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Match Report  |  Gresley FC vs Morpeth Town

Note that this page is from our archive during the time when the club was called Gresley FC. It may not be related to the old Gresley Rovers.
Gresley FC  0
Morpeth Town  3
Carson (pen) 20  |  Turner 28  |  Henderson 38

Evo-Stik NPL League East Division

The Moat Ground, Church Gresley

Saturday, 12th January 2019, 3.00pm

Gresley Beaten By League Leaders

Morpeth’s three first half goals saw the Highway Men continue their push for the League title. Gresley were in turmoil with manager Gary Norton stepping down two weeks ago and four players, Dexter Morris-Clarke, James Jepson, Martyn Smyth and Tim Hopkinson all leaving the club. Jamie Barrett also stepped down due to family reasons.

Add to that Luke Morgan still injured, Kane Lee on holiday, Jake McIntosh suspended and Lucas Harrison reporting in as ill the task for caretaker managers Carl Slater and John Williamson was to try and field a full squad, so they had to call on the Reserve team to fill the spaces.

Despite the score-line Gresley’s largely young side put in a great performance acknowledged by most of the home supporters. For the first time for a while they saw their side determined, committed and willing to literally put their bodies in the firing line against a good footballing side which should comfortably win the league come April.

Morpeth soon had Gresley under pressure and the Moatmen had to be thankful to their keeper Oliver Fairbrother for not allowing the visitors to take an early lead. Following a cross Chris Reid’s looping header hit the far post and came out of the danger area.

The Highway Men took the lead on 20 minutes. A ball into Gresley area looked as if it was going to be cleared by Slater but appeared that Liam Henderson stepped onto Slater’s foot before falling over. Referee Mr Nelson harshly awarded a spot kick which was dispatched by David Carson.

Morpeth’s second goal eight minutes later was also controversial. A corner from Sayer was headed home by Michael Turner. Disappointingly, the goal was given by the referee despite Turner clearly having both arms on the Gresley defenders’ shoulders. The home players were incensed but both referee and his assistant ignored the protests.

Morpeth were lucky not to have received a yellow card when Wayne Phillips followed through with studs showing while Gresley keeper was on the floor. Again, the referee saw nothing and didn’t even speak to the very luck Phillips.

The third goal was yet another slightly lucky one. A low cross from the right caught the diving Fairbrother’s wrist before looping up and onto the surprised Henderson who was expecting to ram the ball in lower down.

The inconsistency of the referee’s decision making was seen five minutes before the break. Connor Ward went in hard for a tackle and rightly received a yellow card but before the referee handed out the punishment Morpeth’s Sam Hodgson clearly pushed Ward with both hands on the chest but again not even a speaking too for the Morpeth man.

Fairbrother did well to deny Henderson early in the second half by pushing his effort away for a corner.

Morpeth still caused Gresley problems with their defence beating diagonal ball and one of them saw Henderson race forward but Fairbrother was quickly off his line to make a fine block.

Both Myles Botfield and Harry Heartfield made their first team debuts in the second half and Heartfield went close on 68 minutes hitting a fine shot from distance which flew just wide of the near post.

Hat-trick scorer at Morpeth against Gresley substitute Jack Foalle gave Fairbrother one more save to make and the young stopper was more than up to the task denying the visitors a final goal.
Despite fielding a side largely made up of young reserve team players they showed more grit and determination than many who have gone on before them.

Let’s hope that the prospective new manager, whoever that may be, was in the crowd to witness what those young players have to offer. A few experienced players at this level alongside them will only improve their abilities and give them a good future at Gresley.

Match Stats
Shots on Target 0 7
Shots off Target 1 5
Corners 0 9
Fouls Conceded 9 9
Yellow Cards 2 0
Red Cards 0 0
Possession (%) 42 58
Streaming Interview
Gresley FC
1 Oliver Fairbrother
2 Ryan Clemson
3 Harry Lansdowne
4 Albert Lansdowne
5 Carl Slater
6 Eric Graves  Yellow Card
7 Connor Ward Yellow Card
8 Mark Branch (c)
9 Jordan Dodd
10 Cameron Steele
11 Callum Riddell
12 Zakim Evans
for 10 - 57 mins
14 Myles Botfield
for 7 - 76 mins
15 Harry Heartfield
for 5 - 60 mins
16 Lucas Harrison
not used
Morpeth Town
1 Daniel Lowson
2 Jordan Fry
3 Christopher Reid
4 Ben Sayer
5 Jeffrey Henderson
6 Michael Turner
7 Sean Taylor
8 Samuel Hodgson
9 Liam Henderson
10 David Carson
11 Wayne Phillips (c)
12 Julian Petrache
not used
14 Jack Foalle
for 9 - 72 mins
15 Thomas Potter
for 7 - 64 mins
16 Keith Graydon
for 8 - 76 mins
17 Stuart Mott
not used
Other Match Info

Referee: Alistair Nelson (Nottingham)

Attendance: 208

Star Player
Oliver Fairbrother

Oliver Fairbrother

Made some crucial saves