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Match Report  |  Gresley Rovers vs Sutton Coldfield Town

Note that this page is from our Gresley Rovers archive.
It may not be related to the new club Gresley FC.
13th February 2002

Match Photos

Gresley Rovers vs Sutton Coldfield Town

Gresley comeback

poor piece of defending and a freak goal gave Gresley Rovers a mountain to climb
by halftime in this Dr Martens Western Division league match.

John McGinlay kept faith with the side that held Redditch to a draw last week
with the exception of Mark Peters who replaced Sean Cleary whose loan spell
ended after that match.

The visitors had the better of the first half and put Gresley under pressure
early on. Barry Woolley was called on to clear the ball off the line after Dean
Baker had beaten on loan keeper Saul Deeney to the ball.

On 18 minutes Gresley were denied by the woodwork and within a minute the post
again prevented the Moatmen the opening goal. The first was a header against
his own post by defender Neil Manton after good work by Chris Parkins and Andy
Bourne.The second from Simon Tucker whose shot hit Justin Bray and rebounded
off the post denying the striker his first goal since returning to the Moat
Ground last week.

Tucker went close only minutes later when the Sutton defence failed to clear
the ball but the striker put his shot just wide of the post.

On 33 minutes a mix up between keeper Deeney and Bourne allowed Darron Shaw
to shoot on goal but Bourne did well to get back and block the shot.

From the resulting corner Nigel Brown whipped in a ball with pace and Leon
Mitchell put a fine glancing header past Deeney with Gresley providing no defensive
cover at the near post.

Gresley were looking forward to going into the dressing room and plotting the
tactics for the second half when a most bizarre goal gave the visitors an undeserved
two-goal lead.

In first half injury time Woolley did well to block an effort from Shaw but
the ball fell to Linton Bailey.

Bailey fired what appeared to be an easy shot for Deeney to take, but the Gresley
keeper let the ball bounce just in front of him and the ball took an absolute
freakish bounce off the pitch and flew over the bemused keeper's head and into
the net to the stunned silence of the Moat Ground.

McGinlay clearly gave the Moatmen a dressing down at the interval and they
came out looking a lot more determined. They began to make inroads into the
Royals defence and it looked likely that they may get a goal back.

On 54 minutes McGinlay decided to change his formation and play three at the
back pushing Woolley up front as an extra striker.

To facilitate this change McGinlay substituted James Lewesley for the more
experienced Andy Cheetham, and the change brought an almost immediate response.

On 65 minutes a ball was played into Sutton's box and was handled by Shaw.
The referee, with confirmation of the referee's assistant, awarded a penalty.

Peters took the resulting spot kick and his vicious shot hit the underneath
of the cross bar and bounced out. There was a moment of confusion as the visitors
set up to take a goal kick but the referee's assistant had clearly indicated
that the ball had crossed the line.

On 74 minutes the best chance of the night fell to Chris Gray. Woolley passed
the ball to Cheetham who in turn found Parkins. He put a pinpoint through ball
to Gray on the left edge of the penalty area but he fired wide with Tucker unmarked
and waiting for the pass.

Gresley sensed that the visitors were there for the taking and McGinlay made
another change.

Chris White replaced Parkins and Matt Moran replaced Gray and it was this combination
that gave Gresley the equaliser.

Moran was finding acres of space down the right flank but his crosses were
coming to nothing as the Royals defended in number.

However, on 85 minutes, Moran was quick to react to a loose ball after Woolley
had made a fine run into Sutton's half but saw his pass deflected by Steve Farmer.

Moran took the ball towards the bye line looked up and fired in a low cross
to White at the near post. The striker made no mistake with his first time volley
scoring his first senior goal for the club.

The visitors came close right at the end of normal time but Neil Kitching's
goal was disallowed for offside and in injury time Gresley could have completed
their comeback and taken all three points but Bourne's header from a Moran cross
flew over the bar.

The manager's view

"It took us a long time to get going in the first half. But, saying that,
we had chances and again to give away the first goal was poor. It was a goal
from a set piece and there was bad marking at the near post and the boy got
a good header on goal and gave the keeper no chance.

"The second goal was another freak goal. We get sick of them really. We've
had a few this year but it's freak goal and we were 2-0 down. Again we still
had chances in between; Simon Tucker hit the bar we had a few that went across
the face of the goal.

"During half time I had a go at them, gave them a few home truths. They
came out and responded in the second half. We took the game to them and really
we should have won it in the end. We had enough chances to win the game in the
second half.

"We dominated the second half and they were reduced to just break a ways.
We changed to three at the back and pushed Barry Woolley up front to give us
the extra man because we were 2-0 down. And the substitutions we made worked
in the end. For once we got wide in a good area and instead of just putting
a hopeful ball in the area Matt Moran got his head up picked out Chris White
and he scored his first goal for the club so it was a good double substitution.

"After that Chris White went on and looked quite sharp tonight. He had
a few half chances and was proving to be a bit of a handful and that was pleasing.

"Jim Lewsley made his debut at Redditch, put in a good performance and
merited the shirt tonight to start with. Obviously at 2-0 down at half time
you have to take drastic measures and I felt we needed to go three at the back.
I put Andy Cheetham on to give us that bit more experience. Jim hasn't played
as a three with the other lads so I felt by putting Andy on it gave us that
bit of experience because the three of then have done well together.

"It happened and Andy still got forward as well and got a few crosses
in the box. The one thing I felt Andy needed was that little shake by seeing
Jim Lewsley playing and now he knows he has competition. So hopefully that will
spur Cheets on to do what he was doing earlier in the season because I feel
he has dipped that little bit. But he looked back to his old self when he came
on tonight so hopefully it's worked.

"I don't think Simon Tucker is as sharp as he could be. He had a couple
of half chances in the first half when he shook the bar. His other one, he tried
to take too many touches in the box and you only get one touch at times and
you have to take your opportunities. But he will get sharper has the games go
on. He told me he hadn't been training at Leek and I think that showed. He's
had two 90 minutes with us now and the pitch and was quite heavy tonight, quite

"I felt Chris Parkins suffered a bit because of the heavy pitch as well.
He didn't look so comfortable tonight. People don't realise how much a heavy
pitch takes out of you, it's hard work sometimes.

"All credit to the lads. I had a go at them at half time and they dug
themselves out from 2-0 down. But, we shouldn't have been in that position in
the first place. They've got to learn from that as well has getting the credit
at the end for getting us back in it that we shouldn't have been in there. We
should have won this game quite handsomely tonight. They need to take the chances
as they come along."

Gresley Rovers (0) 2
Sutton Coldfield Town (2) 2

Scorers: Peters (pen) 65, White 85 (Gresley Rovers): Mitchell 34, Bailey
45 (Sutton Coldfield Town).

Gresley Rovers: Deeney, Bluck, Lewesley (Cheetham 54), Wardle, Woolley,
Evans, Bourne, Peters, Tucker, Parkins (White 78), Gray (M Moran 78).

Sutton Coldfield Town: Bray, Brown (Ling 78), Shaw, Manton (Baddams
24), Farmer, Bailey, N Moran, Jones, Kitching, Baker, Mitchell. Sub not used:

Star Man:
Richard Wardle - reliable and hard working as usual.

Referee: H Singh (West Bromwich).

Attendance: 229