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Match Report  |  Leek Town vs Gresley FC

Leek Town  1
Charlton 78
Gresley FC  2
Oliver 84, 87

Evo-Stik NPL Division One South

Harrison Park, Leek

Saturday, 1st September 2012, 3.00pm

Leek Stopped

Gresley continued their fine league form by beating one of the title favourites Leek Town at Harrison Park in an entertaining game.

As was to be expected Gresley were under pressure in the first half but defended solidly and they arguably had the better of the second with Dean Oliver grabbing the all important goals.

Karl Charlton had given the home side the lead with twelve minutes remaining but a three minute double from Oliver meant it was the visitors who left with all three points.

After an even first ten minutes Leek should have taken the lead when Rob Spencer brought Rob Stevenson down in the area. Matt Haddrell took the spot kick and although he struck the ball well Gresley keeper Tom Gutteridge chose the right way to dive and palmed the effort away to his left for a corner.

Phil Massingham went close with a shot that flew wide and Spencer headed Oliver's cross from the right also went wide of the mark.

Town had another good chance on 33 minutes when Tom Grice was put through but Gutteridge made a good save to block the shot and a second save to block the follow-up.

Despite the pressure from the home side it was Gresley who almost went in for the break ahead when Spencer picked out Oliver who cut inside before hitting a curling shot from 20 yards which left Town keeper Danny Roberts rooted to the spot but the far post came to his rescue as the ball cannoned back off the woodwork.

Gresley were first to create a chance early in the second half. Phil Massingham hit a powerful shot which was spilled by Roberts but unfortunately there was no Gresley player able to capitalise.

On 54 minutes Leek almost conceded an embarrassing own goal. Home skipper Tom Sanders chested a ball back to his keeper but to his horror Roberts had raced off his line and the ball headed towards the unguarded net but Sanders raced back to clear the ball off the line to save his blushes.

Both sides had half chances with Haddrell missing a sitter in front of goal and Oliver, after turning superbly in the area, having a shot blocked by the keeper.

Moments later it was Charlton who missed a golden opportunity to put his side ahead when Mark Ruddock headed on substitute Ross Davidson's cross to the far post but again the chance went begging as the striker couldn't convert.

Gresley substitute Marc Goodfellow was involved with a good move as he fed the ball through to Oliver who in turn picked out Massingham but his shot was well blocked by the advancing Roberts.

The visitors were left to rue that miss as Leek went to the other end and took the lead. A fine cross from the left found Charlton unmarked in the area and his header beat Gutteridge and found the far corner of the net.

Leek were only ahead for six minutes as Oliver stuck back on 84 minutes. Roberts failed to get to a cross from the right by Jamie Barrett and the Gresley striker was on hand to loop the ball into the net.

Three minutes later Gresley took a deserved lead. Roberts and Dan Smith seemed to dally on the ball on the bye line with neither taking control of the situation and Oliver seized the chance to nip in and rob them of the ball and then somehow slot the ball home from the acutest of angles.

Gresley comfortably held on to the lead until the final whistle saw them take a very well earned three points.

Manager's View

Martin Rowe

"I thought we did really well today. We knew that coming here today we'd be put under a bit of pressure and to be fair we resulted in them resorting to long balls all the time.

"I thought our back four did really well today. Michael Nottingham, Marc Strzyzweski, Jordi Gough and Jamie Barrett were exceptional; they won everything in the air. We were commanding at the back and looked awesome at times.

"In the three games we've played this season, we've seemed to improve in the second half and I think that's what we did today.

"Prior to them scoring Phil Massingham had a one-on-one, a tremendous chance to go one-none up but unfortunately the keeper made a good save. The next minute we find ourselves one-none down.

"We'd already brought Marc Goodfellow on and obviously going one-none down with fifteen minutes to go we brought Mickey Lyons and Royce Turville on and it really changed the game and we played even more football which was even more encouraging. I think they tired as well and we kept possession and played really well.

"I keep saying to all the players keep gambling because you never know. One mistake can win the game and that's what happened. That's what Rob Spencer and Dean Oliver did, they gambled that the keeper wouldn't pick the ball up and that's what happened and we put it in the back of the net. You've just got to keep believing that you can win games and that's what we're doing at the moment.

"We made some changes from last week. We felt Jamie Barrett and Phil Massingham had worked hard and was thinking of resting them for Monday's game but unfortunately that game got called off so they came back into the team today.

"It will be nice to play at home on Tuesday. I've nearly forgotten what it's all about playing at home, it will be great. The support was great today and I hope that continues for every home and away games. When we are home it is a bit special because the crowd make that twelfth player as well.

"Looking ahead, unfortunately Gary Hateley is very busy at work at the moment so we don't know exactly when he'll be back in the UK he's still in the Far East. But, to be fair Tom Gutteridge has done well. He made a mistake which led to the penalty but he made up for it by saving it and he's done really well."

Match Stats
Shots on Target 8 4
Shots off Target 6 4
Corners 3 8
Fouls Conceded 7 8
Yellow Cards 1 1
Red Cards 0 0
Possession (%) 50 50
Streaming Interview
Leek Town
1 Danny Roberts
2 Tim Sanders
3 Matt Bell
4 Dan Smith Yellow Card
5 Mark Ruddock
6 Sam Hall
7 Tim Grice
8 Christian Millar
9 Matt Haddrell (c)
10 Karl Charlton
11 Rob Stevenson
12 Ashley Wooliscroft
for 6 - 80 mins
14 George Melling
not used
15 Ross Davidson
for 8 - 62 mins
16 Ricky Bridge
for 11 - 78 mins
Gresley FC
1 Tom Gutteridge
2 Jordi Gough Yellow Card
3 Jamie Barrett (c)
4 Marc Strzyzewski
5 Michael Nottingham
6 Craig Attwood
7 Lavell White
8 James Jepson
9 Dean Oliver
10 Phil Massingham
11 Rob Spencer
12 Royce Turville
for 10 - 70 mins
14 Mickey Lyons
for 6 - 80 mins
15 Marc Goodfellow
for 7 - 70 mins
16 Gareth Langford
not used
17 Matt Roome
nto used
Other Match Info

Referee: Mark Howes (Solihull)

Attendance: 336

Star Player
Marc Strzyzewski

Marc Strzyzewski

solid defending, hardly missed a header all game