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Match Report  |  Gresley Rovers vs Blakenall

Note that this page is from our Gresley Rovers archive. It may not be related to the new Gresley Rovers (formerly Gresley FC until 2020).
17th October 1989

Gresley Rovers vs Blakenall

Rovers double over league champs – Andy Parker – Burton Mail

Gresley Rovers’ biggest crowd of the season saw last night just why midfielder Richard Denby is rated the hottest property at the Moat Ground.

Denby’s 58th minute firecracker was enough to complete a meritorious double over the club that broke Rovers hearts last term by snatching the Banks’s League title from beneath the South Derbyshire club’s noses.

And that was just enough to keep Rovers’ 100 per cent league record intact as crisis club Blakenall pulled out the stops to stop the slide that Gresley began just two weeks ago.

Since the Moatmen inflicted the champions’ first win of the season things have gone from bad to worse for Blakenall, culminating with the resignation of manager Tommy Coakley on Friday.

But Gresley were in no mood to allow their title rivals a crumb of comfort and produced a watertight defensive performance to leap seven points clear at the top of the table.

Each new fixture will increase the pressure on Gresley to remain on their lofty perch but there will be few sterner tests of their resolve that presented last night.

Despite their problems, Blakenall’s footballing ability has not deserted them and they tested Gresley with some slick approach work that had Moat fans on their toes right to the final whistle.

Alas for the Black Country outfit, Rovers – with Steve Astley a paragon of poise and precision – were in magnificent form at the back.

And while Denby’s thunderbolt – delivered from just outside the box after a cross from impressive substitute Peter Perry had been half cleared – provided the highlight of the evening Astley’s performance that caught the eye throughout.

Only when Rovers’ sweeper was beaten did Blakenall look threatening – and it was only in the last 10 minutes of the game that the visitors began to find a way round the back.

By then, Gresley should have had victory gift wrapped and delivered. Astley’s 20-yard free kick had brought a flying tip-over from Peter Hall who then saved point blank from Steve Adcock when it seemed the winger must score.

Kieron Smith, unmarked, shot wide from 10 yards after the break but then Denby stepped in to make it nine out of nine for Gresley.

Gresley Rovers (0) 1

Blakenall (0) 0

Scorer: Denby 58.

Gresley Rovers: Aston, Bottomley, Bromley (Perry 45), Denby, Land, Astley, Guest, Smith, Maddocks, Beresford, Adcock. Sub not used: Snaith.

Blakenall: Hall, Wilkinson, Brotherton, Swinhoe, S Davies, Crooke, Keeling, Shaw, Folland, Dwyer, Bland. Subs not used: Liggins, M Davies.

Gresley man-of-the-match: Steve Astley.

Referee: M J Branwood (Lichfield).

Attendance: 539