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Match Report  |  Grantham Town vs Gresley FC

Grantham Town  0
Gresley FC  2
Langston 72  |  Piliero 89

Doodson Sport Cup Second Round

South Kesteven Sports Stadium, Grantham

Tuesday, 3rd December 2013, 7.45pm

Cup Win For Gresley

Gresley made the trip to the South Kesteven Sports Stadium and in front of a sparse crowd beat a disappointing Grantham Town with second half goals from Jack Langston and Paolo Piliero to progress into the next round of the Doodson League Cup.

As was expected Gresley manager Martin Rowe made changes to the side which put on a fine performance at Wrexham on Saturday with Jordan Nadat, Kieran O'Connell and Rob Spencer all on the bench. Hayden Johns, Lucas Harrison, Langston, Mickey Lyons and Alex Steadman were all given a start. John Guy and Eric Graves were both rested but new signing goalkeeper Mats Morch was once more given the number one jersey.

The first twenty minutes or so was largely uneventful but Langston tried his luck hitting a shot over the bar and a free kick from Lee Ridley caused mayhem in the Gresley area with the ball pinging around like on a pinball machine with no-one able to clear the ball or to put it in the net. Fortunately for the visitors the ball was eventually cleared and the panic subsided.

Michael Towey tested Morch which the keeper dealt with easily and this was followed shortly afterwards by a header from Charley Sanders which Morch also dealt with comfortably.

The closest either side came to breaking the deadlock came almost on the final whistle of the first half. An uncharacteristic slip by Jamie Barrett allowed a looping cross into the box but Greg Smith could only head wide of an upright when he should have done much better.

Smith had two more half chances early in the second half but both were easily snuffed out by Morch.

Gresley began to take control and went close to opening the scoring when Harrison hit a thunderous shot which Grantham keeper Dan Haystead couldn't hold bit the ball fell just behind Sam Grice who had made his way into the box.

Piliero, who had been given the captains armband for the evening as he returned to his former club, was sent through but his final shot was well blocked by Haystead.

Piliero was involved again two minutes later when Gresley took the lead. He made a good run down the left and send in a low cross which was left by substitute Spencer for the onrushing Langston who rifled his low shot past Haystead and into the bottom corner of the net.

One of Grantham's very few second half chances came from a free kick which substitute Gary King fizzed just over the bar.

Gresley were handed a great chance to see the game out when Haystead brought Steadman down in the box. Referee Mr Hutchinson didn't hesitate pointing to the spot despite protestations from a couple of Grantham players. O'Connell took responsibility for the penalty but it was a weak one and Haystead made amends by diving to his left to make the save.

Were Gresley going to rue not taking that chance? Thankfully not as three minutes later Piliero got on the end of a long clearance and smashed home the visitors' second goal from 22 yards giving Haystead no chance at all.

Grantham went close to reducing the deficit deep into time added on when King cut in from the right and hit a good low shot which was well saved by Morch diving to his right to push the ball away from danger.

Manager's View

"It was quite a difficult game really. It was a bit of a comedown from Saturday to come here. It's a bit of a trek and the ground has a running track around it.

"I felt in the first half we weren't quite at the races but in the second half we were up for it and in their faces and really did well.

"We missed a penalty. We hadn't discussed who'd take any penalty to be fair, it was whoever wants it on the day and obviously Kieran O'Connell wanted it this evening but he didn't make contact.

"Defensively we looked solid. Hayden Johns has come in and done well. Liam Guest and Jamie Barrett were as strong as ever and Lucas Harrison did well tonight. Sam Grice did well again in midfield, Jack Langston scored a goal and should have scored another one ten minutes earlier - he was just outside the box but he didn't hit the target. Paulo Piliero scored right at the end which was nice to see against his former club. He was made captain for tonight's game because I think it's special when a player goes back to his former club. It was only a few months when he was playing at Grantham. I think Paolo is doing well and he did well on Saturday and has had another good ninety-minutes tonight.

"John Guy was working nights and I rested Eric Graves. We had Jordan Nadat on the bench with Rob Spencer as we wanted to give other players a bit of pitch time. It was a bit hard on Harry Austin and Michael Fitzhugh but we wanted to win tonight's game. I don't want to be drawn away in the next round!

"Things are going well and we take that into Saturday's game. It will be our first league game for a bit and we need to get back to winning games, getting points and moving up the table and that's what we'll be hoping to do on Saturday. If we have the same support as we had on Saturday I'm sure we'll win.

"We are doing well at the moment and we know that we've got to keep working hard and if the team keeps together who knows what we can do?"

Match Stats
Shots on Target 5 6
Shots off Target 6 2
Corners 5 5
Fouls Conceded 17 12
Yellow Cards 2 2
Possession (%) 55 45
Streaming Interview
Grantham Town
1 Dan Haystead Yellow Card
2 Lee Ridley
3 Jack Andrews
4 Deon Miekle
5 Adrian Hawes
6 Rhys Lewis (c)
7 Anton Foster Yellow Card
8 Michael Towey
9 Charley Sanders
10 Greg Smith
11 Jamie Jackson
12 Romaine Graham
for 8 - 70 mins
14 Emeka Nwadike
not used
15 Gary King
for 9 - 58 mins
16 Paul Lister
not used
17 Sam Meakin
for 3 - 83 mins
Gresley FC
1 Mats Morch
2 Hayden Johns
3 Lucas Harrison
4 Liam Guest
5 Jamie Barrett
6 Jack Langston Yellow Card
7 Mickey Lyons
8 Sam Grice Yellow Card
9 Royce Turville
10 Alex Steadman
11 Paolo Piliero (c)
12 Kieran O'Connell
for 7 - 80 mins
14 Rob Spencer
for 9 - 70 mins
15 Jordan Nadat
not used
16 Harry Austin
not used
17 Michael Fitzhugh
not used
Other Match Info

Referee: Mark Hutchinson (Bingham)

Attendance: 95

Star Player
Liam Guest

Liam Guest

Solid defending alongside Jamie Barrett