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25.11.2008 @ 19:45 The Recreation Ground Crowd: 262
Grays Athletic 2 - 4 Chelmsford City
Referee: D Sheldrake Conference League Cup / 3rd Round-Match

Sam Sloma (28)
Dean McDonald (90)
Bertie Brayley (21)
Jason Hallett (37)
Jason Hallett (73)
Jeff Minton (89)
Starting Line-ups
Steve Arnold
Rob Gier
Stuart Elliott
Fabian Wilnis
Mark Haines
Kenny Davis
Sam Sloma
Ishmael Welsh
Stefan Bailey
Dean McDonald
Scott Forrester
Ashley Harrison
Justin Miller
Jon Keeling
Steve Ward
Ian Cousins
Dave Rainford
Ollie Berquez
Kevin James
Jason Hallett
Bertie Brayley
Ricky Holmes
David Button
Jon Ashton
Barry Cogan
Stuart Thurgood
Brad Hunter
James Lawson
Jeff Minton
Chris Moore
Danny Gay
Barry Cogan -> Fabian Wilnis (46)
Jeff Minton -> Ian Cousins (31)
Chris Moore -> Ricky Holmes (63)
Yellow cards
Mark Haines (44)
Steve Ward (27)
Jon Keeling (48)
Jason Hallett (55)
Red cards
Stefan Bailey (65)
Match report |
“Not now Michael. I’m thinking of throwing myself off the QE2 Bridge”.

That was Grays' Manager Wayne Burnett’s reply to a request for an interview.

On this showing Wayne and the players would have missed the water and ended up on the mudflats.

You feel for fans. It's alright for the press. We (well BBC Essex and YourThurrock) don’t have to pay £13 to watch this.

There was much weeping and grinding of teeth in the dressing room. You can guess the script about players not wanting it and hunger etc. Perhaps it is not about emotion and it is about the science and empirical evidence.

Fact: Every midfield that has faced the combination of Stuart Elliott and Stefan Bailey has walked through with consummate ease. Chelmsford were similar to Crawley back in September: fast, hungry and committed.

Elliott has that shouty clap hands sort of passion but gives away a lethal amount of possession. As 23 clubs before him have borne witness as they waved him farewell, he is a liability.

Stefan Bailey simply looks lost. His career is lost. He clearly has great skill but he’s not a defensive midfielder nor an attacking one. You can walk straight through him and, again he will give the ball away.

Those fans who have stood on the terrace since Braintree in July can tell you that. The management and players proudly state that they never read or watch reviews, reports, interviews and forums; well, sometimes they should.

Scott Forrester is a Ryman Div One North player who is being allowed to conduct his apprenticeship in public. He was put alongside Dean McDonald who flattered to deceive - a bit of pace etc. but he played within himself and went deeper and deeper as the game went on. That’s why he is floating about for sale in November like a James Last LP in Woolworth’s.

There were players trying. Sam Sloma is fast becoming the talisman for this team. Clever, industrious and skilful. His free kick in the 26th minute to equalise was outstandingly simple. From just outside the box, he rolled it under the wall and past keeper Ashley Harrison.

Fair play to the Clarets They looked a complete outfit and had a sense of industry about them. You could tell there was a culture of graft and application.

They also seemed to have a plan whereas for Grays, the players didn’t believe they were playing for places on Saturday. If Rob Gier had a stinker (and he did) there is no way that Kenny Davis, a player with far more talent and more importantly potential is going to get in. For some reason, Kenny isn’t Burnett’s type of player.

Fabian stood strong. Oh, and while we're ranting: Can we stop the gloves please? Why can a man from Surinam play on a bitter night with short sleeves and no gloves and boys from Deptford dress up like Pike in Dad’s Army?

Having opened the scoring through Bertie Brayley in the 20th minute, Chelmsford troubled the scorer with two from Jason Hallet (a lovely glancing header and a net bicycle kick) plus a header from Jeff Minton.

Mark Haines looked out of his depth on loan to East Thurrock and the same was glaringly apparent here.

Kenny Davis was out of position and the rest has already been said.

Don’t blame these players. If you put all the wrong ingredients in a meal then don’t look to blame someone else if it tastes rank!

Report by Michael Casey
Thanks to Your Thurrock for the match report