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Match Report  |  Evesham United vs Gresley Rovers

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11th October 2003

Evesham United vs Gresley Rovers

It was one of those afternoon’s where Gresley had took an early lead and looked certain to snatch all three points from their hosts Evesham United until Inderpaul Khela's last-gasp leveller deep into injury time. And to be honest it was nothing more than the home side deserved against the Western Division's form side.

Evesham started the stronger of the two sides with Jay Powell putting a header over the bar when well placed in the first two minutes of the game.

On 5 minutes the home side went close again when a cross from Grant Pinkney was put high over the bar by Shaun Pinkney who should have done better.

Gresley took the lead on 8 minutes with Liam Hebberd’s well taken shot. Hebberd had been called into the starting line-up to replace the missing Shaun Harrad who had been recalled by Notts County for their FA Youth Cup game.

It was Steve Lenagh who went close but his shot was blocked and Jamie Barrett was the quickest to react and laid the ball back to Hebberd who gave Evesham’s keeper Tim Clarke no chance with a low shot into the corner of the net.

Minutes later the Gresley keeper Dale Belford had to be on his metal to block a cross-cum-shot at close-range from Khela. Belford was then almost caught out when when Khela’s header, that looked to be going well over, dipped and brushed the bar on its way out.

Evesham had another chance soon after when Hebberd uncharacteristically gave the ball away to Khela but the final shot was deflected away for a corner.

On 22 minutes Hebberd’s shot went a fraction wide after Danny Haynes had put him through.

Belford was now the busier of the two keepers as he kept out Pinkney and then he failed to collect a cross from Andy Smith but the Gresley defenders were quick to clear the danger.

Right on the stroke of half-time Lenagh almost sent Gresley into the dressing room two up and it took a superb save from Clarke to deny him as the keeper pushed the ball away from the Moat Man’s powerful header. Clarke still hadn’t finished because he then had to stop the ball on the line as it came back into the danger area and then it again looked as if Lenagh would give Gresley a 2 goal lead with a tap in Clarke somehow managed to grab the ball again before it crossed the line.

It was the home side who again opened the second half on the attack. Craig Ball floated over a corner and Powell almost took advantage with a header but the ball went over the bar.

Gresley came back into the match on the hour when Lenagh got on the end of Leon Doughty’s free kick but Clarke was quick to grab the header just under the bar.

On 68 minutes Lenagh went close again but this time he put his header wide of the post.

Mark Shepherd gave Belford some work to do 5 minutes later as he turned and fired in a shot that went straight to the Gresley keeper.

Home substitute Paul Oakey went close just after coming on. He ran onto a through ball from Sean Flynn but Danny Haynes got back in time to deny him the chance.

Just as it looked like Gresley were home and dry with all three points a slight defensive lapse gave the home side half a chance and they took full advantage.

Deep into time added on Smith put a hopeful ball into the box and as the Gresley defensive tried to deal with it Khela, looking well offside, stuck out a foot and prodded the ball into the net.

Gary's view on the game

"We are all absolutely gutted at conceding right at the end, especially as the 3 points would have put us up to 7th or 8th in the table. That said, after dominating the first half we didn't really get going in the second and I felt we sat off Evesham too much and invited them onto us.

"They stepped it up second half and overall I think most would agree a point each was probably a fair result.

"We defended very well but its a lot to ask of your defence to take that much pressure for that amount of time without eventually conceding.

"With Gaz Whites injury, the late withdrawal of Matt Smith and Shaun Harrad's unavailability I thought today would be a tough test and we wanted to come here and ensure that we came away unbeaten. We achieved that but the manner in which we were pegged back was harsh. Things like that sometimes go for you and sometimes they don't, so we just have to get on with things.

"We are down but the positive thing we take from today is that the run continues. We just need to ensure we are on song for what is going to be a tough game against Shepshed on Tuesday night at the Moat Ground.

"The away support was again superb today. Many thank to all who travelled. I'm sure you're all as gutted as us that we couldn't hang on for the points."

Evesham United (0) 1

Gresley Rovers (1) 1

Scorers: Khela 90 (Evesham United); Hebberd 8 (Gresley Rovers).

Evesham United: Clarke, Smith, Powell, Burrow, Bailey (Jukes 76), Ball (Oakey 73), Flynn, Pinkney, Khela, Shepherd, Pratt. Subs not used: Allen, Marsh, Ladek (gk).

Gresley Rovers: Belford, Wardle, Cheetham, Everitt, Haynes, Slater, Doughty, Barrett, Hebberd (Lwanda 80Yellow Card), Lenagh, Walshe (Alexander 70). Subs not used: Tate, Clarke (gk).

Star ManRovers Star Man: Leigh Everitt – superb in defence.

Referee: C Banks (Oxford).

Attendance: 198