Romford’s late rally earns point
Grays denied at Mill Field
Romford 2 Grays 2
Boro bounced back from two goals down to earn a late point at Mill Field.
The home side started well, with Kurt Smith’s shot on the turn forcing a fingertip save from Tony Tucker.
Captain Paul Clayton saw his header from the subsequent corner blocked, but Joao Carlos wasted three decent chances for the visitors before the break.
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Hussein Isa fired wastefully over when a Paul Kavanagh free-kick fell at his feet, while Tucker made a comfortable save to keep out Joe Oates before the interval.
Play-off chasing Grays emerged for the second half looking in more determined mood and broke the deadlock within three minutes.
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Carlos found space on the right and cut inside before firing a low shot past Elliott Anderson and into the bottom corner.
And Grays doubled their lead on 54 minutes when Matt Toms misjudged a long ball and Carlos beat the onrushing Anderson before tapping into the unguarded net.
Boro had a let-off when Craig Pope sent a dipping shot just past the post, but Paul Martin’s men were frustrated on 75 minutes when substitute Michael Clarke created a chance for Chris Sullivan, whose curling shot was superbly saved by Tucker.
The hosts gave themselves hope with eight minutes remaining when Tucker sliced an attempted clearance to concede a corner.
Smith crossed perfectly for Barry to head powerfully into the net for his 12th goal of the campaign.
And Boro were back on terms moments later when Anderson’s long kick caused panic in the Grays defence and Toms helped the ball on to Sullivan, whose shot was parried by Tucker for Smith to tap home and take his tally for the season to 19.
There was still time for both sides to go close to a winner, with Danny Bunce firing wide for Grays and Tucker denying Smith goal number 20 in injury time.