By Daniel Ellis
11th February
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Rovers draw with Grays Athletic

On a bright but windy winters afternoon Great Wakering Rovers and Grays Athletic played out a thrilling Bostic league north encounter
Rovers came into the game looking for back to back wins following Tuesdays win against Canvey Island, the visitors were looking for a result to try and halt their five game losing streak, the blustery weather played its part in the opening minutes with both teams trying to adjust their game to suit the conditions.
Rovers were forced to make two changes early on with Lewis Jags and Billy Johnson both picking up early injuries
The hosts took the lead on the 33rd minute when Jake Gordon looped the ball into the back of the net from outside the area hitting the inside of the post before rolling over the line, however the lead only lasted two minutes when the visitors were awarded a free kick on the edge of the area Mitch Hahn stepping up to superbly curl the ball into the bottom right of the goal to bring the scores level.
Half time. Great Wakering 1 Grays Athletic 1
After the break both teams looked much more attacking and it was the two goalkeepers who were kept busy, Harry Seaden impressing the home fans with a couple of fine stops however there was nothing he could do on the 65th minute when ex Rovers player Adalberto Pinto drove the ball through a packed penalty area to put the visitors in front for the first time in the match.
Strangely enough it was the goal that seemed to thrust Rovers onto the front foot, as they piled on the pressure in front of goal but were unable to find the finish to level the scores.
With ten minutes to go the game took another turn when Gorbell and Bishop clashed both receiving yellow cards, seconds later Bishops anger seemed to getter the better of him resulting in him kicking out at Gorbell, the ref had no other choice and gave Bishop his marching orders.
It was beginning to look like Grays were going to hold on for a much-needed win, and were unlucky not to get there third when Seaden again denied them somehow saving on the line.
With the game nearing its end Rovers were awarded a penalty when Gordon ran at the Grays defence twisting and turning before being brought down in the area, Gordon made no mistake and converted the spot kick
The drama was still not over, when deep into stoppage time Rovers were awarded another spot kick Gordon again stepping up but this time under the pressure of a hat trick and the 3pts blasted the ball over the bar keeping the score at 2-2
In the end both teams would look at this as two points dropped, but in reflection a point a piece was probably the fair result.

By Neil Hope

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