bench to make way for the return of bad boy Jonny Harkness.    He slipped like a tatty glove back into his left back róle giving Paul Bignot the right back berth vacated by The Master.

Also returning to the side was Michael Blackwood after he missed Tuesday nights win at Stafford with a back injury and Michael McGrath made way for him.    McGrath didn't make it to the bench either.

Grays gave notice of their intent right from the start of the game with three shots on goal before finally opening the scoring in the ninth minute.    A smart pass from James Lawson played in Danny Kedwell who advanced towards Scott Bevan in the Harriers goal.    Bevan tried to claim the ball but both players collided and the ball rolled into the empty net for the first goal of an eventual hat trick for the Grays new signing.

It took until almost the fifteen minute mark to get our first shot on target when Michael Blackwood's shot was tipped over the bar by the Grays keeper.    Five minutes later and the home side were awarded a penalty - well what would you expect when Amy Rayner is in charge? - after Jon Munday was judged to have bought down Ben Watson just inside the box.    Up stepped Kedwell to take it and pop it into the net to the right of Bevan.    Rayner said that someone encroached into the area and this time Kedwell put it into the other corner.

We were looking all over the place now but hope did come when Munday saw his header hit the bar from six yards out but the game then became a lost cause just two minutes later when Grays grabbed their third goal of the game and we hadn't even got past the half hour mark.

It was Lawson again who was to provide the assisting headed pass - this time for Watson to slam the ball home from close range.

Watson was to go off injured soon after to be replaced by the former Tamworth striker Aaron O'Connor but that didn't stop the home sides momentum as they went in search of another goal.    It wasn't long coming.

We had seen another good chance go begging after Justin Richards somehow managed to poke his shot just wide from a few yards out only for Grays to go down the other end and bag their fourth goal of the day and Kedwells hat-trick when the on fire striker struck with a shot from twenty five yards out that left Bevan, and the travelling Harriers fans, stunned.

Amazingly that fourth goal seemed to wake us up a bit and we had a string of shots from Richards, Mark Creighton and Harkness.    Rayner also turned a cast in stone penalty down for us too when James Constable was tripped in the area but that woman said that the Grays player had got the ball and not the man.    We still went into the break looking a beaten side.
HT: 4 - 0
The expected changes came at the start of this half with Iyseden Christie and Jeff Kenna coming on for Brian Smikle and the out of form Paul Bignot.    Within five minutes we had pulled a goal back through Christie.

Karl Murray handled the ball in the area and Christie grabbed the ball before Justin Richards could.    He powered it perfectly into the bottom right corner of the net to give us a slight hope.

The game went quiet for a bit with Russell Penn picking up his first yellow card of the season, not bad lasting three games, but sadly the steadying of the ship couldn't last and O'Connor popped up to totally destroy us with Grays fifth goal of the day.

Fifteen minutes from the end Andy Ferrell came on to replace Richards in a move seen as stopping us leaking anymore goals.    That seemed to have the desired effect and the game ended with Jonny Harkness picking up a yellow card to start his collection off.

At the final whistle Mark Yates came onto the pitch and ordered all the players up to the end where the Red Army were standing.    After applauding the fans they were then made to sprint down to the other end of the pitch as a punishment.

There will need to be an improvement before Friday.    The FA Trophy winners come to town.
FT: 5 - 1

 Goals for Grays: Kedwell 9, 22 (pen), 35, Watson 24, O'Connor 68
 Goal for Harriers: Christie 49 (pen)

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Latest table and stats here  

Grays Athletic  subs   cards      Harriers  subs   cards 
Flitney     Bevan  
Sambrook     Bignot  
Ashton     Harkness  
Stuart gif   Hurren  
Hearn gif   Creighton  
Lawson     Munday  
Oli     Smikle  
Cooksey     Constable  
Watson     Richards  
Kedwell     Penn gif
Murray     Blackwood  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Knowles     Coleman  
O'Connor     Kenna  
McAllister     Christie  
Day     Barnes-Homer  
Marshall     Ferrell  

Ms A Rayner

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