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Match Report  |  Gresley Rovers vs Stocksbridge Park Steels

Note that this page is from our Gresley Rovers archive.
It may not be related to the new club Gresley FC.
Gresley Rovers  0
Stocksbridge Park Steels  2
Ring 83  |  Cockerill (pen) 89

UniBond League Division One South

The Moat Ground, Church Gresley

Saturday, 22nd November 2008, 3.00pm

New Rovers Show Their Steel

Manager Gary Norton had the unenviable job of trying to raise a side at short notice with most of his squad moving on to pastures new due to the financial difficulties faced by the club.

Chris Mawbey returned to the fold and both Martyn Rowntree, the reserve team manager and his assistant Andy Dunn came to Norton's aid.

Another surprise was the appearances of Brian Woodall and Tom Liversage playing one final game before joining other clubs.

Youth and reserve team player Harley Hollingshead made the big step up playing in defence and looked comfortable at this level.

With many expecting a heavy defeat against one of the promotion favourites the drive, determination and sheer guts was a joy to behold as highflying Steels were held for 83 minutes and only grabbed the victory when their superior fitness told.

Rovers went close early on with Brian Woodall almost got onto the end of Simon Baldwin's long punt up field but a defender just managed to get a touch knocking the ball back to Steels keeper Richard Siddall.

On 13 minutes Steels were within a few inches of taking the lead when a low cross fizzed across the face of goal but Steels top scorer Carl Fothergill couldn't connect at the far post.

Woodall was almost picked out by Kevin Lock but the ball ran just too far in front of the front man sprinting forward.

On the half hour a free kick taken by Tom Liversage eluded Oliver Hancock at the far post as Rovers gave as good as they where receiving.

Steels started the second half strongly with a superb chip from Andy Ring, who'd noticed Baldwin off his line, flew narrowly past the far post.

On 66 minutes Woodall went close again but his rising shot cleared the bar but Rovers went even closer four minutes later.

Some superb tackling by both Carl Slater and Hancock saw the ball squirt out to Liversage who raced forward before hitting a cracking shot that Siddall did well to divert away for a corner.

The hardworking Jamie Barrett did have the ball in the net on 73 minutes but was unfortunately adjudged to have been offside.

Steels' Jamie Vardy went close firing wide but with just 7 minutes remaining Rovers were undone by a good move.

Rovers' defence visibly starting to tire allowed Vardy too much space and he picked out Ring unmarked in the box who made no mistake slipping the ball past the exposed Baldwin.

With a minute on the clock remaining Steels grabbed a second goal when Rowntree's mistimed tackle in the box on Ring gave Dave Cockerill the chance to score from the spot which he duly did sending Baldwin the wrong way.

Slater was substituted by Norton with seconds remaining to enable the popular skipper to get the thunderous applauses his efforts, not just in this game, thoroughly deserved.

All the hard work and endeavour from this hastily put together side warranted a point and Norton must be a very satisfied manager knowing his side did all they possibly could against a strong Steels side.

Manager's View

"It was a strange afternoon. I stand here before you having been beaten two nil and nobody likes to lose games but it was a bit of a strange occasion.

"Last Saturday was hard but this last couple of days, Thursday and Friday in particular have been very, very hard and it's really sunk in the challenge and the task ahead and what has happened.

"Last Saturday was very emotional after the game but at least it was with the whole squad there.

"At training on Thursday it really hit home when I looked around and there was just two or three players left from our previous squad and looking around at the energy and enthusiasm in reserve team and youth team that were training trying to impress in the hope that they might be part of it today.

"On another day we may have held on and got a draw but I felt that the last fifteen, twenty minutes or so Stocksbridge came on to us a little bit more and we had some tired legs in the back four.

"Our back four we were really, really pleased with that today. They've just been thrown together and a little bit of fitness told in the end and we lost the game.

"Martyn Rowntree had been outstanding and you could see it was a tired tackle for the penalty which obviously put the game beyond doubt today but I can't fault him. He's come in and done a fantastic job and has shown that he can still do a job at this level.

"Chris Mawbey when he was at the club before he didn't often play centre back he played left back or left midfield for me. He's come in there and done a very good performance. Special praise to Harley Hollingshead who plays for the Youth team and he plays very well at centre half for the reserves and he's come in and done the hat trick today completing ninety minutes for the first team and very assured as well so that's encouraging.

"Then there's Jordi Gough. He's certainly not played left back in recent years that we know of and he's had a decent shift so a completely thrown together back four we are fairly happy although we've lost the game two-nil.

"There were some other good performances. I thought Tom Liversage did very, very well. The midfield looked a little bit stronger because it was Carl's (Slater) last game today and Jamie Barrett played and they're good players and Olly (Oliver Hancock) on the right and obviously we will lose a couple of those after today. I'm hoping to hang on to Jamie for at least another week or so but we'll see.

"Both Tom and Brian Woodall have found other clubs but I was surprised that they played to be honest.

"Tom contacted me yesterday afternoon. His original plan was to play today but he spoke to me on Thursday saying he'd agreed with Sutton Coldfield that he was going to go and play there today but we had another chat yesterday and I think he really wanted to play one last game, a home game, and then leave. I said to him that if he was going to give one hundred and ten percent I wouldn't hesitate to play him because it's been a bit frustrating for him this year because he hadn't had too many starts.

"I thought he did well last week and he did okay again today and on that performance I'd like to have another go at keeping him but he's agreed things with Sutton I think.

"Brian Woodall that was arranged at eleven thirty today. There'd been a problem with his registration at Rugby in that there were a bit of miscommunication between the clubs. They were waiting for a phone call from the FA saying his contract had been released and I spoke to Brian yesterday saying it had all been done assuming he would tell Rugby to register him on Southern League forms but that didn't happen and Tony Dobson has agreed that while he was still registered with us he could play so that didn't get sorted out until eleven thirty this morning.

"When I had the players in earlier I said to them that the only thing that's gone for us this week was that we hadn't got a reserve team game today. That was a stroke of luck so obviously we haven't impacted the reserves too much today in terms of them being weakened.

"Having said that there are some really good youth team lads that could step in if necessary and obviously we've got the 'A' side as well and one or two of the best players from them could have been considered if needed.

"It was a bonus that the reserves didn't have a game because we had both the assistant and manager on the pitch at the end today so that gives us a little bit of time to see what happens this week.

"We are speaking to several players at the moment and two or three have actually agreed to come back and play for nothing which is fantastic.

"I got contacted last night by Paul Edwards who'd heard our plight belatedly and Paul's here today and signed which is great. He said he had three cracking years here and he did not want to see us struggle and he's going to give a bit back. Paul's sorry to see the state the club is in and he's signed and should be available for next week.

"Liam Hebberd has agreed to come back and Matt Moran has also agreed to come back. He's just playing local parks football and they are quality players who have played at this level.

"And we have several seven days in for players and we'll just have to wait and see.

[At this moment skipper Carl Slater appears wearing just what can only be described as a skimpy pair of under pants pulled up into a thong style and is doing stretching exercises just a yard or so away much to the amusement of everyone!!]

"Here's my skipper in his G-string ha, ha. (Jokingly) I'm glad to see the back of him to be honest he's a bit of a prankster. A few of the young lads don't know what to make of him. If anyone could see this interview today rather than just listen to it would see my captain in a G-string and his red socks warming down. I think I'm going to fine him some of the wages we owe him!

"It's been an emotional day and obviously bringing Carl off just before the end was just a sign of appreciation from me. I'd spoken to the Supporters Club about my intentions to be honest and said that if we were in a position to bring him off without affecting the game he deserved an ovation."

Match Stats
Shots on Target 1 4
Shots off Target 3 6
Corners 1 8
Fouls Conceded 13 10
Yellow Cards 0 0
Red Cards 0 0
Possession (%) 47 53
Streaming Interview
Gresley Rovers
1 Simon Baldwin
2 Harley Hollinshead
3 Jordi Gough
4 Chris Mawbey
5 Martyn Rowntree
6 Carl Slater (c)
7 Oliver Hancock
8 Jamie Barrett
9 Brian Woodall
10 Kevin Lock
11 Tom Liversage
12 Chris Nicholls
for 7 - 87 mins
14 Paul Wardle
not used
15 Andy Dunn
for 6 - 92 mins
16 Lee Fell
for 11 - 80 mins
17 Tom Allen (gk)
not used
Stocksbridge Park Steels
1 Richard Siddall
2 Richard Adams
3 Dave Cockerill
4 Darren Schofield
5 Brett Lovell (c)
6 Neil Ashley
7 Ben Kistell
8 Ian Richards
9 Jamie Vardy
10 Carl Fothergill
11 Andy Ring
12 Steve Wilkinson
not used
14 Tom Hewitt
not used
15 Duncan Richards
not used
16 Mark Ward
for 10 - 64 mins
17 Dean Sidebottom
not used
Other Match Info

Referee: Mr M Howes (West Midlands)

Attendance: 245

Star Player
Jamie Barrett

Jamie Barrett

Strong solid dispaly in midfield