Reserve goalkeeper Joe Simmonds was ready to take to the pitch against Maldon & Tiptree when first-choice Charlie Burns had to come off with a leg injury on the half-hour mark.
However, he could not take part in Saturday's game because it turned out his name was not included on the teamsheet.
So, what went wrong? Well, the person responsible for Gray's teamsheet wrote the initials 'JS' and said player-manager Jamie Stuart had elected to put himself on the bench.
Unknown to Stuart until the moment of the substitution, he was registered and Simmonds was not. The mix-up meant Mahal had to put in a shift in goal and ended up conceding twice.
However, an inspired Grays fightback saw the game end 2-2 with Mahal picking up the Man of the Match award.
"Ryan stepped up," Stuart told BBC Radio Essex post-match. "He's been in goal before and I thought he did very well."
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