Non-league: Tower Hamlets 4 Grays Athletic Reserves 1
PUBLISHED: 17:38 29 December 2018 | UPDATED: 13:20 31 December 2018
Tower Hamlets eased into the next round of the Peter Butcher Memorial Trophy with a comfortable win on Saturday.
AJ Ashanike’s side had seen their last Essex Senior League match before Christmas against Ilford abandoned due to a waterlogged pitch at Mile End Stadium.
But after a muted start on their return to action, they took the lead on 18 minutes when winger Yoan Edoukou cut in from the right and beat Liam Tuitt with a low shot under his legs.
The visitors came back into the tie in the lead-up to half-time but could not seriously test home keeper Jordan Stansbury as the scoreline remained unchanged.
And the second half was barely a minute old when Hamlets caught Grays napping and doubled their advantage when a good ball into the box found Suaibo Balde, who rifled home.
It was 3-0 on 53 minutes when Montel Williams fired into the top corner from the penalty spot, with Hamlets completing their tally late on with a fourth from Ezekiel Kamara, who coolly slotted home a pass from fellow substitute Ismael Traore-Mendy three minutes from time.
Grays had the last word in the fifth minute of stoppage time with a fine curling free-kick from Manraj Phagura, but it was scant consolation.
Hamlets return to league action in 2019 when they visit bottom club Barkingside at Cricklefield Stadium on Friday, January 4.