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Match Report  |  Gresley Rovers vs Bromsgrove Rovers

Note that this page is from our Gresley Rovers archive.
It may not be related to the new club Gresley FC.
14th September 1993

Gresley Rovers vs Bromsgrove Rovers

Moatmen go so near – Andy Parker – Burton Mail

The width of a crossbar was the difference between success and failure for Gresley Rovers at the Moat Ground last night.

Mark Crisp’s goal for Bromsgrove ultimately gave the GM Vauxhall Conference side the slenderest of victories but Gresley could not have gone closer to causing an FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round upset.

Rovers began as if determined not to allow their visitors to dominate possession as they had on Saturday and could have taken the lead after just 20 seconds.

Kev Richardson’s clearance fell straight to Tony Marsden who quickly returned the ball into Simon Osborne’s path but, with time and space on the right of the box, the striker could not get his shot in quickly enough and Shaun O’Meara raced back to clear the danger.

Richard Wardle put a diving header wide from Richard Denby’s cross as Gresley strove for an early breakthrough but the 1,222 crowd then gasped in relief when Bob Aston failed to hold Chris Peace’s left wing cross and Rob Shilvock shot from 12-yards only for Gil Land to clear off the line.

Back came Rovers again and Martin Dick frightened the life out of the Conference aristocrats with a stunning 35-yard shot that beat the keeper Scott Cooksey only to crash against the crossbar.

Bromsgrove were rattled and when Shilvock dropped a backpass short Mark Hurst took the ball round Cooksey on the left of the box and crossed far post to Osborne who saw a header cleared from beneath the bar then squeezed the rebound fractionally the wrong side of the post.

Stuart Evans sent an header flying wide from Denby’s free kick but Bromsgrove, with Richardson seeming less and less likely to repeat his earlier error and Paul Webb assuming an increasingly dominant role in midfield, gradually regained their composure to blot Rovers out.

Still the home side battled for a breakthrough and Richard Wardle was desperately unlucky not to achieve one in the 51st minute. Denby’s corner was half cleared towards the edge of the box and the midfielder met the loose ball with a phenomenal half volley that crashed against the crossbar with stunning force.

Four minutes later, though, Rovers suffered a sickening setback when skipper Denby limped off with a knee injury to leave Bromsgrove to assume control.

Even then the visitors did not manage a shot in the second half until Richardson’s long-range effort in the 77th minute flew wide. Three minutes later, though, referee Black debatably awarded Bromsgrove a free kick on the edge of the Rovers box, deeming Marsden had raised his boot too high when other referees would have penalised Webb for ducking his head into the challenge. Webb teed up Shivlock to fire in a shot and when Aston could only parry the ball the predatory Crisp was first to respond with a shot that looped into an empty net.

Land thrashed a 20-yard shot over as Rovers valiantly sought a positive response then substitute Martin Devaney was an ace away from forcing extra time with a half volley following Hurst’s corner but O’Meara blocked his shot on the line.

Gresley Rovers (0) 0

Bromsgrove Rovers (0) 1

Scorer: Crisp 80.

Gresley Rovers: Aston, Dick, Swainston, Denby (Devaney 55), Evans, Land, R Wardle (Moore 82), Marsden, Osborne, Elliott, Hurst.

Bromsgrove Rovers: Cooksey, Skelding, Brighton, Richardson, P Wardle, Shilvock, O’Meara, Webb, Hanks, Crisp, Pearce. Subs not used: Scandrett, Radburn, Powel.

Gresley man-of-the-match: Mark Hurst.

Referee: A Black (Nuneaton).

Attendance: 1222