Brilliant Daventry Town stun Grays to march on in FA Cup

ON TARGET - substitute Deqwon Ebanks scored one of Daventry's four goals at Grays
ON TARGET - substitute Deqwon Ebanks scored one of Daventry's four goals at Grays

Daventry Town are just 90 minutes away from qualifying for the first round proper of the FA Cup for the first time in the club’s history.

Darran Foster’s men reached the fourth qualifying round for the first time thanks to a stunning 4-0 victory over 10-man Grays Athletic on Wednesday night.

This was a giant-killing of sorts for Daventry, as Grays play in the Isthmian League Premier Division.

Daventry now travel to Combined Counties League side Hartley Wintney on Saturday, October 26, with the winners progressing to the first round and the chance of playing League clubs of the stature of Wolves, Portsmouth, Sheffield United and Coventry City.

Town boss Darran Foster was overcome with emotion following the win over Grays.

“Oh my, I am one very proud manager tonight,” said Foster.

“What a performance from the lads, they were awesome! The travelling support was also fantastic; they were our 12th man.

“They did a terrific job, thanks to all who travelled such a long way in midweek.”

Town started the livelier of the two teams, having a goal disallowed in the first 10 minutes, the referee having seen a handball offence, before Ross Oulton had a shot from 20 yards comfortably saved by their keeper.

Grays were soon reduced to 10 men, after striker Jack West was sent off for an elbow, on full back Ollie Wilkinson.

Town took a deserved lead in the 37th minute, striker Tom Lorraine scored, minutes after having had a goal bound effort cleared off the line.

Grays were clearly struggling to cope with the greater determination and work rate of their visitors and Daventry were the much better side in the first half.

Daventry extended their two minutes into the second half, a fine move finished off by Ryan Howell in superb style.

Grays forced a superb save from Richard Morris, the Town keeper tipping a header round the post, as goal scorer Lorraine was replaced by Deqwon Ebanks after the Town striker developed a thigh injury and was unable to continue.

Town continued to pile on the misery for Grays, Howell having another effort turned over the bar by the Gray’s keeper and substitute Ebanks hitting the post!

Daventry finally ended any hope Athletic may have had of getting back in the game, substitutes Ebanks and then Murphy scoring two more goals in the last 10 minutes, to send the large travelling Purple Army into wild celebrations.

Town now travel to Hampshire to take on Hartley, a tie that is worth £12,500 to the winners, but more importantly entry to the first round proper of the FA Cup.

But that’s for another day, this Saturday (October 19) Daventry host Corby Town in a much anticipated FA Trophy match.

One-time England International Lee Hendrie and former Daventry Town favourite Tommy Berwick, will be trying to halt the ‘Daventry Town Express’.

With recent successes on the field, Daventry are expecting a large crowd, with several hundred travelling from Corby Town, supporters are being advised to turn up early.

Match Facts:

Wednesday 16th October 2013

Grays Athletic v Daventry Town– The FA Cup

Location: Mill Field, Aveley, Thurrock, Essex.

Daventry: Richard Morris, Ollie Wilkinson, JoshBlake , Marcel Simpson, Liam Dolman, Adam Confue, Ross Oulton (Murphy 85min), Ryan Howell, Mykel Beckley (King 77m), Tom Lorraine (Ebanks 87m), Ashley Robinson

Goal scorers: Lorraine 37min, Howell 47min, Ebanks 78min, Murphy 90min.

Man of the Match: All of them!

In the book: none

Attendance: 196