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Match Report  |  Gresley Rovers vs Leek Town

Gresley Rovers  0
Leek Town  2
O Harrison 41  |  Trickett-Smith 76

Emirates FA Cup Preliminary Round

The Moat Ground

Saturday, 21st August 2021, 3.00pm

Rovers Cup Hopes Spring A Leek

Alfie Burley

Gresley Rovers’ FA Cup journey came to an abrupt end on Saturday as they were beaten 2-0 by Leek Town at the Moat Ground.

In a 90 minutes full of talking points and controversy, a goal in each half from the step fourvisitors was enough to dump Gresley out of the FA Cup at the preliminary round stage for the second year running.

A header from a corner in the 41st minute was the source of Leek’s opener, as Ollie Harrison managed to out-muscle his marker and direct his header into the bottom right corner.

Drama at the end of the first half saw Town awarded with a penalty, but after hitting the ball twice, James Trickett-Smith’s spot-kick was chalked off by the linesman.

The striker would make up for his mistake in the second half however, as he curled the ball into the top corner from just inside the 18 yard box.

Rovers started the game nervously against their higher-tiered opponents, in fact the visitors had the ball in the back of the net early on, but Will Saxon would be denied by the offside flag.

Leek then went close again, a ball into the box caused panic in the Gresley defence, eventuallyleading to a deflected shot having to be awkwardly pushed away by Lewis Fenney.

With this close scare navigated, Rovers began to settle into the contest. George Clark was particularly bright down the right-hand side, and he was nearly sent through on goal, but a timely challenge denied him. Seconds later, however, the hosts were nearly hit on the break, a cross mere inches away from connecting with the forward’s boot.

With the game petering out towards half-time, Leek would eventually make the breakthrough after 41 minutes. A corner from the left-hand side was whipped straight onto the head of centre-back, Ollie Harrison who found the corner with a thumping header.

After defending bravely for the majority of the 45 minutes, Rovers nearly let the game get away from them when in first half injury time, the linesman adjudged Clark to have handled on the line when blocking a shot in front of goal.

Leek’s star man, Trickett-Smith looked to have doubled Town’s lead, but a lengthy inquiry with the linesman led to the referee adjudging that the tricky forward had touched the ball twice when taking the penalty - resulting in a Gresley free-kick.

With a new lease of life in the game, Rovers came out battling in the second half, and determined to provide more of an attacking threat.

Their first statement of intent came when Louis Briscoe took aim from just outside the box, and despite the ball being spilt by the goalkeeper, he quickly gathered before Lucas Harrison could knock in the rebound.

Rovers’ best opportunity to equalise came a couple of minutes later, however, when Kane Lee received the ball on the right. The winger took a touch and then blasted the ball across the face of goal. Scott Wara attempted to intervene and avert the danger, but ended up striking the woodwork of his own goal - breathing a sigh of relief as it bounced away for a corner.

Lee was causing Leek problems in the second half and after a long throw had been half-cleared, he attempted to volley into the net, but couldn’t keep his effort down.

Unfortunately for Rovers, Leek would find their second goal with just under 15 minutes to play. After a free kick was cleared away, Trickett-Smith picked up the pieces, waltzing into the area and curling into the far corner with expert precision.

With the task having been made twice as hard, the visitors controlled the final stages, without creating any real chances to extend their lead. Ultimately, Rovers couldn’t find a way back into the game, and for the second consecutive time, they bow out at the preliminary round of the FA Cup.

Match Stats
Shots on Target 2 3
Shots off Target 3 3
Corners 3 7
Fouls Conceded 18 7
Yellow Cards 1 1
Red Cards 0 0
Possession (%) 45 55
Streaming Interview
Gresley Rovers
1 Lewis Fenney
2 George Clark Yellow Card
3 Lucas Harrison
4 Alby Lansdowne
5 Mason Frizelle
6 Ashley Brown (c)
22 Alex Morris
21 Danny Munday
9 Kane Lee
14 Louis Briscoe
15 Lucas Powell
7 Connor Ward
not used
10 Darious Darkin
for 15 - 58 mins
13 Steve Hart
for 14 - 58 mins
23 Brad Daly
not used
27 Kelvin Kasongo
not used
31 Charlie Leeke (GK)
not used
Leek Town
1 Sam Booth
2 Jessy Bavaganga
3 Louis Keenan
4 Marc Grocott (c)
5 Olly Harrison
6 Semi Scott Wars
7 Lewis Short
8 Billy Reeves
9 Zack Clarke
10 Dan Trickett-Smith
11 Will Saxson
12 Tim Grice
not used
14 Matt Bell
not used
15 Darren Chadwick
not used
16 Jack Wakefield
for 11 - 86 mins
17 Oli Putman
for 7 - 21 mins
Other Match Info

Referee: Stephen Davies

Attendance: 244

Star Player
Alby Lansdowne

Alby Lansdowne

Defended well overall