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Match Report  |  Three Bridges vs Gresley FC

Three Bridges  2  (6)
Rivers 29  |  Touray 109
Gresley FC  2  (7)
Turville 63  |  Spencer 116

FA Carlsberg Vase 4th Round Replay

Jubilee Field, Three Bridges, Crawley

Saturday, 28th January 2012, 3.00pm

Gresley Spot On In Vase

After 240 minutes of enthralling cup-tie football there was still no separating the two sides and so the dreaded penalty shoot-out was needed to settle the tie with Gresley coming out on top 7-6 to see them through into the 5th Round where they'll meet Cambridgeshire side St Ives.

Manager Gary Norton made a slight adjustment to the side that drew with Three Bridges last week. Central defender Jamie Barrett was back in the heart of the defence after illness and Mickey Lyons came in for Rob Spencer who along with Gareth Langford took a place on the bench.

Gresley had found themselves trailing as they did in the previous match but this time they had to battle back twice after dominating most of the match.

The visitors, backed by a superb away following, soon took control of the game with Marc Goodfellow bringing another fine save out of the home keeper Simon Lenkyj. However, against the run of play Three Bridges went close to an opener when Tim Rivers made the deftest of touches for the dangerous Abu Touray but the winger blazed his effort well over the bar when well placed.

Gresley had a chance to take the lead on 17 minutes. Goodfellow burst into the a area only to be felled by James Grant, who received a yellow card for his trouble, giving referee Mr Knight no alternative but to point to the spot. Royce Turville took the kick but the impressive Lenkyj chose the right way and pushed the kick away.

A good move between Danny Holmes and Goodfellow saw the latter firing wide and then a cross from the right by Tom Betteridge was headed at the keeper by Turville. Goodfellow then hit a soft shot that was easily held by the keeper.

Bridges opener had a slice of luck attached to it as against the run of play a shot was deflected into the path of Rivers who made no mistake flashing a low shot past keeper Gary Hateley and into the far bottom corner of the net.

As the first half drew to a halt Gresley were pressing for a leveller with a vicious shot from Goodfellow going straight into the keeper's midriff and Turville hitting a shot that Lenkyj did well to block with his legs.

Within six minutes of the start of the second half Gresley had another chance to snatch an equaliser when Goodfellow laid the ball back for Jordi Gough but the youngster blazed his shot well over the bar.

Bridges' keeper Lenkyj was in superb form as he had been at the Moat Ground a week earlier and he kept his side in front making another outstanding save to tip Dean Oliver's shot over the bar. However, in doing so he appeared to injure himself requiring a length stop in the action and from the resultant corner Gresley were level. Jepson's corner from the left eventually found Goodfellow over on the right and he lobbed a cross back into the box to Turville who headed across Lenkyj and into the far corner.

Fifteen minutes later Lenkyj found it impossible to continue and to generous applause from everyone in the ground left the field to be replaced by substitute keeper Rob Woodward. It seemed that the replacement was in just as stubborn mood to prevent Gresley as he made a good block to deny substitute Richard Hanslow and then to block Mickey Lyon's follow up shot.

Deep into time added on at the end of the second half Gresley had Gough to thank for keeping them in the competition as he headed a good effort off the line.

The were hardly any chances in the first period of extra time with Michael Nottingham going close as he planted a header over the bar and then Rivers hitting his shot well over the bar at the other end. However, Bridges were reduced to ten men when James Grant received his second yellow card of the day on 96 minutes.

Within four minutes of the second period of extra time Bridges had regained the lead when the ball was hooked into the net at the far post by Touray.

With four minutes left on the clock Gresley again drew level when a corner from Jepson came out to substitute Rob Spencer who hit an unstoppable half volley that left Woodward a mere spectator as the ball flew past him.

Bridges almost snatched the win right at the end of extra time but Gough was again the man to keep his side in the game by heading once more off the line and at the other end Goodfellow hit a shot over the bar and the referee drew the match to an end and so to the dreaded penalty shoot-out.

Thirteen penalty kicks and everyone superbly taken. First up for Gresley Goodfellow almost lifted the net off its anchors with his shot. Then Nigel Brake's equally impressive shot levelled. Gough smashed an unstoppable shot as did Rivers to keep things level.

Nottingham showed he can take penalties by also blasting a shot past Woodward and Dean Carden proved also to have nerves of steel to once more tie the proceedings at 3-3.

Mickey Lyons put Gresley ahead once more only for Andy Howard to square things again. It was now sudden death and who would be the one to crack first? Jepson and Donaghey both converted their kicks as did Langford and O'Hara and so the pressure mounted.

Hanslow rattled his shot in comfortably to keep Gresley ahead and then up stepped Charlie Cooke for the home side. Hateley up to this point had, in all truthfulness got nowhere near any of the previous shots but it had been the same for his opposite number. Cooke placed the ball on the spot and Hateley who had moved back and forwards along the line for the other kicks this time stayed fairly still. The kick was taken with Hateley diving to his right to block the shot and prompting wild celebrations both on and off the field as Gresley booked their place in the next round.

Manager's View

"I've not had too many moments like this. It's this competition isn't it, it's a special competition and for some reasons we have some special moments in it. I remember similar circumstances a couple of years ago when we went away to Dawlish and had a fantastic first game there.

"We equalised very late in the game and took it to extra time and the extra time was abandoned and if anyone remembers that we brought them up to our place and couldn't separate us after extra time and we managed to scrape through by penalties that day.

"We had two fantastic epic games against Dawlish and we've had the same this time around with Three Bridges and there were just the thickness of a piece of paper between the two sides both attacking sides.

"We were very attack minded today and so were they, they are a very good attacking side and I'm so thankful that we went through. Neither side deserved to go out on the balance of the two games.

At half time we were one-nil down but I couldn't have a go at the lads because their keeper had pulled off some superb saves again including a penalty save and I said to the lads there is not a lot wrong keep going we just got to tidy up on one or two things. We switched things tactically a slight amount in the midfield area just to tidy up one or two things with their seven and eight.

"In the second half we really didn't get going. We got the equaliser which was well deserved because we'd put a lot of pressure on them bit in extra time I thought we were tired and they were tired but our passing was sloppy and there were a lot of opportunities to build an attack but our final ball let us down or our passing let us down. Not the same as last we when I thought we were stronger and fitter in extra time it was a very much more even extra time today.

"I was disappointed in the manner of the goal to concede against ten men. To concede on a set play against ten men was disappointing but I had a special feeling today that when we sent Rob Spencer on he'd get us something for us and he got the goal so yes I'm delighted.

"A special mention to Three Bridges because the welcome we've received here today, the hospitality was second to none. It's a cracking place and I'm full of respect for their manager Paul and he just said to me now go and do well against St Ives.

"The support today from Gresley was absolutely fantastic, heart warming. We've got a special club and it was really pleasing to get through. I was on the phone last night to the guy who organised the supporters coach saying it is going to feel like a home game and I'm desperate for us to do well against Three Bridges today and try and get us through. I must admit that at the end of a game I'm normally running around like a mad person after results like this but for some reason I was a little overcome and filled up bit just to see the joy and the supporters. I stepped back and just watched the pandemonium going on when normally I'm in the middle of it in running around sliding everywhere but today took a step back and watched and it was fantastic to see the supporters and the players so jubilant.

"We haven't given Tuesday's Derbyshire Senior Cup a second thought to be honest. We put all our effort and focus into trying to win this game. The lads are going off to Brighton to enjoy a night out but I've got a long journey home and have loads of time to reflect on how we approach Tuesday's game whether to put out as strong a side as possible and do our best to try and win the game. Do we play some of the squad players who need some pitch time but have been magnificent. These are all decisions we've got to think about ahead of Tuesday's game. We want to win it really because we'd have Derby County in the semi-final I've been told so what better incentive to play against a strong side they've been putting out in the competition.

"We are twenty one unbeaten now and we'll come out of Tuesday twenty-two unbeaten if possible. But, if we're not it's back to the league campaign the week after. We are slipping behind a little bit now and it's important that we keep that in the forefront of our minds as well.

"The league results today are encouraging with Westfields dropping two points but we've just got to make sure that when we're back in league action we don't get too carried away. Two seasons ago when we had a magnificent run in the Vase it did affect our league campaign and we lost some sloppy games around the time we were in and around the last sixteen, last eight of the completion so we've got to make sure. We've got the squad and there are players ringing us up all the time.

"There've been two players who have contacted me this week who we tried to sign in the summer who now want to join us. That's the quality who are approaching us now, some good players. But I believe in the squad and I think it's only fair that these lads get the opportunity and if anyone comes along a million miles better than what we've got we'll consider that. But these lads are magnificent and have showed fantastic character again today and I'm delighted for them and really hope they enjoy their night out but take it easy because we don't want anything daft happening as often happens on these nights out.

"I said to the lads at half time keep calm and carry on. It sounds a bit of a clique but that was the message. It was the same at half time last week. We were one-nil down against the elements but we'd produced enough in that half, half chances and chances to know that we'd create our own chances in the second half. It didn't quite go to plan and we didn't play as well as we did in the second half but we got the equaliser but couldn't force the winner.

"The character the lads have shown on this run is fantastic and hopefully we've got a lot more to dig into because we're going to need it over the next few months."

Match Stats
Shots on Target 9 4
Shots off Target 7 7
Corners 9 7
Fouls Conceded 20 19
Yellow Cards 5 7
Red Cards 0 1
Possession (%) 58 42
Streaming Interview
Three Bridges
1 Simon Lenkyj
2 Charlie Cooke Yellow Card
3 Nigel Brake (c) Yellow Card
4 Andy Howard
5 Callum Donaghey
6 Scott Faber
7 Joel O'Hara Yellow Card
8 James Grant Yellow Card Yellow Card Red Card
9 Tim Rivers Yellow Card
10 Siao Blackwood
11 Abu Touray
12 Clarke Byrne
14 Clinton Moore
not used
15 Elliott Romain Yellow Card
for 10 - 81 mins
16 Dean Carden
for 6 - 46 mins
17 Rob Woodward (gk)
for 1 - 75 mins
Gresley FC
1 Gary Hateley (c)
2 Tom Betteridge
3 Jordi Gough Yellow Card
4 Jamie Barrett
5 Michael Nottingham
6 Danny Holmes Yellow Card
7 Mickey Lyons
8 James Jepson Yellow Card
9 Dean Oliver
10 Royce Turville
11 Marc Goodfellow Yellow Card
12 Kyle Bryant
not used
14 Rob Spencer Yellow Card
for 10 - 103 mins
15 Richard Hanslow
for 9 - 78 mins
16 Gareth Langford
for 4 - 108 mins
17 Tom Gutteridge (gk)
not used
Other Match Info

Referee: B Knight (Waterlooville)

Attendance: 308

Star Player

Everyone member of the team

Showed true grit and determination to come back twice and all kept their nerves in the dreaded penalty shoot-out