Bradley Grayson joined the Loyola Meralco Sparks during the April transfer window. After a month of playing with the team in the United Football League (UFL) Cup, the striker from England flourished in the league even at times when his team struggled. To date, he has amassed eight goals for the Sparks in the whole second round. In his team’s latest match, Grayson came to the rescue of his team again by betting a brace which levelled the game until its conclusion.
“We got back in the game and we should have won it in the end,” Grayson told. He had a golden opportunity to claim a glorious hattrick when he was nicely set up by Phil Younghusband. Timing his run well, Grayson got past the Global offside trap but his swift attempt slid past the wrong side of the post. Had it gone in, the Sparks would have overturned the score which read 2-0 on in favor of Global early in the first half. Despite not converting whenever Phil was involved with him against Global, Grayson describes the partnership as brilliant. “Phil’s the best player I’ve ever played with, so its really good playing with him because he sees my runs,” he elaborated.
With his team down by two goals, the forward thought that they always had what it takes to respond. “We took 2-0 down and I don’t think we deserved it. I think the most important thing to get a goal before halftime for us to get confidence,” Grayson recalled. Indeed, a set piece four minutes before the break led to their opening goal with Grayson getting the final touch. “When you’re down 2-1 or 3-2, you know you could get back in the game,” he followed up. They did just that early in the second half. Similar to the first goal, the striker was responsible in putting the ball into the net off another set piece.
Grayson also thought that the second round encounter against Global showed the team’s strengthened morale. “We would have probably crumbled. It’s really good to see the lads believe that we can still go back from 2-0 against Global,” he stated. A key point to their revitalized form down the final stretch of the season was a long break they enjoyed eight after playing three games in a week. Since then, they won three of their last four games as a result of more time training and determination to recover from heartbreaking losses. Interestingly, his coach Simon McMenemy had qualms about the scheduling but Grayson doesn’t find it problematic. “In England, we’re used to playing Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday… so it’s quite nice to play three games in a week.” In the seven second round matches of Loyola, Grayson scored in five of those. His rampant form is one of the reasons he just wants to get going. “I feel fit and in the peak at the moment so I just want to play as many games and score as many goals I can,” he declared.
There is just one game left though for the Sparks in the league and it will be against Green Archers United tomorrow evening. Whether he will score or not, Grayson is expected to play a key role for the Sparks to finish in second place. — LGT