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Grays Athletic 5
Ogunrinde (31', 87'), Carlos (48', 60'), Joynes (72')
3 Kingstonian
Theophanous (12'), Davies (83'), Puemo (86')
Grays Athletic

Grier's Guide to Grays

When: Wednesday 31 July

The town: Grays is the largest town in the borough of Thurrock, where London stops and Essex begins. But since they lost their ground to housing development in 2010 they've played elsewhere in the local area, currently groundsharing in the nearby village of Aveley.

The ground: Parkside, Park Ln, Aveley, RM15 4PX. Many Ks fans will remember Aveley's old Mill Field ground but it's no more, as in the summer of 2017 Aveley - and with them their tenants Grays - moved into a modern new ground. It has small covered terraces at either end and, like most new grounds, an artificial playing surface.

Directions: There are various public transport options but the easiest is probably to get the train from either Fenchurch Street or West Ham to Rainham, from where the 372 bus takes you into the middle of Aveley. This way also keeps you within the Travelcard zone. By car it's a short way from junction 31 of the M25, just over the Dartford crossing. You'll go past Thurrock's old ground on the way.

Our record there: This is Ks' first visit to the new ground but our most memorable visit to Aveley's old ground saw Dean Lodge come off the bench to inspire a 4-3 win from 3-1 down as we fought our way into 2010's playoffs. When we last faced Grays there though, a sensational strike from Elvis Hammond wasn't enough to help us avoid a 3-1 defeat.

Recent form: A solid seventh in Isthmian 1 North last season. Grays have arranged a challenging set of pre-season friendlies against clubs from higher levels and are yet to record a win. Manager Jim Cooper, formerly of Met Police, used Twitter to give a frank assessment of his players' commitment after this week's 4-1 defeat against Cray - warning that, "Some need to up their game". Ks had best be wary against a set of players with a point to prove.

Players to watch: Top scorer Joao Carlos has stayed on for another season at the club and ex-Ks defender Rob Bartley has signed over the summer from Farnborough.

Crowd: A classic old Isthmian club who played Ks many times over the years, Grays' crowds have held up reasonably well despite their years of playing outside the town.

Drinking: There are three pubs on Aveley High Street, around a ten minute walk from the ground.

Food: Again the High Street is the best place to head, where the choice includes Essex Chef (fish and chips), Ming Long (Chinese) and the delightfully named Taste of Aveley (curry).

Published Friday 26th July 2019 (last updated Sunday 28th July 2019)