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Match Report  |  Gresley Rovers vs Stamford

Note that this page is from our Gresley Rovers archive.
It may not be related to the new club Gresley FC.
Gresley Rovers  3
Barrett 15, 22  |  Slater 65
Stamford  2
Clarke 12, 41

UniBond League Division One South

The Moat Ground, Church Gresley

Saturday, 18th April 2009, 3.00pm

Victory At Last!

Fairy tales are based on myth and made up stories but this game was no fairy tale although if you had written the ending like this people probably wouldn't have believed it!

Rovers hadn't won a game since the break up of the original squad back in November and that run had gone on for 22 matches gaining just five points from draws.

The visitors on Saturday were Stamford who where sitting comfortably in the top seven in the league so this was one game that looked, on paper at least, a very difficult match to even try and grab a point.

Previously games against Leek and Kidsgrove had looked a better possibility to have ended the drought but to no avail and Saturday's game didn't look any better as the visitors started very strongly.

As early as the third minute Rovers' keeper Simon Baldwin was tested as Phil Stebbings headed a corner from the left goalwards but the keeper managed to get a fingertip to the ball and touch it over the bar.

Rovers responded through Brian Woodall who hit a shot straight at The Daniels' keeper Martin Davies but the action immediately swung to the other end where Stebbings low shot crashed off the base of the near post and away to safety.

Stamford did have more luck two minutes later when on 12 minutes they took the lead. A cross from the right by Daniel Cotton picked out striker Jamie Clarke who made no mistake powering his header at the far post into the net.

Rovers were soon back level just three minutes later. A free kick from the right by James Davies found Jamie Barrett in the centre of the area and his flicked header beat Martin Davies and went in at the far post.

A bizarre yellow card was shown to Stebbings who had left the field without permission, after being injured in a fifty-fifty ball with Baldwin, with no substitute ready to take his place.

However, the goal seemed to give the Moatmen a lift and they were soon putting the visitors under pressure and that pressure paid off on 22 minutes. Forcing two quick corners James Davies slung over the second flag kick and Barrett was on hand to head the ball into the net at the far post with the keeper a mere spectator. Barrett then turned defender clearing a header off the line.

Just after the half hour Rovers had a great chance to increase their lead when James Davies pushed a superb through ball for Paul Edwards to run onto but keeper Martin Davies did well to get a hand to the low shot denying the frontman.

Barrett went close to completing his hat trick from the resulting corner but this time could only plant his header just over the bar.

Just as it looked as if Rovers would hang on until half time Stamford levelled. With just three minutes to go to the break Jamie Clarke got the better of Chris Mawbey before hammering a shot into the top corner with Baldwin beaten.

Lee Fell then had a chance for the homeside but again Martin Davies did well to block the youngster's shot with an outstretched leg.

Almost on the referee's whistle Rovers had a stroke of luck that's eluded them this season. Defender James Davies appeared to have handled the ball just inside the area but referee Mr Hollidge adjudged that it occurred just outside and awarded just a free kick. Rovers' keeper kept his side in the game as he made two superb blocks at his near post from Daniel Cotton first from the free kick and then from the rebound.

Stamford came out for the second period strongly and went close early on when substitute Sam Strange beat an offside trap and picked out Cotton who fired well over the bar. Minutes later a cross from John-Paul Duncliffe was headed over his own bar by Chris Mawbey.

On 64 minutes Tyrone Kirk had a shot blocked and a minute later the fairy tale ending unfolded. A long ball over the Stamford back line was not dealt with and the ball fell for who else but Rovers' 'Captain Fantastic' Carl Slater who lashed a stinging volley past Martin Davies and into the net prompting much rejoicing from the Moat Ground faithful.

The rest of the half seemed to dwindle away as either side created few chances but Slater almost grabbed a second when he collected a pass from Brian Woodall only to fire straight at the keeper.

Rovers' keeper Baldwin had one more save to make towards the end of the game smothering the ball at Strange's feet as he threatened to grab a share of the points.

The final whistle was the cue for much rejoicing has final curtain was lowered for the Gresley first team at the Moat and three very well deserved points after what can only be described as one of the most eventful seasons in the club's long history.

Manager's View

"I'd forgotten what winning felt like and I suppose the players and supporters had forgotten as well. It was very welcome and unexpected but we'll take it.

"Certainly after fifteen minutes or so the last thing I was thinking of was even winning the game at that time I was thinking how was we could stay in the game because Stamford started very, very well. We started very sloppily compared to how we have done in recent games but we are delighted with the three points and unbeaten in three at home!

"The thought had crossed my mind that we could hold on until halftime with seven or eight minutes to go. If I'm honest we were fortunate to be two one up on the balance of chances and play. But we were and we've had that little bit of luck today.

"Two great goals from Jamie Barrett very well taken from set plays. We haven't had much joy from set plays. Believe it or not we do work hard on them and it's nice to get the two set plays especially as we weren't playing particularly well in open play.

"Obviously we had a little bit of luck, they hit the post and had a couple of near things but when we did get pegged back I did feel as though had we had managed to go in at half time two-one up it may have well have been an incentive for us to come out and start the second half well.

"Second half started fairly tightly very similar to previous second halves when we got something out of. I'm thinking of the Leek game, the Quorn game as well scrappy game settled on one chance but it was us who managed to get the goal in the second half.

"The captain's goal was fantastic. Carl (Slater) gets himself in some good positions and fitting that in the last home game of the season that he scored the goal and gets us that win we've been striving for all season.

"I'll be honest, even in my heart of hearts that I hoped it would come, I though the opportunity had passed us by with the likes of Leek at their place a few weeks ago and Kidsgrove here when we were very well placed in the second half and they were down to ten men and we threw that opportunity away as well. Today was unexpected but quite fitting that Carl would get the winner for us.

"There was a good atmosphere around the ground today but I must admit that the football affair on the pitch was a little bit end of season but the atmosphere around the ground was fantastic. I think the initiative that we've had during the past couple of weeks of getting children involved whether through kids teams or schools was brilliant because the parents come along as well and hopefully, as it says in the programme, these youngsters are potential supporters of Gresley in the future. It's great and long may that continue and it's an initiative that I hope to see continue next season because it does generate a very good atmosphere and the weather helped as well.

"Even at the end - that is the end of my sixth campaign at Gresley - that was probably the best end of season reception for a last home game that we've had. I think a lot of it could have been because of the situation we've been in and we are very grateful for the response from the supporters at the end.

"It means a lot to us. We've had a tough old season and it's not quite over yet it is for me but the lads themselves go onto Grantham next week and it would be lovely to go there and win that one as well.

"As to the future the chairman Mark Harrison, Barry North and other people connected to the club have been keeping me abreast of various situations developing. In fairness everyone at the club is frustrated that things haven't gathered pace and we don't know what we're doing.

"I've got more of an indication of what the situation going to be next season. I've always said that until I'm told otherwise I'll always throw my one hundred and ten percent behind what the club's trying to do. Most important is that we have a club playing here next season and I'm almost certain that's going to be the case it just remains to be seen whether that's in the UniBond or a step below or a step below that. That's not down to us solely it's down to the authorities and what they decide.

"I'm not concerned because the club is in good hands. The people that have come in and the qualities they've got - there's not enough of them we could do with more - the supporters club and various other things, there's too many people behind this club to be concerned about the future.

"Off the pitch we've got to make sure that wherever we are playing next season, whatever league we are playing in that we can be as competitive as we can be. It's going to be tougher for us because if we have a tough season next year I don't think the supporters will be as understanding because obviously we will know where we are from phase one.

"It's going to be a tough season and whatever budget we have is going to be a very modest one and we've got to make sure that we try and get players in who are as committed as this bunch who have been playing for literally petrol expenses for the last six months.

"To be honest I've not sat down with any of my staff yet. One or two players have come to me and indicated that whatever the situation next season they'd like to be considered to stay at the club. Anthony (Hemmings) has just completed his level three. He's learning all the time but he has the experience as a player behind him and he's transmitting that into his coaching. His management style is coming on nicely and he has a lot going on in his personal life - he's rebuilding his house at the moment and he's got a college dissertation to do.

"I've no doubt Anthony has a bright future and hopefully that will remain with Gresley. We've become great friends over the last few years and Anthony is keen for this club to continue and do well as anybody so once the dust has settled down from this season we'll sit back have a beer and talk to the likes of Gary Belcher, Dave Fleary and hopefully Sam McGregor our physio as well.

"They've been a great support this season. It's not been easy in terms of things they've had to deal with but these guys, just like the players, deserve a lot of credit sticking by the club. In the same circumstances a lot of them could have walked, they could have gone on to other clubs and may have found themselves some expenses or wages through roles in other clubs. But, as a management team in November we stuck together and decided we would remain until the end of the season and we're nearly there.

"We'll be without Jonny Shales next week. He the captain of his cricket team and he said a while back that he wouldn't be available for the last game. I was praying that we wouldn't need anything from that. He's been inspirational as left back and obviously we will have to play someone else there next week.

"Paul Edwards as it stands will also be playing cricket as it's the start of his cricket season as well next week. We'll also be missing Jamie Barrett through suspension although it looks like he would have been out through injury as he had to come off near the end with a hamstring.

"We've had Callum Keenan back in the squad today who played the second half. Chris Knight has picked a groin injury up and had to go off at half time so he's going to be struggling. Ryan Spittle was working today so he'll be back in next week unfortunately he couldn't get time off work also Aaron Craddock the young centre half who has been on the bench for us the last few weeks picked a calf injury up at college but he should be okay for selection next week.

"We are hoping that Jordi Gough, who is responding well to treatment on his back, will also be available. So it's going to be tough next week, we are threadbare as it is and we may have to dig a little bit deeper into the reserve team squad or the old boys the likes of Mick Lonegan and Tony Hemmings.

"In fact we nearly took Tony off towards the end because he pulled something. We were about to take him off but we wasn't sure how much time was left so it will be a big dig deep next week. We are used to that this season and hopefully we'll go there and do ourselves some justice."

Match Stats
  GR S
Shots on Target 7 7
Shots off Target 11 4
Corners 6 9
Fouls Conceded 8 8
Yellow Cards 0 1
Red Cards 0 0
Possession (%) 49 51
Streaming Interview
Gresley Rovers
1 Simon Baldwin
2 James Davies
3 John Shales
4 Chris Mawbey
5 Jamie Barrett
6 Carl Slater (c)
7 Brian Woodall
8 Carl Timms
9 Chris Knight
10 Paul Edwards
11 Lee Fell
12 Callum Keenan
for 9 - 45 mins
14 Adam Thorley
not used
15 Mick Lonergan
not used
16 Anthony Hemmings
for 5 - 88 mins
1 Martin Davies
2 John-Paul Duncliffe
3 Seth Burkett
4 Miles Chamberlain
5 Shaun Pearson (c)
6 Paul Sheehan
7 Daniel Cotton
8 Ross Watson
9 Jamie Clarke
10 Phil Stebbings Yellow Card
11 Tyrone Kirk
12 Peter Smith
for 8 - 45+1 mins
14 Sam Strange
for 10 - 18 mins
15 Ian Pledger
not used
16 Dougie Keast
not used
17 Scott Taylor
not used
Other Match Info

Referee: Mr T Hollidge (Wigston)

Attendance: 289

Star Player
Jamie Barrett

Jamie Barrett

Great defending and two great goals