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Match Report  |  Gresley Rovers vs Bilston Town

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).
24th November 2001

Match Photos

Gresley Rovers vs Bilston Town

Peters spot on

paper this looked to be a difficult match for Gresley. Bilston were one place
ahead and on the same number of points as the Moatmen.

However, the side that turned out on Saturday was a very different one to that
which Rovers beat in a penalty shoot-out in the FA Trophy replay.

Much has happened to the West Midlands side since that meeting culminating
in the departure of manager Joe Jackson and a number of key players.

As John McGinlay said after the match, "It was a good time to play them."

Gresley were also struggling but this was because of the lengthy injury list
with both central defenders Stuart Evans and Barry Woolley missing along with
midfielders Lee Westwood, Alex Green and long-term injury John Allcock.

In almost the first attack of the match on 4 minutes, Gresley scored. Chris
Gray put through a superb ball to Chris Parkins who was brought down by the
advancing Matthew Boswell as he tried to round the Bilston keeper.

Mark Peters made no mistake from the spot and sent Boswell the wrong way with
a shot hard and low inside the post.

Steelmen could not get into the game at first and it took until the half hour
mark before they made a serious attempt on goal with both Tom Griffiths and
Leon Jackson wasting chances.

It was Gresley who were clearly on top and were unlucky not to increase their
Parkins had a glorious chance to make it 2 - 0 when Delroy Harvey's attempted
back pass amazingly went square and found the Gresley frontman on his own in
acres of space. With only the keeper to beat, Parkins waited too long and allowed
Boswell to gather the ball at his feet

Andy Bourne headed a Ryan Ford fee kick just wide before Gresley's dominance
was rewarded on 43 minutes. Bourne ran onto a long clearance by Richard Wardle
and attempted to clip the ball over the head of Gavin Stone the Bilston defender.
Has he did so Stone clearly handled the ball and the assistant referee indicated
to the referee who pointed to the spot.

Peters stepped up and this time the keeper chose the right direction to dive
but the shot was hit hard enough to beat Boswell who did well to get a touch
to it.

Bourne did not appear after the break. A calf injury he'd been carrying made
McGinlay decide to replace him with Paul Fletcher and put Gray upfront with

The change in formation almost paid immediate dividends on 49 minutes when
Gray curled an effort wide with only the keeper to beat after Harvey had only
half cleared the ball.

Another Gresley chance went begging when Parkins beat the Steelmen's offside
trap and forced Boswell to rush his clearance only as far as Fletcher who dwelt
on the ball too long and had it taken off his foot before he had chance to shoot.

who had probably had his easiest 90 minutes of the season, was called into rare
action when on 77 minutes he had to dive low to his right to push out a Mark
Habershaw free kick.

On 83 minutes Matt Moran and McGinlay substituted Andy Cheetham and Parkins.

Moments later Bilston were almost given a goal when Jake Fairbrother gave the
ball away to Habershaw in the area but he put his shot over the bar.

With time running out Ford was denied a goal when Boswell save well down to
his right.

The manager's view of the game

"Today's game gets us going again. It was important because Bilston are just
above us in the league and it allows us to catch them up.

"It's no disrespect to them but I think we got them at the right time and if
we'd have had a full side out today we would have won by a bigger margin.

"The team we put out on the park did great today, but we could have scored
more in the first half to be honest.

"The most important thing is the result. The performance was good in the first
half, poor in the second, but the lads stuck at it.

"It shows you now that whatever team we put on the park we've made ourselves
into a side that has to be beaten, we are not a roll over anymore. In the second
half they had a lot more possession but could not break us down and that comes
from the lads at the back, their organisation and they stuck at it and worked
hard. The second half was not good but the lads still worked hard and I'm very
pleased with the three points."

"We would have taken 2 - 0 before the kick off. This has done us a world of
good; it gets us back on track and gets us moving again.

"We have another home game Wednesday and we've got to see who we can get patched
up and on the park.

"I took Andy Bourne off as a precaution. His calf was getting a bit tight and
rather than leave him on and cause him more problems we decided to pull him
off at half time and rest him with a view to Wednesday.

"We are a bit thin on the ground at the moment and we don't want any more needless
injuries. Andy Cheetham was the same; he received a knock so I took him off.

"Hopefully Stuart Evans will be back for Wednesday. He trained a bit this morning
and he could still feel his ankle when he kicked a ball but everything else
was ok. It was a borderline decision whether to play him today or leave him
for Wednesday. Thankfully it worked out and it will give him an extra few days
to make sure he is right.

"As for the rest Lee Westwood and Alex Green will definitely miss Wednesday's
game and Barry Woolley is only 50/50.

"Wednesday will be a difficult game because we owe them one for the last game
we met. That game was a travesty and we owe them one for that."

Gresley Rovers (2) 2
Bilston Town (0) 0

Scorers: Peters 4 (pen), 43 (pen).

Gresley Rovers: Lindley, Wardle, Cheetham (Moran 83), Peters, Middleton,
Bluck, Bourne (Fletcher 45), Fairbrother, Ford, Parkins (McGinlay 83), Gray.

Bilston: Boswell, Harvey, Griffiths, Wilcox, Stone, Reed, Williams,
Jackson, Lee (Hadley 70), Habershaw, Hodgson-Bridge. Subs not used: Brown, Walters.

Star Man:
Ian Bluck - sound at the back.

Referee: M Dexter (Leicester).

Attendance: 358