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Match Report  |  Belper Town vs Gresley FC

Belper Town  0
Gresley FC  2
Melbourne 9, 30

Evo-Stik NPL League Division One South

Christchurch Meadow, Belper

Monday, 1st January 2018, 3.00pm

Melbourne's Double Nails Belper

Gresley began 2018 in fine style by comfortably beating Belper Town at Christchurch Meadow in a game which easily could have added more to the Nailer’s hangover from their 8-1 thumping by Lincoln at the weekend as Gresley could have gone in at the break four or five goals ahead but for a couple of goal line clearances and a fine save from Danny Roberts.

The Moatmen were without the unavailable Dexter Morris-Clarke and injured Alvin Jarvis but welcomed back Lucas Harrison to the bench who had missed the last couple of games.

Gresley faced a much changed Belper side from the one they faced at the end of August but were soon pressing the home side back and the pressure told on 9 minutes when they took the lead.

A fine spell of passing left the Belper defence grasping at thin air as Matt Melbourne slipped the ball to Danny Quinn who then returned the favour and Melbourne finished the move by beating Nailer’s keeper Roberts.

Gresley were in stark contrast to Saturday’s debacle slicing open the home defence as easy as a hot knife through butter and only last-ditch clearances denied the visitors from running riot. Belper conceded several corners in quick succession and it was from one of them that Gresley doubled their advantage, with a little help from Roberts, on the half hour mark.

A corner from the left was swung into the box by Tom Manship but what should have been a straightforward catch by Roberts was fumbled and Melbourne was on hand to gently nod the ball home at the far post.

Another corner from the right, again by Manship, found the head of Josh Egginton but his powerful header, which beat Roberts, was headed off the line by former Moat favourite Kieran O’Connell.

Gresley keeper Callum Hawkins, who had been largely unemployed for the first 30 odd minutes, was tested for the first time when Haydn Goddard fire a shot from the left which the young keeper dealt with easily.

Reece Morris went close to adding to Gresley’s score when, after jinxing his way into the area, let fire with a driving shot which Roberts diving to his right did well to turn past the far post.

From the resultant corner Gresley went close to adding a third goal. Manship’s corner from the left was headed goalward but once again, with Roberts beaten, Goddard managed to head the ball off the line.

It was expected that after presumably a roasting from Belper manager Aaron Webster at the break the homeside would be cajoled into trying harder than they did in the first half and to their credit they did show a bit more determination but Gresley defended well reducing Belper to shot from distance which either hit a defender went woefully wide of the target.

It took almost an hour before Belper went close to breaking down the visiting defence. O’Connell picked out Alex Steadman with a pass down the left who then returned the ball to O’Connell who raced into the area but his low shot was comfortably held by Hawkins at his near post.

The final ten minutes saw Belper desperately trying to get at least one goal back but Gresley were defending stoically. However, arguably the best chance of the game for the Nailers came when a long ball was sent over into Gresley’s area but the normally reliable O’Connell could only plant his header into the arms of the grateful Hawkins.

This was a comfortable victory for Gresley over a Belper side who was made to look very poor by the scintillating performance, especially in the first half, of the visitors which sent the visiting Gresley supporters home with a smile on their faces and the wish that they could see this sort of showing from their side every week.

Match Stats
Shots on Target 6 5
Shots off Target 1 3
Corners 8 5
Fouls Conceded 7 7
Yellow Cards 0 0
Red Cards 0 0
Possession (%) 60 40
Streaming Interview
Belper Town
1 Danny Roberts
2 Max Thornberry
3 Haydn Goddard
4 Callum Lloyd
5 John Guy (c)
6 Kieran Harrison
7 Dominic Allen
8 Lee Williamson
9 Jahvan Davidson-Miller
10 Kieran O'Connell
11 Alex Steadman
12 Jack Hallahan
for 4 - 69 mins
14 Sam Birks
for 7 - 46 mins
15 Fenwick Butcher
not used
16 Dylan Garnett
for 10 - 80 mins
17 Kane Baldwin
not used
Gresley FC
1 Callum Hawkins
2 Matt Roome
3 Josh Egginton
4 Jamie Barrett (c)
5 Sean Philips
6 Tom Manship
7 Jason Law
8 Reece Morris
9 Danny Quinn
10 Matt Melbourne
11 Oliver Bassett
12 Louis Danquah
for 9 - 62 mins
14 Lucas Harrison
for 5 - 67 mins
15 Zac Hill
for 11 - 86 mins
16 Jon Stevenson
not used
Other Match Info

Referee: Ryan Haynes (Stetton)

Attendance: 258

Star Player
Matt Melbourne

Matt Melbourne

Every player deserves a mention but scoring two goals, Matt edges the vote.