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Match Report  |  Bilston Town vs Gresley Rovers

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).
3rd November 2001

Bilston Town vs Gresley Rovers

All square at Bilston

Gresley Rovers went into this F A Trophy game un-beaten in their last six games
and should have expected more against a Bilston Town side who had lost their
last three games.

However, the form book can be thrown out of the window when dealing with cup

And so it proved, for Bilston gave as good as they got and perhaps deserved
to win this scrappy game.

Bilston have many problems off the pitch with chairman Roger Williams threatening
to close the Black Country club, but these concerns were put to one side as
they took the game to Gresley from the start.

If they had converted the numerous chances they made during the first 15 minutes
the tie would have been beyond their visitor's grasp by half time.

As early as the second minute Gresley keeper James Lindley was forced to pull
off a fine save after Lee Rollason had headed on a Jason Smith's free kick after
Barry Woolley's trip on Ian Bennett.

On 8 minutes Leon Jackson headed a cross by Rollason fractionally wide and
then Woolley was on hand to head off the line a Smith shot on 13 minutes.

The only attacks on the Bilston goal were by Gresley defenders Woolley, whose
header from a Chris Gray corner was scrambled away, and Andy Cheetham who both
forced Nathan Boswell, the home keeper, into fine saves.

Gresley were again let off on 29 minutes when a cross-shot by Smith just skimmed
the crossbar.

Mark Peters had a golden opportunity after the ball fell at his feet after
Boswell was forced to clear in a hurry as Steve Hutchinson charged towards him.
Unfortunately Peters could only put his first time shot wide.

On 62 minutes Bilston made a quick break after a Gresley attacking move had
broken down. Bennett put a ball through to an offside Jackson and although Lindley
made a good effort to parry the ball, Smith was on hand to put the ball into
an empty net as the majority of the Gresley defence came jogging back.

On 82 minutes Steve Hutchinson, who had had a fairly quiet game, gave Gresley
a second chance with a well-taken striker's goal. He took the ball, cut inside
both Gavin Stone and Steve Hillman before coolly slotting the ball under Boswell
making it two goals in three games.

John McGinlay chose this moment to make substitutions bringing on Ian Bluck,
Lee Westwood and himself in place of Chris Parkins, Andy Bourne and Chris Gray.

On 87 minutes Jake Fairbrother could have grabbed what would have been, in
all honesty, an un-deserved late winner when his shot hit the post after a Peters'
shot had been blocked.

Gresley will now have a chance to make amends as they face Bilston at the Moat
Ground on Wednesday for the replay.

The Managers view of the game

"We had a really good October but now that is history - it November now. We
never really got going and we were second best in possession and without it.

"If people aren't going to perform then I'll make some changes.

"We were very lucky to get a second chance to progress in this competition."

Bilston Town (0) 1
Gresley Rovers (0) 1

Scorers: Smith 62 (Bilston); Hutchinson 82 (Gresley)

Bilston Town: Boswell, Leeding, Hillman, Stone, Leon J Jackson (Wood
41), Benton, Naylor, Leon Jackson, Bennett (Lee 71), Rollason, Smith. Subs not
used: Baddams, Walters, Habersmith.

Gresley Rovers: Lindley, Wardle, Cheetham, Fairbrother, Woolley, Evans,
Bourne (Bluck 82), Peters, Parkins (McGinlay 82), Hutchinson, Gray (Westwood
82). Subs not used: Fletcher, Clarke.

Star Man:
Stuart Evans - Best on the park.

Referee: C D Nook (Stourbridge).

Attendance: 199