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Match Report  |  Gresley Rovers vs Cradley Town

Gresley Rovers  5
Batchelor 9  |  Munday 14  |  Briscoe (pen)62, 67  |  Kolodynski 89
Cradley Town  2
Carthey 29  |  Collins 65

Pre-Season Friendly

The Moat Ground

Saturday, 8th August 2020, 3.00pm

Rovers Secure Second Win

by Alfie Burley

Gresley cruised to victory in a seven-goal thriller at the Moat Ground, making it two successive wins in their pre-season.

With two separate starting elevens being drafted, one for each half, Rovers took a 2-1 lead into half-time thanks to goals from Kyle Batchelor and Daniel Munday, a goal from Casey Collins being the only blemish of a largely positive first period.

Two further goals from Louis Briscoe, and a strike from David Kolodynski rounded off a routine victory for the Moatmen over their tenth-tier opponents.

It was a strong start by the home side as they looked to assert themselves over the Hammers, and it took them just nine minutes to open the scoring.

A pinpoint corner from Lee Butler found the head of an unmarked Kyle Batchelor, and the central defender had all the time and space he needed to nod into an empty net, punishing poor marking from Cradley.

It wasn’t long before Rovers glided into a two goal lead, as they found the net just five minutes later with a superbly constructed goal ¿1/2" a move Barcelona may have even been proud of.

Fantastic link-up play between Paul Sullivan and Keith Thomas, saw the former slide Thomas in down the left of the box. Thomas took a touch before squaring the ball straight to Munday who had the simple task of poking home to complete a fabulous move.

The goal seemed to increase Munday’s confidence, who continually caused problems for Cradley in the first 45. Only a brilliant recovery from the Cradley ‘keeper denied him an open goal before he headed just wide from a lovely dinked pass from Sullivan.

A drinks break, however, seemed to disrupt the home side’s concentration and in the 29th minute, just seconds after the interval, Cradley had dragged themselves back into the game.

A cheap giveaway in midfield saw the Hammers flood forward, and a neat pass down the left of the box allowed Casey Collins to fire low and hard past Joe Tarris.

Cradley seemed inspired by the goal and weren’t allowing Rovers the same freedom on the ball as they had prior to the drinks break, nonetheless Gresley had their lead going into half-time.

With multiple changes having been made on the resumption of the game, Rovers came out the sharper, but they couldn’t take one of the numerous chances they created. Ryan King could only flick Cameron Steele’s accurate cross wide, whilst Kolodynski tamely shot at the ‘keeper when well placed before seeing a cheeky chip go just over the crossbar.

The home side would make it 3-1 in the 61st minute however, when the referee pointed to the spot after the lively Karcel O’Neil-Martin was upended in the box, with Louis Briscoe taking advantage, decisively slamming his penalty down the middle.

Yet, Cradley weren’t ready to surrender to defeat, and once again cut Gresley’s lead when a corner was bundled in from close range despite the best efforts of Joe Fryatt.

A crazy spell wasn’t over however, as Gresley made it 4-2 with a third goal in a six minute spell. Superb play from Ashley Brown saw the midfielder find Kolodynski down the right-hand side. The winger laid it through to O’Neil-Martin, who unselfishly squared the ball to Briscoe to slam into a vacated net.

The fourth goal finally seemed to kill the Cradley resistance as Rovers continued to create chances, Kolodynski shooting just wide before King cleverly beat his marker before whipping a shot just off target.

They would round off victory with another goal, however, as Cameron Steele threatened once again down the right-hand side, pouncing on a lucky ricochet to dance into the box before sending an inch-perfect pass towards Kolodynski, who obliged with a poked finish.

Rovers are back in action on Tuesday as they welcome Rugby Town to the Moat Ground for their fourth friendly of pre-season.

Streaming Interview
Gresley Rovers
1 Joe Torris
2 Ryan King
3 Lucas Harrison
4 Connor Ward
5 Junior Smikle
6 Kyle Batchelor
7 Lee Butler
8 Andy Westwood
9 Keith Thomas
10 Paul Sullivan (c)
11 Danny Munday
12 Joe Fryatt (GK)
14 Cameron Steele
15 Alby Lansdowne
16 Liam Kavanagh
17 Ashley Brown
18 David Kolodynski
19 Karcel Oneil-Martin
20 Louis Briscoe
Other Match Info

Referee: Dan Andrews