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Match Report  |  Gresley FC vs Stocksbridge Park Steels

Gresley FC  3
Mwanyongo (pen) 7  |  Melbourne 27  |  Branch 85
Stocksbridge Park Steels  3
Litchfield 39  |  Branch (og) 74  |  Stirrup 83

Evo-Stik NPL League Division One South

The Moat Ground, Church Gresley

Tuesday, 10th April 2018, 7.45pm

Gresley Denied All Three Points

Gresley produced a performance which should have rewarded them with all three points but were denied by some refereeing decisions which angered the hardy few who had braved the damp night and chose not to stay in and watch the Champion League game on TV.

All the players deserve full credit for producing a very entertaining game on a testing pitch which at lunch time hadn’t a chance of being played on. Again, it was our hardworking ground staff who should take the plaudits after the downpour which covered the area from the previous afternoon and getting heavier through the night and early morning.

Gresley manager Damion Beckford-Quailey made the expected changes as games are now coming thick and fast as the season draws to a close.

Mark Branch, Reece Morris, Courtney Meade and Shawn Richards were all given a start with Jamie Barrett, Danny Quin, Tom Manship on the bench alongside Jordan Wakeling and Keenan King. Oliver Bassett was ill, and Dexter Morris-Clarke injured.

Gresley started much more positively but it was the visitors who went close within the first two minutes as they struck the post from a free kick, but after that it was mostly the home side who had the best chances.

Phillips had a half chance to open the scoring but blazed his shot over the bar, however, Gresley took the lead on 7 minutes. A minute or so earlier Gresley had a good shout for a penalty when Morris was bundled over in the area, but the appeals were waved away.

This time referee Mr Hathaway could not ignore the offence when Meade was dragged down in the box. The protesting Steels captain was clearly told it was the second time ď¿1/2" so why wasn’t the first one given then?

Pearson Mwanyongo took the resultant spot kick sending visiting keeper Davie Reay the wrong way to give Gresley the lead.

Moments later Morris was put through, but a moment of indecision saw him put a tame shot into the arms of the advancing Reay.

Steels went close from a free kick on the edge of the area but Joe Lumsden’s effort flew the wrong side of the near post.

Gresley doubled their lead on 27 minutes with an opportunist’s goal. After soaking up a few moments of pressure, Alvin Jarvis put a long ball down the right towards the waiting Melbourne. With the keeper rushing towards the ball and a defender looking to clear the danger, Melbourne nipped in and beat both to the ball before firing his shot from out wide into the empty net.

The visitors almost reduced the deficit two minutes later when Ben Rhodes, in acres of space on the left of the area, fired a stinging shot which Gresley keeper Callum Hawkins saved superbly as the ball came at him from close in. Rhodes went close again but after cutting in from the left could only drive his shot over the bar.

Steels got on the scoresheet 6 minutes before the break. An unfortunate slip by a defender on the wet surface saw the ball skim past him and through to Brodie Lichfield who coolly slotted the ball past Hawkins.

Branch went close to restoring the two-goal lead on 40 minutes with his well struck free kick grazing the bar as it flew over.

The first of two very good penalty shouts in the second half for Gresley came on the hour when Morris was brought down clearly a yard inside the area but to the anger of the supporters who were only a few yards from the incident the referee unbelievably gave a free kick outside the area!

More pressure from Gresley almost paid dividends. A good move up the left ended with Melbourne back heeling the ball into the path of substitute Danny Quinn, on for the injured Meade, who then drove into the area but his goal bound shot was blocked. Steels were unlucky themselves when a great shot from the left clipped the bar.

The second nailed on penalty shout for Gresley came when Melbourne cut into the area on the left before being brought down. Again, a poor decision by the referee saw a free kick given outside the area nowhere near the spot where the foul had been committed. From the resultant free kick taken by Phillips the ball found Morris who hit his first time shot straight at Reay.

Steels equaliser came from another controversial decision by the referee. Matt Roome was clearly stamped on the area but with him on the floor play was allowed to continue with Steels themselves getting a soft free kick near the touch line.

The ball was slung in from the left and Josh Egginton, in an attempt to clear the danger, headed the ball down only to see it come back off the shin of Branch and into the net.

Another huge slice of luck saw Steels take the lead. A ball into the Gresley area was deflected off Egginton to Richard Stirrup unmarked and not believing his luck had the simple task of tapping the ball home.

It looked as if Steels were going to take an undeserved three points back with them but Branch had other ideas. More pressure from Gresley saw the ball come to Branch who, after one touch, unleashed an unstoppable shot into the top near corner. It was no more than Gresley deserved. Indeed, with some of the dubious decisions going Gresley’s way they should have won the game comfortably.

The difference between tonight’s Gresley performance compared to Saturday’s was huge with all the players giving their all in very difficult conditions.

Match Stats
Shots on Target 7 7
Shots off Target 10 7
Corners 4 2
Fouls Conceded 10 12
Yellow Cards 1 0
Red Cards 0 0
Possession (%) 52 48
Streaming Interview
Gresley FC
1 Callum Hawkins
2 Matt Roome (c)
3 Josh Egginton
4 Alvin Jarvis Yellow Card
5 Sean Philips
6 Sean Philips
7 Pearson Mwanyongo
8 Reece Morris
9 Courtney Meade
10 Matt Melbourne
11 Shawn Richards
12 Tom Manship
for 6 - 76 mins
14 Danny Quinn
for 9 - 47 mins
15 Jordan Wakeling
not used
16 Keenan King
for 8 - 85 mins
17 Jamie Barrett
not used
Stocksbridge Park Steels
1 David Reay
2 Tom Charlesworth
3 Rory Coleman
4 Kurtis Turner
5 Liam McFayden (c)
6 Todd Jordan
7 Brodie Litchfield
8 Richard Stirrup
9 Joe Lumsden
10 Scott Ruthven
11 Ben Rhodes
12 Jack Pulton
not used
14 Alex Wiles
for 10 - 85 mins
15 Lee Thompson
not used
16 Ryan Laight
not used
Other Match Info

Referee: Rob Hathaway (Tamworth)

Star Player
Mark Branch

Mark Branch

Difficult choice as all of the team played well but his goal at the end tipped the balance.