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Match Report  |  Gresley FC vs Thurnby Nirvana

Gresley FC  4
Barrett 9  |  Hanslow 41, 85  |  Goodfellow 80
Thurnby Nirvana  1
Hinman 58

FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round Replay

The Moat Ground, Church Gresley

Tuesday, 11th September 2012, 7.45pm

Gresley Through In The Cup

You could be forgiven in thinking this was a comfortable replay win for Gresley at the Moat Ground but in all honesty you couldn't be farther from the truth.

For most of the second half Gresley were hanging on and if Thurnby hadn't squandered their chances a shock defeat would have been a distinct possibility.

Similarly to Saturday's game one side went in at the interval two goals to the good but this time it was Gresley who were in the lead through goals from Jamie Barrett and Richard Hanslow, but an early goal in the second half from George Hinman saw the visitors boss most of the game from there on in.

Nerves were only calmed for the home side when Marc Goodfellow scored another superb goal and Hanslow his second of the night in the final ten minutes to see Gresley through to the next round.

Thurnby came out of the blocks quickly has they had done in the first game and their danger man the diminutive winger Reece Morris cut in from the left but fired a shot into the side netting after just 5 minutes.

The action went to the other end with Hanslow picking out Goodfellow on the left but the final shot flashed across the face of the goal and wide of the far post.

Gresley took the lead on 9 minutes when James Jepson's low corner from the left was side footed into the net by Barrett.

The home side should have doubled their advantage minutes later when Goodfellow sent Dean Oliver through but again the attempt went past the far post.

Thurnby were a shade unlucky not have been awarded a couple of penalties one of which seemed pretty nailed on but both were ignored by the referee and his assistant.

Hanslow went close flicking a header from Jepson's corner from the right onto the roof of the net but just before the interval Hanslow's next chance saw him score. Oliver provided a cross which was met by Hanslow but his first shot was well blocked by keeper James Flinders but the striker pounced again to smash the ball in at the near post.

Whatever was said in the visitors' dressing room at half time certainly had the desired effect as they took the second half by the scruff of the neck and reduced the arrears on 58 minutes when Pearson Mwanyongo made a fine run down the right before sliding a pass through for Hinman to run onto before hitting the ball past home keeper Tom Gutteridge.

Thurnby were now turning the screw and they had a golden chance to level things moments later when after another telling run down the right by Mwanyongo ended with Morris planting his header wide of the far post when in acres of space.

With Gresley being forced back as Thurnby threw everything at them it seemed only a matter of time before a second goal arrived for the visitors but numerous chances went begging and they were left to rue those misses as the Moatmen, against the run of play, added their third goal.

Jepson sent over a tremendous diagonal pass over to Goodfellow on the right who controlled the ball superbly without breaking his stride and slammed the ball past the helpless Flinders.

The relief around the Moat ground was palpable and it was eased even more when Goodfellow laid the ball back to Jepson who then crossed for Hanslow who stepped inside before firing his shot past Flinders.

Thurnby can feel a little hard done by with a score that flattered Gresley but it's the home side that can now look forward to the visit of Evo-Stik NPL Premier side Stafford Rangers on 22nd September as Rangers overcame Midland Alliance outfit Stourport Swifts 2-1 in their cup replay.

Manager's View

"Without a shadow of a doubt the score tonight was flattering and I've just spoken to their manager and their team. Anyone who was here tonight would know we'd ridden our luck.

"I thought we'd come out of the blocks well and got an early goal. Dean Oliver should have got us a second when he put the ball wide and they had a couple of decent penalty shouts one of which was a very good shout.

"I thought the first half was fairly even but they gave as good as they got and we ended up with two goals. But the second half for a long, long, long period we weren't in it and they got the goal back and myself and the rest of the bench were genuinely worried. I think most of the crowd who were Gresley supporters were also worried.

"We were looking at ways we could change things. We gave the ball away with alarming regularity. That was the biggest thing that came out of tonight, the way we gave the ball away so easily. That's something we need to address.

"We keep saying last Tuesday was a kick up the backside and the first half on Saturday was a kick up the backside but let me tell you the whole ninety minutes tonight was a kick up the backside. We've come through and I'm relieved about that but let's make no bones about it that was a well below par performance against a side two leagues below us.

"After the game I had a chat with Thurnby. Not in a condescending manner, but they really did deserve something more from this game tonight.

"We were chasing the game on Saturday and the second half was the best spell of the two ties to be honest and credit to the lads for that. I genuinely thought Thurnby would tire after what I saw on Saturday but there was no question of that tonight. They kept running all over the park and credit to them for that.

"But just when we needed a release valve a fantastic cross field ball from James Jepson to probably the only Gresley player on the pitch who could bring a ball down and put it in the net like that fortunately was on the end of it and it was a fine finish from Marc Goodfellow.

"You could hear the relief all around the ground but Thurnby didn't stop coming. It was like one of those computer games where you're trying to slay something but they just keep coming and right until that final whistle and all credit to them because they kept going and we are mightily relieved to be in the next round.

"We had a couple of changes forced on us. Unfortunately, Mickey Lyons who had a fantastic second half on Saturday was working down South today and couldn't get back in time. Michael Nottingham had to work tonight and Rob Spencer could have only given us about twenty minutes so we were fortunate not to have had to use him. Royce Turville said his ankle was okay but after going three-one up we were pleased not to have had to use him tonight.

"Dan Douglas has come in and apart from maybe allowing a defender to get inside him once in the first half and then a recovery tackle that some say was a penalty but Dan says he got the ball, I thought he's done really well tonight really solid. He's had a game at Atherstone on Saturday to keep himself ticking over and he's come in and done a job for us tonight.

"Obviously we've been without Jordi Gough over the two games and I think we really missed him with his pace and power. He would have really enjoyed these last two games but we move on now and we've had a scare.

"I hope Thurnby take that performance into the league and kick on and push up the table because I think they've got a cracking set of lads and a good management team there.

"We've got the FA Trophy on Saturday were we face an old foe Sutton Coldfield Town on the 3G pitch over at Sutton and the lads are looking forward to that. Unfortunately I'll be away at a family wedding.

"It'll be an interesting game on a 3G. I think the last time we did that was away at Woodley Sports in the play-off semi-final many years ago in the old UniBond.

"Some sides say it's a disadvantage but from our point of view most of our lads have trained regularly on 3G pitches up at the National FA Centre over the last three seasons so we'll try and get the ball down and play on it as we know we can. But, we've got to be a lot better than tonight sharper in possession, sharper all over the pitch otherwise it's going to be a disappointing trip.

"Jordi will be available again for Saturday and as will Mickey Lyons and Michael Nottingham and that's the bonus of having a squad like we have at the moment. We've got good numbers, strength in depth and good cover.

"Martin, Steve and I with the coaches will sit down and pick the bones out of tonight. We're not going to knee jerk. Richard Hanslow has come in tonight and grabbed two goals and he grabbed the important goal on Saturday. I don't think he had the best of games in overall play but he gets goals. That's what a lot of supporters have been saying when he was left out of the squad the other week. He's reacted superbly well and took it on the chin and come in and scored two goals.

"We'll have a look at it and we'll try and pick the best side to try and win the game on Saturday."

Match Stats
Shots on Target 6 2
Shots off Target 4 6
Corners 3 4
Fouls Conceded 14 9
Yellow Cards 0 2
Red Cards 0 0
Possession (%) 48 52
Streaming Interview
Gresley FC
1 Tom Gutteridge
2 Matt Roome
3 Marc Strzyzewski
4 Jamie Barrett (c)
5 Dan Douglas
6 Gareth Langford
7 Lavell White
8 James Jepson
9 Dean Oliver
10 Richard Hanslow
11 Marc Goodfellow
12 Royce Turville
not used
14 Rob Spencer
not used
15 Craig Attwood
for 6 - 70 mins
16 Phil Massingham
for 9 - 61 mins
17 Adam Betteridge
for 7 - 87 mins
18 Mickey Lyons
not used
Thurnby Nirvana
1 James Flinders
2 Adonijah Frank (c) Yellow Card
3 Luke Day
4 Ryan Walker
5 Sean Doy Yellow Card
6 Sean Philips
7 Pearson Mwanyongo
8 Phabien Smyle
9 Matt Melbourne
10 George Hinman
11 Reece Morris
12 Dan Smith
not used
14 Elliott Philips
not used
15 Ash Day
for 9 - 59 mins
16 Jovel Potter
for 5 - 82 mins
17 Louis Finney-Neckles
not used
18 Alex Johnson
for 8 - 77 mins
Other Match Info

Referee: Richard Watson (Cannock)

Attendance: 203

Star Player
Dan Douglas

Dan Douglas

Came back into the side and defended well along side Jamie Barrett