Fightback earns point at Grays
PUBLISHED: 11:04 05 January 2006 | UPDATED: 09:24 06 May 2010
Grays Athletic 2 Stevenage Boro 2 STEVE WATKINS reports Boro had to overturn a two-goal deficit in the last 10 minutes to salvage a point despite a much improved performance at high-flying Grays Athletic on New Year s Eve. Welcoming back an apparently ref
Grays Athletic 2 Stevenage Boro 2
STEVE WATKINS reports
Boro had to overturn a two-goal deficit in the last 10 minutes to salvage a point despite a much improved performance at high-flying Grays Athletic on New Year's Eve.
Welcoming back an apparently reformed Dino Maamria into a midfield also bolstered by the return of Dannie Bulman after suspension, Boro had a much needed injection of steel into an area that had performed so badly on Boxing Day.
But there was little they could do to halt an early Grays onslaught that saw John Martin poke a close range shot wide with the goal yawning with just 25 seconds on the clock.
Grays grabbed a lead on 18 minutes as the Boro defence parted when Martin played a ball over the top, allowing Michael Kightly a free run of 40 yards, rounding Alan Julian and netting despite the close attention of Ronnie Henry.
The game had been end to end, but neither side looked particularly sharp in front of goal.
For Boro, debutant Jefferson Louis was certainly busying himself and proving more and more of a handful as the game wore on.
Grays introduced their Broadhall Way goalscorer Gary Hooper after the break and he looked in matchwinning form, testing Boro in a partnership with Kightly that threatened to tear the defence open.
The defence finally gave in on 72 minutes when Kightly was at it again, firing in a low shot that Julian cannot have seen until too late.
But the keeper would have been disappointed that he failed to hold the initial corner that saw the ball threaded to the goalscorer.
Grays thought it was the decisive goal but cue the Boro fightback.
Danny Williams came on and Boro pressed with first Maamria finishing expertly from a Mickey Warner cross.
And with minutes left, from the same provider, Louis placed a deft header out of Nicky Eyres' reach to draw the scores level.
Both keepers were forced into last minute saves to ensure the points were shared after an entertaining last game of 2005.