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Match Report  |  Stamford vs Gresley Rovers

Note that this page is from our Gresley Rovers archive.
It may not be related to the new club Gresley FC.
Stamford  1
Stebbing 59
Gresley Rovers  0

UniBond League Division One South

Vic Couzens Stadium, Stamford

Saturday, 3rd January 2009, 3.00pm

No Joy At Stamford

Gresley Rovers in the words of manager Gary Norton 'rode their luck' at the Vic Couzens Stadium.

A combination of dogged defending, superb goalkeeping and some woeful misses in front of goal by the home side meant that Rovers came away losing by just the solitary goal.

Carl Slater made a surprise appearance after his club Bromsgrove Rovers' match had been postponed and he had permission to play for Rovers. Also making an appearance was Micky Lonergan who had told Norton he was available if needed.

Keeper Simon Baldwin was back after his holiday, Martyn Rowntree and Matt Weightman were also back in the squad but Chris Mawbey and Zak Callaghan were missing through work commitments and Lee Fell was still away on holiday.

Rovers started brightly enough with Weightman being denied a chance by a home defender.

Baldwin made the first of several good saves during the game when Jamie Clarke got the better of the visiting defence only for the keeper to block the shot with his leg.

Play then swung to the other end where Rovers were awarded a free kick. Jordi Gough slung over a great ball that Weightman headed fractionally wide.

Baldwin needed to be alert moments later when Phil Stebbing raced onto a through ball by former Moatman Chris Gray but the keeper managed to block the effort as the striker got ready to fire.

Stebbing must have cursed the keeper as yet again he denied a goal bound chance pushing the ball away for a corner.

On 26 minutes Rovers almost grabbed the lead against the run of play. Adam Thorley's long throw was helped on by Liam Hebberd to Carl Timms whose first time effort was deflected away for a corner.

The flag kick taken by John Shales picked out Paul Edwards who was unlucky to see his header fly just past the far post with Stamford keeper Martin Davies beaten.

Two minutes later it was the home side who should have been in front. Stebbing again got the better of the defence and sent across a fine ball to Dan Cotton who had time and space to pick his spot but fired embarrassingly wide of the mark.

Minutes before the halftime break Timms went the width of a crossbar from giving his side the lead. A free kick was only cleared as far as the midfielder who thumped a dipping volley that beat Davies but not the bar. Shales pounced onto the rebound but disappointingly put the golden chance over.

Clarke was guilty of an even worse miss at the other end when he latched onto a very poor clearance by Baldwin and from 12 yards out somehow managed to fire well wide.

Clarke went close early in the second period after Baldwin had missed a corner but the keeper then did well to block the striker's shot.

Baldwin again denied Clarke pushing a header wide and then the striker almost beat the keeper but this time his header clattered an upright.

However, a minute later Stamford grabbed the goal they deserved and which ended up as the winner.

On 59 minutes a corner from the right picked out Clarke who cleverly picked out strike partner Stebbing who in turn headed past Baldwin.

Although the introduction of Lonergan gave Rovers some impetus going forward they just couldn't seem to break down the Stamford rearguard who numbered Miles Chamberlain in their ranks.

Stamford should have wrapped up a comfortable win but for some dreadful finishing first from Tyrone Kirk who fire wide and Clarke who once more failed to hit the target when well placed.

Manager's View

"They (Stamford) hade enough chances to have won more than one nil. We know that the circumstances we are in we are going to have to ride our luck sometimes.

"The frustrating thin was that in contrast to the Shepshed game where we were beaten two nil not very many other clear cut opportunities in that game for the opposition because we kept our shape, worked hard and worked well.

"Today, second half in particular, we weren't playing as a unit and doing what we'd been doing on the training pitch. It may be because of changes in personnel and the fact that we've brought one or two in today who haven't been playing with us previously.

"It's difficult to keep your shape when you've got lads coming into the side that probably don't understand what you want them to do so therefore the opportunities for the opposition were more than we would like.

"We rode our luck; Simon (Baldwin) made some good saves and we're frustrated that having kept it down to one with a bit more luck than our own play, we haven't created anything at the other end other than a speculative effort that hit the bar in the first half.

"We were disappointed with the follow up from the one that hit the bar. John Shales got on the end of it and you've got to hit the target from that range. It was penalty spot or a bit closer and he had a clear-cut effort and he flashed it over the bar.

"Having got the bit of luck as it was a scuffed effort that hit the bar, we really should be hitting the target from situations like that and getting ourselves into the game.

"Second half offensively I thought Michael Lonergan did well for saying he's not played or trained much at all. He's gone on and been positive and he's gone past people two or three times and created half opportunities for us.

"But second half we really didn't get going defensively or offensively. I've said to the lads don't get into the mentality you've come away from home and 'that's alright we only lost one-nil away' we don't want that. We think we can put a side together, competitive, I know it's difficult, but competitive enough to take points in this league.

"It's the fourth or fifth league shot that we've been fairly close to doing that but no prizes yet!

"I've said to the lads, 'don't lose your enthusiasm' because we are not hear to be nice to them all the time we are here to pick situations and I try to do my bit as well without being too hard on the lads. They are playing at this level of football because they can play and having set the standards, one or two lads today didn't hit the standards they've hit or the heights they hit in previous games.

"Harley (Hollinshead) for example started off very, very sloppily and that went on throughout the first half. It's difficult to find the balance of criticising the lads too much because they are playing in the situation they are in but wanting to get the best out of them.

"We've got to keep the enthusiasm up. Myself and the other coaching staff are still enthusiastic although we are not getting the rewards for our efforts at the moment.

"We go onto the next game now, it's a home game, a big game next week. Rushall are a good side and have had a good start and we go in there after licking our wounds tonight and getting one or two players back as well and do some more work on the training pitch and see what next week brings.

"Carl Slater contacted me this morning saying his game was off and he intimated that he'd squared it with Bromsgrove to get a game. Obviously it was a difficult one because the lads who have done well for us recently you really don't want to break the side up to bring Carl in if it's only going to be for one game.

"We put Carl in on the right hand side in an area that since Lee Fell has gone on holiday we've been struggling with. So we put him on there and he's done a job and he ended up playing centrally for us.

"We'll see, today was today and we are going to talk further. I don't want to comment on his situation at Bromsgrove as it would be unfair of me to do that without sitting down with Carl and obviously him speaking with Bromsgrove as well.

"I've been playing with Michael (Lonegan) at the odd Sunday game and he's decided in the last couple of weeks to get himself fit. He's been out running a lot and he's got a bit of a focus and he's said to me a couple of times, jokingly I thought, that if you need me I here, I'm a body.

"Having seen him in the recent couple of weeks playing on a Sunday he really does look as if he's got an appetite. Today I'm really pleased because I didn't think he'd got half an hour in his legs at this level but he's gone on and done well. He's gone past people and a couple of more weeks maybe with a bit of fitness training I think he'll be a good asset for us, a player for the foreseeable future to be around us and at the moment we are struggling for quality bodies.

"We are talking to a number of people at the moment but it's very difficult to persuade people of the right calibre to come and play for next to nothing. Mark (Blount) and Dave (Holmes) in particular who have played this level of football and are experienced players. We feel at times we lack some experienced players and because we are talking to these players doesn't mean we are going to land them all but we are hoping to land one or two players who could give us that little bit of experience in and around the squad that we feel at the moment we are lacking.

"Martyn Rowntree gives us good experience but when he didn't play against Shepshed we had a very inexperienced back five if you include the goalkeeper so we are just looking for somebody, maybe one or two bodies to add to the squad, a to fill it out but b to give us that little bit of experience. If those sort of people become available and we can persuade them to get in the first instance and then play in the second instance we'll try and persuade them.

"We are light of bodies and I don't think we've managed to fill a bench in the last two or three games. Today we were fortunate that the reserves didn't have a game so we were able to take one or two more. Adam Thorley has come in a done a job for us at full back because unfortunately Chris Mawbey had work commitments and Zak Callaghan had to work today, Lee Fell is away on holiday so we've had Craig Tucker and Nathan Tate on the bench who maybe needs a couple more games in the reserves.

"We do need a couple more bodies to fill us out a bit and to cope with one or two injuries because we are going to get some."

Match Stats
  GR S
Shots on Target 1 10
Shots off Target 11 14
Corners 4 13
Fouls Conceded 12 13
Yellow Cards 1 0
Red Cards 0 0
Possession (%) 44 56
Streaming Interview
1 Martin Davies
2 Duncliffe
3 Miles Chamberlain
4 Scott Taylor
5 Shaun Pearson
6 Ross Watson
7 Dan Cotton
8 Chris Gray (c)
9 Jamie Clarke
10 Phil Stebbing
11 Danny Steadman
12 Adam Cunnington
for 4 - 71 mins
14 Tyrone Kirk
for 2 - 53 mins
15 Barratt
for 6 - 76 mins
16 Bobby White
not used
17 Paul Sheehan
not used
Gresley Rovers
1 Simon Baldwin
2 Adam Thorley
3 Jordi Gough
4 Harley Hollinshead
5 Martyn Rowntree
6 Paul Edwards (c) Yellow Card
7 Carl Slater
8 Carl Timms
9 Liam Hebberd
10 Matt Weightman
11 John Shales
12 Nathan Tate
not used
14 Kevin Lock
for 9 - 67 mins
15 Craig Tucker
not used
16 Mick Lonergan
for 4 - 62 mins
Other Match Info

Referee: S Meredith (Gainsborough)

Attendance: 236

Star Player
Carl Timms

Carl Timms

A hard working display and unlucky not to have scored