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Match Report  |  Loughborough Dynamo vs Gresley FC

Loughborough Dynamo  3
Norris 21  |  Betts 45+1  |  Blakely 78
Gresley FC  2
Langston 27  |  Steadman 29

Doodson Sport Cup Third Round

Watermead Lane, Nanpantan Road, Loughborough

Tuesday, 14th January 2014, 7.45pm

Cup Exit For Gresley

Those hardy souls who made the short journey over to Loughborough must have returned home thinking 'that's another game we should have won by halftime.'

A combination of missed chances, blocks on the line and good goalkeeping contrived to see Gresley out of the Doodson Sport League Cup at the third round.

Gresley were playing their first game for a fortnight as the recent wet weather had put paid to their previous three fixtures. Even this game began in light rain which got heavier as the match progressed but the pitch stood up to the downpour remarkably well.

Stand-in manager Wayne Thornhill fielded a strong side to give his players as much pitch time as possible. Jamie Barrett took the right back slot with Mitch Hanson out through injury and Matt Roome back at university. Midfielder Danny Holmes made a welcome return to the squad.

The visitors could quite easily have taken a very early lead when Paulo Piliero's cross from the left threaded through the area but the sliding Rob Spencer couldn't quite stretch his leg long enough to get the vital touch at the far post.

Spencer went close again minutes later but his shot brought out the first of several good saves from the home keeper Ross Whalin as he tipped the ball over the bar.

The third of consecutive corners almost gave Gresley the lead. Piliero swung in the flag kick which was met by the head of Liam Guest but his effort was cleared off the line with the keeper beaten.

Play swiftly moved to the other end with a Dynamo break and it was Gresley's keeper Mats Morch's turn to make a smart save diving to his right.

Both sides were playing some good football despite the conditions with Gresley's Alex Steadman going close but another quick break saw the home side take the lead from a low shot by Rob Norris on the left which took a deflection off John Guy and beat Morch at his near post.

Six minutes later Gresley were level. Piliero laid the ball back invitingly for Jack Langston who hit a 25 yard shot that beat Whalin. Whalin was not to beaten a couple of minutes later as Spencer's cross from the right was smashed towards goal by Steadman but Whalin made an outstanding save pushing the ball away for a corner.

From the resultant corner Gresley increased their lead. Piliero took the kick and Steadman connected but his first effort was stopped on the line but he followed up ramming the ball home.

Kieran O'Connell had his goal bound shot deflected away as Gresley threatened to take control of the game.

Gresley had another couple of efforts cleared off the line from two corners before Guest's header was saved by Whalin.

Morch was called on again to make a good block to deny Nathan Watson as he broke through the Gresley rearguard.

Dynamo ensured they went into the break level when a corner from the left was played over to the far post where Jake Betts was waiting to slot the ball home.

The second half began with a succession of corners for the visitors which again produced two more blocks on the line as the Dynamo goal led a charmed life. Langston was inches away from restoring his side's lead but his low shot spun wide of the far post. Spencer was then denied by Whalin who again brought off a superb save.

The visitors were to rue not taking those chances as Dynamo scored what proved to be the winner when Luke Blakely struck a sweetly hit low shot which beat Morch and flew into the far bottom corner of the net.

Whalin was having a terrific game and was on hand to deny Gresley for the umpteenth time. Eric Graves had noticed the keeper off his line after a poor clearance and he tried an audacious lob which had Whalin scurrying back to his goal where he somehow managed to get a fingertip to the ball to tip it over the bar.

Steadman forced another good save from Whalin as a sustained final period of pressure from Gresley, resulting in five consecutive corners, threatened to take the game into spot kicks. But, Gresley night was summed up deep into time added on when a ferocious shot by Lucas Harrison looked certain to end up in the back of the net only to be blocked on the line by his unfortunate team mate Graves who couldn't get out of the way quick enough!

With Gresley's various cup exploits now ended until the Coalville Charity Cup Final later in the season, it is the priority now to convert the barrow load of chances they are creating into goals and subsequently the points needed to start to climb the league table.

Manager's View

Wayne Thornhill

"Some people say that the stats don't lie. We've created an awful lot of chances and passed the ball exceptionally well especially in the first half when we somehow ended up conceding two goals and I don't know how. The lads are extremely disappointed at the score overall but quite happy with how we played.

"Tonight's game had a different importance to what it had originally. If we'd have been playing for the last two weeks there might have been a different team out there giving players just outside the first team squad a few more games. However, now we've missed two and a half weeks, we ended up playing a really strong team to get us somewhere near in preparation for Saturday. Although we are extremely disappointed in the result, the plus was us playing tonight.

"We had Danny Holmes on the bench tonight. He's just come back from injury. He started light training at Derby but he's not quite ready to start. If it had been a comfortable game I would have given him fifteen or twenty minutes to see what we could get from him.

"Mitch Hanson was missing tonight. I spoke to Mitch on Sunday and he's had some swelling on his knee. He's not available for this weekend's game but we may have left him out to give him a few more days' recovery. He's about ready to train and another week and he'll be back in our plans at right back which we need.

"We've got more competence at centre half, we've got several of them especially John Guy who has gone in there and made a big difference. Left back is decent; right back with Matt Roome going back to university we've had to adjust and amend and put Jamie Barrett in there and he did exceptionally well tonight. You've got to remember that he hasn't played for a few weeks either. I think I gave him seventy minutes so it was important that he's got that behind him.

"We are very much in the market for a goal scoring striker. I've spoken to a couple who have taken our fancy. One plays at the same standard and has scored a lot of goals. I can't mention his name just at the minute but he's shown some interest. I tried to ring him yesterday but couldn't get hold of him but I'll be trying him first thing in the morning.

"Martin Rowe will be back for Saturday. I think he's flying home as we speak. I wish we had some good news to be honest. The result isn't good but it's not all bad news. Danny and Jamie are back in the squad and some people got good minutes in preparation for Saturday so let's hope we get a positive result because the most important thing is the league and to try and kick on half way through the season.

"We are eight games behind some teams but the table doesn't lie, we are not in a healthy position. However, it certainly doesn't tell the truth because we are playing better football than our position shows, I believe. We need to put a run of results together. If we can put together a three, four or five win run which we've done previously in the season there is no reason why we can't kick up the table pretty quickly and looking at the table it's doable."

Match Stats
Shots on Target 11 4
Shots off Target 3 5
Corners 15 6
Fouls Conceded 5 9
Yellow Cards 2 1
Possession (%) 60 40
Streaming Interview
Loughborough Dynamo
1 Ross Whalin
2 Dan Marshall Yellow Card
3 Luke Blakely
4 Lee Attenborough
5 Jake Betts (c)
6 Mitch Williams
7 Rob Norris
8 Sam Wood
9 Jarrod Westcarr
10 Lee Morris
11 Nathan Watson
12 Kris Nurse
for 9 - 46 mins
14 Luke Smithson
for 10 - 67 mins
15 Dean Gent
not used
16 Connor Hughes
for 8 - 73 mins
17 Alex Pycock
not used
Gresley FC
1 Mats Morch
2 Jamie Barrett (c) Yellow Card
3 Lucas Harrison
4 Liam Guest
5 John Guy
6 Eric Graves
7 Kieran O'Connell Yellow Card
8 Jack Langston
9 Alex Steadman
10 Rob Spencer
11 Paolo Piliero
12 Sam Grice
for 2 - 78 mins
14 Danny Holmes
not used
15 Marc Strzyzewski
not used
16 Sam Kirk
not used
17 Mickey Lyons
for 7 - 66 mins
Other Match Info

Referee: Andrew Fox (Coventry)

Attendance: 101

Star Player
Liam Guest

Liam Guest

Solid defending in difficult conditions