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Match Report  |  Gresley FC vs Mickleover Sports

Gresley FC  1
Holmes 45
Mickleover Sports  1
Smythe 76

Evo-Stik NPL Division One South

The Moat Ground, Church Gresley

Saturday, 23rd February 2013, 3.00pm

Match Sponsor: Stuart & Mark Dennis

Sports Frustrate Gresley

Gresley still cannot find that league win that had eluded them for eight games. Indeed the last time they put all three points on the board was against today's opponents Mickleover Sports when they won comfortably on a very wet Sports pitch on Boxing Day.

If the Moat Ground faithful thought that this was going to be the game which got Gresley back to winning ways as they dominated the game for long periods they were to be sadly mistaken as a vastly changed Sports side put up a dogged performance to claim a share of the points.

The visitors had just three of the starting eleven which faced Gresley during the Christmas holiday but the homeside also made changes with Michael Nottingham and Danny Holmes starting and Jordi Gough taking the left wing slot, a role he played against Ashby in midweek.

There was a glimmer of hope when Holmes headed Gresley into the lead right at the end of the first half but those hopes were then dashed midway through the second half when Martin Smythe levelled for the visitors.

The first half was a cagey affair with neither keepers being tested but Sports were the first to threaten when Mark Farthing fired just over the bar. However, Gresley hit back with Gough also firing over after he'd burst into the area.

Gresley were agonisingly close to taking the lead when Mickey Lyons laid the ball on for Gough but his goal bound shot was deflected by the outstretched leg of Sports keeper Joe McCormack.

Just as it seemed that the half would end goalless Holmes got on the end of Marc Goodfellow's looped ball into the area and headed home past McCormack.

The visitors opened brightly with Joe Pheasant heading Joe Conkleton's corner over the bar. Gresley responded well and Jordan Nadat, who had replaced Marc Strzyzewski at the break, made a good run down the left and picked out Dean Rathbone but the final shot flew over the bar.

Gresley went close again minutes later when keeper George Woodward sent a long kick down the middle which Royce Turville ran on to but steered his shot fractionally wide of the far post.

Nadat was causing problems for the Sports defence down the left and he picked out Gough but again the final shot flew wide and moments later an almost identical move saw Gough fire a low shot which was cleared at the near post.

Sports levelled when Gresley failed to clear a free kick and the ball came eventually to the unmarked Smythe who took the chance drilling he shot past the helpless Woodward.

Gresley went agonisingly close again when another long punt from Woodward was flicked on by Turville to substitute Richard Hanslow but once more the chance went begging as the shot flew past the upright.

Manager's View

"It's just how it's going at the moment. I don't know how the ball broke but we were a little bit narrow and the kid's finished it well to be fair. It was unfortunate because the way we were playing in the second half I thought it was just a matter of time before we got that second goal that from my point of view we would need to be safe.

"But, to be fair to Mickelover they are battling hard for the new managers and they got a point. I think particularly in the second half it was an open game with both sides going for it and it's just a shame that we couldn't keep the clean sheet and hang on and go on and convert some of the good possession we had in the final third at the other end of the pitch.

"Rightly or wrongly we tried something in the first half as we wanted to have a look at making more use of Jordi Gough a bit further forward. Marc Strzyewski has been playing well at centre half. He has played left back many, many times so we put him out on the left but he didn't have the best of starts and I got a bit frustrated with him and we made the change at half time. That's no reflection on Strez because he's been brilliant for us since he was last left out of the side. He's come in at centre back and done really, really well.

"To an extent it was our fault for making that call because we wanted to look at Jordi further forward. I was also a little frustrated with how Royce Turville was getting isolated as well. We asked Mickey Lyons to do the same job as last week against Kings Lynn which he did well but because of the frustration he was seeing from Royce he kept dropping deep and often in the first half he was the deepest line midfield player. At times I think he was trying to help us out in there as an extra body to deal with their extra man.

"But, it meant that when he did get the ball in good positions we had nothing to hit. Royce's job is to do the eighteen yards and I don't want Royce having to make fifty yard runs into the corners to pick up balls from full backs so it wasn't quite working in the first half. So, we made the change and in fairness we were going to make two changes and get Richard Hanslow on but we went with the one.

"Jordan Nadat came on and added a lot to the game but it also meant that Jordan from that little bit deeper joined Jordi and did very well and the pair of them between them could have got that second goal or created that second goal for us.

"It was disappointing and the guys reacted well in the second half but we didn't quite have enough in the locker to get three points.

"Dean Rathbone has committed his future to Gresley and certainly for the rest of the season which pleases us. He's a young player and is very gifted and those are the sort of players we want here so we are really pleased to have kept him despite the attempts from Chasetown to sign him. He'll do well for us as he's one of those players who learn from every game. There were a couple of things he did brilliantly for us today and there were a couple of things he could improve on. The one thing I've spoken to him about is not to beat himself up too much because he's one of those who if he does make a mistake and things do not go his way he lets it weigh on his shoulders a bit too much. I've said to him you're a young lad just learn from the situation and get your head up and get that swagger on the ball again rather than worrying about things.

"There maybe one or two new signings. We were hoping to have had one in today but there was a problem with the guy's registration. He would have been on the bench so we'll see if we can sort that out during the week and there maybe one or two new faces. We have got a big squad this year and the Chairman has reflected on it in his programme notes. I've always personally preferred to keep a smaller squad and you can keep everyone happy but we've got a lot of players out on loan that we could call back if we need to. It's something we will keep an eye on in the next couple of weeks.

"I'm looking forward to the Fans Forum. I've got this week off work. I've just moved to Church Gresley so I'm a villager now but I don't think that will let me off on Thursday night! People have some stuff to say and as long as it's done in a constructive manner. I'm broad shouldered and I've heard a lot over the last ten years that I perhaps don't agree with but where criticism due and is fair I've always taken it on the chin and I know that some of our most recent performances have been frustrating but not for the lack of effort. What I do want to say is that there are rumours coming out that things are not right behind the scenes. Things are right behind the scenes and they are exactly as they were in the first half of the season when we were in the play-offs places up until Christmas and the New Year.

"We go on a bad run and everyone speculates, everyone is groaning, moaning and it's the same this year. In fairness we haven't had a bad run for three or four years so. In the old UniBond days if we were on a bad run you'd always hear those sorts of things but its interesting how those sorts of things don't come out the dressing room, bar or website forum when you are on a good run. Nothing's different, we are the same people but we'll keep plugging away.

"When you are on a run like this you don't get that bit of luck like last week when we deserved a point. Today, Craig Hopkins and Glenn Kirkwood may see it differently, but on the second half performance we were worth three points but its not happening for us so we'll keep plugging away."

Match Stats
Shots on Target 2 1
Shots off Target 11 4
Corners 8 3
Fouls Conceded 10 12
Yellow Cards 2 2
Possession (%) 60 40
Streaming Interview
Gresley FC
1 George Woodward
2 Jamie Barrett
3 Ryan Walker
4 Marc Strzyzewski
5 Michael Nottingham Yellow Card
6 Danny Holmes Yellow Card
7 Mickey Lyons
8 Dean Rathbone
9 Marc Goodfellow
10 Royce Turville
11 Jordi Gough
12 Richard Hanslow
for 7 - 77 mins
14 Jordan Nadat
for 4 - 46 mins
15 Matt Roome
not used
16 Gary Hateley (gk)
not used
Mickleover Sports
1 Joe McCormack
2 Kevin Grocott
3 Jack Cockleton
4 Sam Kellogg Yellow Card
5 Joe Pheasant
6 Nick Wood
7 Martin Smythe
8 Anthony Tansley Yellow Card
9 Nathan Benger
10 Mark Farthing
11 John Guy (c)
12 Robert Ritchie-Smith
for 9 - 96 mins
14 Brad Munn
for 6 - 51 mins
15 Matt Harris
for 11 - 68 mins
16 Jacob Sturgess
not used
Other Match Info

Referee: Richard Price (Birmingham)

Attendance: 273

Star Player
Michael Nottingham

Michael Nottingham

Getting back to his best