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Match Report  |  Gresley Rovers vs Rugby Town

Gresley Rovers  1
Sullivan (pen) 17
Rugby Town  1
Seal 30

Pre-Season Friendly

The Moat Ground

Tuesday, 11th August 2020, 7.45pm

Rovers Still Unbeaten

Gresley’s unbeaten start to pre-season continued with a 1-1 draw against Rugby Town at the Moat Ground.

An audacious flick from Ryan Seal levelled proceedings after Paul Sullivan sent the Rugby goalkeeper the wrong way to open the scoring from the spot.

This result means Rovers have avoided defeat in all four of their pre-season friendlies thus far, with Rugby being the highest team in the non-league pyramid that they’ve played, operating in the ninth tier the same as Gresley.

Rovers started the game with the confidence of a side who had won their last two outings, in fact they could have taken the lead in the very first minute when Sullivan scuffed a shot wide mere yards from the goal-line.

The away side soon livened up, however, and showed why they were competing for promotion from the ninth tier last season, with their number 10 twisting inside the box before forcing Joe Fryatt into action.

Just as Rugby were coming back into the game, Rovers earned the opportunity to open the scoring themselves 17 minutes in. An accurate ball over the top of the Rugby defence from Sullivan found David Kolodynski, but before the winger could bring the ball under his spell, the Town full-back upended him, unfairly in the referee’s opinion.

Sullivan stepped up and sent the ‘keeper the wrong way, confidently dispatching the penalty and giving Rovers the lead.

The goal very much kicked the away side into life and they responded almost immediately when Fryatt was forced to make two routine saves, parrying the first before holding onto a daisy-cutter from the edge of the box.

As was the case against Cradley, Rovers would concede just after the drinks break. In the 30th minute a ball in from the left-hand side was pounced upon by midfielder, Ryan Seal, who beat Mason Frizelle to the ball before producing an outstanding flicked finish which chipped Fryatt and left him helpless to prevent an equaliser.

With the scores now level, Rugby continued to control the game and they nearly went ahead when number 10, a constant threat down the right-hand side, escaped the attentions of Joe Haines and Andy Westwood before slamming in a cross, only for the overlapping full-back to be unable to finish it off.

With half-time approaching, however, Rovers would wrestle back momentum, and could have easily taken the lead. First, a brilliant pass from Haines allowed Kolodynski to turn his marker, but he took too long with the shot, and then the winger turned provider as he fed Sullivan down the right-hand side of the box, but the angle was too tight for the striker as he shot straight at the goalkeeper.

In the second half, Rovers had their ‘keeper, Joe Fryatt to thank for the scores still being locked at 1-1. In the 54th minute the number 10 for Rugby once again threatened, and as he swivelled and shot, Fryatt got down low at his near post to deny him, and then just moments later he had to be alert to rush out of his goal and snuff out a chance for number 8 who had been played through.

In truth the second 45 was a much duller affair with few opportunities for either side. Despite the away side dominating much of the play, Frizelle and Lansdowne stuck to their roles excellently, with Frizelle being outstanding at the back.

In the 67th minute, however, Rugby would have the ball in the back of the net, when number 3 finished expertly after overlapping his winger. Yet, his celebrations were cut short when the linesman raised his flag for offside.

With substitutions being made, and the drinks break both breaking up play, both sides lost their rhythm in attack and created barely anything towards the end of the game.

Rovers once again finished the half strongly as they did in the first half, but Jake MacIntosh’s header was well over the crossbar, and Danny Munday completely misjudged his half volley when Lucas Harrison found him at the back post, sending his shot high and wide.

Ultimately, a 1-1 draw over the side that dumped them out of the FA Vase last season shows the progress being made under Carl Abbott and Gary Norton, despite it only being pre-season.

Gresley Rovers
1 Joe Fryatt
2 Cameron Steele
3 Joe Haines
4 Lee Butler
5 Ally Lansdowne
6 Mason Frizelle
7 Kaylum Mitchell
8 Andy Westwood
9 Louis Briscoe
10 Paul Sullivan (c)
11 David Kolodynski
12 Lucas Harrison
14 Liam Kavanagh
15 Karcel O’Neil-Martin
16 Keith Thomas
17 Danny Munday
18 Connor Ward
19 Jake McIntosh
Rugby Town
1 Lomax
2 Evans
3 L Thomas
4 Francis
5 Recci (c)
6 Elliott
7 Seal
8 C Thomas
9 Parker
10 Johnson
11 Hancocks