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Match Report  |  Gresley FC vs Belper Town

Gresley FC  1
Harrison (pen) 79
Belper Town  5
Milner 3  |  Crouz 14, 21, (pen) 46  |  Curtis 43

Evo-Stik NPL League East Division

The Moat Ground, Church Gresley

Tuesday, 1st January 2019, 3.00pm

Norton Steps Down

After a calamitous first half showing from his side, Gresley manager Gary Norton resigned but will remain on the board of the club to help drive the fund-raising side to, hopefully, aid the next manager in his budget.

Speaking after the game he was deeply disappointed in the manner of the humiliating defeat which takes Gresley perilously close to the relegation dog fight, calling it men against boys and it was easy to see how he came to that conclusion.

Except for the final ten minutes or so of the game, Belper were head and shoulders the better side carving Gresley in two with nearly every attack.

Norton had made two additions to his side bringing two new strikers Tin Hopkinson from Ilkeston and Jordan Dodd from Rocester.

Unfortunately, the writing was on the wall as early as 3 minutes when a low shot, through a crowded area, was well parried by Oliver Fairbrother but the rebound was snapped up quickly by George Milner who rammed the ball home from close in.

More pressure from the Nailers almost saw goal number two but for the faintest of touches from Fairbrother to steer the shot for a corner.

Belper doubled their advantage on 14 minutes when a free kick from the left by Piteu Crouz disappointingly beat Fairbrother at his near post.

Martin Smyth’s free kick flew over the bar but that was all there was to be seen for the home supporters so far. However, Belper added to the misery by scoring goal number three from a good move which ended with Milner setting up Crouz who struck a shot across Fairbrother from the left and into the bottom far corner.

The visitors almost made it four on the half hour when a corner from the right found Danny South whose powerful header skimmed the bar.

Debutant Hopkinson had the final chance for Gresley as the first half came to an end but his shot was easily dealt with by the barely tested Leigh Overton.

Almost on the stroke of half time Nathan Curtis put the game well out of the reach of Gresley, if it wasn’t already, when he completed his run down the left firing a shot past Fairbrother.

Things got worse for the Moatmen within seconds of the second half starting when Albert Lansdowne’s rash tackle brought Milner down in the area giving referee Mr Watkins no alternative but to point to the spot which was converted for his hat-trick by Crouz.

Dexter Morris-Clarke was introduced in place of James Jepson to try and inject some of his enthusiasm and work rate which had been so sadly lacking up until then and he soon made his mark receiving a yellow card.

Hopkinson was getting forward for Gresley and hit a shot wide of the far post followed moments later by Lucas Harrison’s dipping free kick from distance just clearing the bar.

The faintest glimmer of light for the home supporters came with ten minutes remaining. Kane Lee did well to get down the right and then into the area before being felled by a Belper defender and again the referee had the easiest of decisions to make. Harrison took the spot kick and hit it so hard that if Overton had got anywhere near the ball it would have probably taken the keeper and ball into the back of the net.

Belper went agonisingly close to rubbing more salt in the already gaping Gresley wound but Alex Peterson’s header from substitute Liam Owen’s cross flew over.

Whoever takes over the reigns at Gresley will have their work cut-out to turn things around as now the club is looking over their shoulders and hoping that the clubs below them will do them a favour in the final few months which is not the best option as that takes Gresley’s fate out of their own hands, but there are enough games left in the season to ensure step 4 safety if confidence and desire can be returned to the team.

Match Stats
Shots on Target 3 6
Shots off Target 5 4
Corners 1 4
Fouls Conceded 14 12
Yellow Cards 1 0
Red Cards 0 0
Possession (%) 40 60
Streaming Interview
Gresley FC
1 Oliver Fairbrother
2 Mark Branch
3 Lucas Harrison
4 Jamie Barrett (c)
5 Albert Lansdowne
6 Eric Graves
7 Martin Smyth
8 Cameron Steele
9 Kane Lee
10 Tim Hopkinson
11 James Jepson
12 Jordan Dodd
for 9 - 70 mins
14 Dexter Morris-Clarke Yellow Card
for 11 - 53 mins
15 Harry Lansdowne
for 7 - 53 mins
16 Jake McIntosh
not used
17 Carl Slater
not used
Belper Town
1 Leigh Overton
2 Isaac Asseno
3 Craig Nelthorpe
4 Derry Robson
5 Sam Colbear
6 Alex Peterson (c)
7 Nathan Curtis
8 Danny Gordon
9 Danny South
10 George Milner
11 Piteu Crouz
12 Ross Duggan
for 11 - 61 mins
14 Liam Owen
for 4 - 72 mins
15 Alfred Thompson
for 5 - 76 mins
Other Match Info

Referee: Ritchie Watkins (Nuneaton)

Attendance: 293

Star Player

Tim Hopkinson

Worked hard on his debut in a very difficult game.