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Match Report  |  Spalding United vs Gresley FC

Spalding United  2
Davidson 19  |  Acar (pen) 90
Gresley FC  2
Steadman 16  |  Lee 39

Evo-Stik NPL League East Division

Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field, Spalding

Saturday, 27th October 2018, 3.00pm

Gresley FC faced all sorts during this match. A stiff breeze blowing from end-to-end and heavy rain which turned to snow, then back to rain and bitterly cold but, credit to the groundsmen the pitch played very well despite it being very wet on top.

Unfortunately, Gresley were denied all three points when the home side were awarded a somewhat dubious penalty in the second minute of added on time at the end of the match which Cenk Acar dispatched comfortably.

Manager Gary Norton was without several players with Lucas Harrison, Matt Roome, Cameron Steele and Jamie Barrett meaning he had to play one of the youngest back-lines for some time.

Albert Lansdowne and Kane Jellyman formed the central defensive partnership with Mark Branch and Harry Lansdowne taking the full back slots.

Martin Smyth returned to the starting line-up after missing last week’s FA Trophy game and Dexter Morris-Clarke was back after injury taking a place on the bench.

Spalding went at Gresley full tilt for the first 15 minutes or so with the wind at their backs but despite Ellis Humble and Luke White both going close their efforts amounted to nothing.

Against the run of play Gresley took the lead on 16 minutes. A superb long pass from deep midfield by Smyth was controlled by Alex Steadman who took one more touch before putting the ball past home keeper Alex Smith.

However, the lead only lasted three minutes as Spalding struck back when a corner from the right was not dealt with and when the ball was sent again into the danger area Ben Davidson was left to head home unchallenged.

Gresley should have regained the lead on 25 minutes but somehow Eric Graves managed to scoop the ball over the bar from close in.

Spalding almost took the lead on 27 minutes. Davidson hit a terrific shot from the edge of the area which was heading to the top corner of Oliver Fairbrother’s net but the young stopper leapt to his left and tipped the ball away for a corner.

Smyth who scored a spectacular free kick last week at Morpeth almost repeated the feat in this game but saw his well struck free kick strike the base of the near post and bounce away.

Gresley did retake the lead on 39 minutes. Another good pass from Smyth into the are was slotted home by Kane Lee sliding in from the right on the slippery surface.

Both sides were being penalised by referee Duncan Robertson who appeared to be taking no account of the very wet surface during the second half as the rain/snow/sleet got heavier.

Spalding, who have been the masters of the draw so far this season, were still pressing Gresley back who had started to defend too deep inviting the opposition on to them, but they were managing to keep Spalding at bay.

The home side did have a couple of close efforts with Leon Meham and Scott Floyd firing a shot wide across the face of goal and heading over respectively.

Spalding’s equaliser came from a dubious penalty award in the second minute of the three added on when Cenk Acar seemed to go to the floor very, very easily but referee Mr Robertson pointed to the spot. Acar took the kick himself and gave Fairbrother no chance with his kick.

After the goal there was some shoving and barging in the area. Albert Lansdowne pulled one of the Spalding players away who then fell theatrically to the floor. Mr Robertson once more made a very poor decision by showing the Gresley man a straight red card while not even speaking to the perpetrator of the scuffle.

Whereas the penalty award was very unjust at the very least, the referee waved away a nailed-on penalty for Spalding just a minute later. Was he trying to even things up?

On reflection, yes, it feels like a defeat not a point gained but even the most hardened Gresley supporter would be hard pressed not to admit Spalding were worth their share of the points.

Match Stats
Shots on Target 3 4
Shots off Target 3 4
Corners 2 8
Fouls Conceded 15 8
Yellow Cards 2 2
Red Cards 1 0
Possession (%) 45 55
Streaming Interview
Spalding United
1 Alex Smith
2 Connor Marshall
3 James Hugo
4 Ellis Humble
5 Neal Spafford Yellow Card
6 Jack Fixter
7 Jack Brownell
8 Kegan Everington
9 Luke White
10 Ben Davison (c)
11 Cenk Acar
12 Gary King
not used
14 George Zuerner
not used
15 Scott Floyd
for 3 - 46 mins
16 Leon Mettam Yellow Card
for 9 - 64 mins
17 Michael Duggan
not used
Gresley FC
1 Oliver Fairbrother
2 Mark Branch (c)
3 Harry Lansdowne Yellow Card
4 Albert Lansdowne Red Card
5 Kane Jellyman
6 Eric Graves
7 Martin Smyth
8 Luke Morgan
9 Kane Lee
10 Kieran O'Connell
11 Alex Steadman Yellow Card
12 Callum Riddell
for 9 - 77 mins
14 Connor Ward
for 10 - 88 mins
15 Dexter Morris-Clarke
for 8 - 65 mins
16 Jake McIntosh
not used
Other Match Info

Referee: Duncan Robertson (Lincoln)

Attendance: 89

Star Player
Eric Graves

Eric Graves

One of his best games since his return