From 3-0 up to 3-3. What's it all about?

Grays Athletic

Grays Athletic

Collins (57), Lawrence (77), Goldstone (3-3)
Slough Town

Slough Town

Bushay (7, 48), Lee (25)
League Attendance: 349 Andy Clement
Ground and air were the vital elements for Slough on Saturday, but the Rebels were left with their noses in the mud after the 90 minutes were over.

Had the clock stopped on 57 minutes, the visitors would have won 3-0, but as they have forgotten so many times this season, games last for the full 90, and though they will cite the conditions underfoot and the physical nature of the home side, there can be no excuses.

Things had begun very well. On four minutes, Bushay forced 'keeper Marsh into kicking straight to West, whose 20-yard shot was superbly parried round the post.

West returned the favour for Bushay three minutes later, as he slipped the ball through from a defensive error and left Bushay one-on-one with the 'keeper for a simple finish. 1-0.

Grays were the sort of third-rate team to match their third-rate ground and sparse support, bereft of ideas and never pre-seating anything more than an idle threat to Slough's peace.

On a quagmire of a pitch, flowing football was always going to be virtually impossible, so it was the aerial route whieh was more likely to add to the score.

Andy Clement's 25th-minute free-kick was rising high above the clubhouse, and with the 'keeper lost, the ball fell sweetly for Brian Lee of all people to steamroller his way in at the back post and let it deflect off his body and into the unguarded net.

The only momentary worries for the Rebels came on Grays' counter-attacks, where the high ball left the backline bewildered, but left Bunting with only the simplest of opportunities to stop, though Durrant's 41st-minute stinger lashed onto his fingers and then onto the wall behind the goal.

The aerial route was the source of the third goal as well, shortly after the start of the second-half. Sayer's long pass again flew high above the half-asleep Marsh's eyeline, and Bushay simply controlled it and walked it into the net. 3-0 and surely three points.

But as the high ball had helped Slough in the first half, it turned against them as legs began to tire on the hour. Grays proved their own aerial qualities on their trip to Wexham Park back in October, and Collins enhanced them further on 57 minutes by heading home a floated free-kick. Bunting's despairing dive only helped it into the net, but he stood up well a minute later when man of the match Durrant broke through.

Grays then duly began a backlash - Baron chested down a 15-yard shot with new dad Bunting grounded, Sheringham launched a diving header with plenty of power but no direction and Lee had to mop up when Durrant ran past Bunting.

The whole recovery climaxed on 77 minutes, as Lawrence tried his luck from 25 yards and - surprise, surprise - the ball flew into the top comer.....just like at Merthyr, and Wokingham, and Purfleet.

Goldstone stuck up the final metaphorical two fingers, chipping a free-kick into the area, bouncing it over Bunting's head and delighting as it crept past a stationary Baron on the line.

Grays Athletic Lineup


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