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Grays Athletic 1-2 Stevenage Borough

Charlie Griffin
Griffin joined Stevenage from Salisbury in May

Charlie Griffin's late winner saw Stevenage come from behind to beat battling Grays and extend their lead at the top of the league to five points.

Griffin headed in Chris Day's free-kick to secure victory against the Blue Square Premier's bottom club.

Jamie Guy fired Grays into a surprise lead when he turned home the rebound after Day saved his initial shot.

Under-par Boro equalised when Michael Bostwick headed past Glyn Garner from Andy Drury's corner and Griffin won it.

Victory increased Stevenage's advantage over title rivals Luton and Oxford.

But for long periods it was a result which looked unlikely against a side that has won just three times in the league this season.

Despite enjoying plenty of the early possession a Bostwick shot, saved by Garner, was all the away side could muster in the way of efforts on goal.

David Bridges summed up their disappointing first-half display when he rose unmarked in the Grays area to plant a header well wide of goal.

Moments later the hosts were ahead, Guy applying the finish after a fine pass from Joseph Bayowa.

Bostwick's headed equaliser calmed Stevenage's fears of falling to a shock defeat but they struggled to create more chances until substitute Griffin pounced for their decisive second.


Stevenage manager Graham Westley told BBC Three Counties: "How you get there's not important at this time of the season, it's getting there that's important.

"It was a really difficult surface out there, which made it hard to get any fluency in your play, and in all honesty I probably picked the wrong team.

"The introduction of a target man made the difference. We let our standards drop in the first half, but we got ourselves back together and put in a disciplined performance in the second half."

Grays Athletic manager Julian Dicks told BBC Essex:
"The lads worked really hard, I couldn't ask any more of them.

"For the last 15-20 minutes we were under the cosh a bit and unfortunately we didn't get the point I thought we deserved.

"Football's cruel, it's a cruel game, but the lads can be happy with their performance tonight."


Grays Athletic: Garner, Davis, Reynolds, Clarey, Bunce, Graham, Cissoko (Glowacki 58), Harvey, Rhodes (Agumbar 89), Guy, Bayowa (Wilson 73).
Subs Not Used: Edwards, Osborn.

Booked: Guy.

Goals: Guy 43.

Stevenage: Day, Henry, Ashton, Roberts, Laird, Drury, Bridges, Bostwick, Byrom (Cole 46), Beardsley (Sills 46), Odubade (Griffin 77).
Subs Not Used: Bayes, Murphy.

Booked: Roberts, Byrom.

Goals: Bostwick 65, Griffin 86.

Att: 515

Ref: Stuart Burt (Northamptonshire).



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