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Match Report  |  Gresley Rovers vs Tamworth

Note that this page is from our Gresley Rovers archive.
It may not be related to the new club Gresley FC.
Gresley Rovers  2
Blenkinsopp 12  |  Woolley 73
Tamworth  5
Hilreth 20  |  Wright 25, 50  |  Rodman 39  |  Lea 73

Pre-Season Friendly

The Moat Ground, Church Gresley

Tuesday, 8th July 2008, 7.30pm

Tough Start For Rovers

Gresley Rovers had a tough workout for their first pre-season match against Blue Square North outfit Tamworth.

I front of a decent crowd and on a beautiful sunny evening it was Rovers who shook their opponents by taking the lead on 12 minutes.

Last season's top scorer David Blenkinsopp latched on to a long clearance and coolly slotted the ball past The Lamb's keeper Lloyd Ransome.

They went close to doubling their lead when Brian Woodall's free kick just cleared the junction of post and bar going wide.

On 20 minutes the visitors levelled when Lee Hilreth in space beat the diving David Clarke to shoot into the bottom left corner.

Five minutes later The Lambs were in front when Clarke came out trying to deny Gareth Sheldon's move into the area but a square pass to Nick Wright saw the Tamworth player take two chances before scoring.

Tamworth could have added to their tally but a very good save from Clarke denied Wright whose header looked goal bound.

Clarke was in action again on 37 minutes smothering the ball at the feet of Wright but two minutes he was unable to prevent the next attempt.

Alex Rodman cut in on the right before curling a superb low shot past Clarke and into the far bottom corner.

Right on the half time whistle Rovers almost reduced the arrears when Ransome somehow, under no pressure, allowed a high ball from Shaun Ridgway's free kick from the left to go through his hands but frustratingly for the home side the ball just went wide of the far post.

Tamworth's fitness and speed began to show in the second period and they increased their lead further when a defensive slip allowed Wright the easiest of tasks to slot the ball past Clarke.

Rovers were visibly tiring as Tamworth continued to pull them all over the park and Hilreth was again in space and fired a shot that Clarke did superbly well to clutch out of the air diving high towards his top right corner.

Tamworth's fifth goal again was a defensive lapse when a low cross from Cameron Jones down the right was allowed to go clean through the area and substitute Dean Lea was in space to fire home.

Rovers did pull another goal back from a set piece. A pinpoint accurate free kick by Josh Butler from the right found the head of Barry Woolley who was unmarked in the area and the big defender made no mistake powering his header past Ransome.

Manager's View

I was a bit disappointed with the result and in some respects the performance particularly the defensive performance.

"It shows we've got a fair bit of work to do. But having said that we played a good side. Gary's (Mills) moulding a very young side but you could see the type of quality, the movement, the passing and you could tell they'd been working hard in training on shape and movement because at times we were pulled all over the park.

"It's are first real get together and our first time with the ball out to be honest away from the fitness work we are trying to do and even that you could see we were a little bit off where the Tamworth boys are.

"We are a little disappointed because originally we had got a friendly arranged against Scarborough Athletic on Saturday which I think would have served us well before tonight's game but unfortunately we had to cancel that and we trained instead.

"It was a tough opening fixture for us but there are some positives to come out of it. We know move on to train and we've got some ideas on one or two lads now and a bit more of an idea on how they perform in game situations and as quickly as we can we really want to narrow it down to the group we want to be working with because frustratingly at this time of the season you want to give players the opportunity of game situations but you also want to get down as quickly as you can to your working size of squad.

"It was clear to see today that the first striking change was Jamie Barrett up front who can do that job because he's done it many times before both in a Gresley shirt and in many other shirts but you could see that apart from David (Blenkinsopp) and Brian (Woodall) at the moment we're very limited in that area but it's not through want of trying.

"I forget the number of phone calls we've made after strikers in the summer. We are currently talking to three. One is away on holiday, one's about to have a knee operation, just a clear out and the other one appears to be messing us about some what so we will try and put that to bed one way or another this week.

"We are not panicking too much because that's the first friendly as there is still a good chunk of the pre-season to go before we start and we are confident that we will have further striking options in place.

"It is frustrating obviously because we wanted to look at things now but we will carry on looking.

"Stefan (Marshall) as just returned from holiday but he said he still wanted to come and give it a go so we've not closed the door on Stef. Paul (Edwards) is one who I'll never say never but it's unlikely Paul will be back. I've not had any contact with him so I don't expect to see Paul in a Gresley shirt anytime soon but you never know.

"I'm pleased Dave Clarke has put pen to paper. We started talking to Dave towards the end of last season because we recognised he's had a good season so we wanted to keep him in the spine of the team but for his own reasons he wanted to see what was going to happen at the club during the summer. In terms of the off field situation he's been satisfied enough to want to commit to the club. He's seen that we've managed to retain a lot of the good players from last season and the quality of the type of players we've had at training and he's actually signed before the game so we are delighted with that.

"We quickly want to follow that up with a second keeper whether that's Tom Allan or one of the other couple of keepers we are talking to just in case Dave didn't commit to us."

Streaming Interview
Gresley Rovers
1 David Clarke
2 Dan Douglas
3 James Leggitt
4 Barry Woolley
5 Jamie Hood (c)
6 Shaun Ridgway
7 Oliver Hancock
8 Chris White
9 Brian Woodall
10 David Blenkinsopp
11 Tom Liversage
12 Carl Slater
14 Josh Butler
15 Miles Chamberlain
16 Jamie Barrett
17 Lee Mellon
18 Dan McCloud
19 Gavin Saunders
20 Tom Groves
1 Lloyd Ransome
2 Jake Woollaston
3 Dominic Langdon
4 Chris Smith
5 Des Lyttle
6 Martin Foster (c)
7 Nick Wright
8 Lee Hildreth
9 Gareth Sheldon
10 Alex Rodman
11 Brad Pritchard
12 Jake Sheridan
14 Graeme Law
15 Cameron Jones
16 Luke Edwards
17 Dean Lea
18 Stuart Hendrie
Other Match Info

Attendance: 248