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Match Report  |  Gresley Rovers vs Loughborough Dynamo

Gresley Rovers  0
Loughborough Dynamo  2
Cocks 38 mins  |  Garnett 75 mins

Northern Premier League Midlands

The Moat Ground

Saturday, 25th March 2023, 3.00pm

Match Sponsor: Group Automotive Limited

Dismal Rovers Beaten Again

Words by Luke Nurden

Gresley Rovers were outclassed by the visitors in a disappointing defeat to Loughborough Dynamos which keeps The Moatmen in the hunt for survival.

An early Callum Cocks free-kick and a second-half Evan Garnett solo-goal combined with a dominant defensive display from Loughborough proved to be too much for Gresley to gain anything from the game.

Strong efforts throughout the game from Rovers could not get past Lewis King between Loughborough’s sticks.

Gresley stay in 16th spot on the league table after results from rival teams in the survival race went the way of The Moatmen.

An equal first 15 minutes saw both sides have half-chances at taking the lead, but nothing from either set of supporters to cheer about.

Loughborough Dynamo’s fast pace and possession-style attacks were met with a physical Gresley defence which kept the visitors frustrated throughout the first half.

The Moatmen gave away a number of fouls inside their own half but Loughborough could not take advantage of the set-pieces they were given.

After a spell of pressure from the visitors, Loughborough eventually opened the scoring after Cocks found the bottom right corner through a short free-kick conceded by Alby Landsdowne.

Shortly after, James Spruce found himself open in a brilliant position just eight yards away from the visitors goal, however, his half-volley attempt just ran wide past the right post.

In the last seconds of the first half, Gresley caught the visitors on the back-foot, with Loughborough’s defence open Shaq Leachman-Wittingham took a chance from 18 yards-out, however, the powerful strike was met with a competent save from King.

Loughborough opened up the first half with a ferocious low driven effort from Garnett but a quick reaction save from Lewis Fenney kept the score as it was.

Gresley’s belief in finding an equaliser was constant throughout the second half, which was evident through Dominic Perkins’ powerful run from left-back to the visitors’ box, but a hard-hit cross only found the gloves of King.

Perkins again was Gresley’s main driving force in finding a goal, after the left-back hit a low-driven long-range effort which was aimed at the bottom-right corner was saved once again by Loughborough’s King.

Despite The Moatmen’s efforts in attack, the visitors scored their second after Garnett wriggled his way through Gresley’s defence and calmly placed the ball past Fenney.

Manager's View

Words by Luke Nurden

Carl Abbot did not shy away from showing his disappointment following Gresley Rovers defeat to mid-table Loughborough Dynamos.

Despite Rovers’ best efforts throughout the match to find a glimpse of hope, the visitors took advantage of an experimental Gresley back-line due to injuries leaving The Moatmen still fighting for their place in the league.

Abbot said: “It was a very patchy performance. We had a lot of players missing in the back line and it caused a big problem.

“We didn’t even have a back four. We went out with a back three again which I think has run its course as a shape for us now.

“It looks like it needs re-energising, we added the trick a few weeks back now of putting wins together with it. But it’s gone stale now.”

If injury problems across the back line were not enough, Gresley were missing a number of midfield options leaving Abbot having to put a number of players out of position.

Abbot explained: “We’re also lacking centre-midfield options. Alby [Landsdowne] playing at centre-half, although does very well, doesn’t help us at all because he’s such a massive miss at centre-mid.

“Lewis Belgrave probably won’t be back now for the season which is an enormous blow and a massive blow again today. Then we haven’t really got things going so it’s not been a great afternoon; the lads are trying but it wasn’t good.”

Despite the disappointing defeat, Abbott stayed optimistic looking ahead at his side’s final five matches with hopes of staying in the league next season still high.

Abbot said: “I’m always confident because the players individually are good players. The reality is we need six points because Dereham’s fixtures dictates they could very well take nine [points].

“So we need six points and we need them as quick as possible or we will be in the relegation playoff places. So it’s been disappointing today because in the same way that I don’t mean with any disrespect but Loughborough Dynamo will have come down here today thinking, this is a three-point game for us, and I thought the same about them.

“Because next week we’re away to Colby and then Stamford so we’ve got some harder games ahead. We’ve picked up points against good sides through the season, generally that’s where our points have come from and we’re going to have to do it the hard way now.”

Match Stats
Shots on Target 5 7
Shots off Target 3 4
Corners 5 2
Fouls Conceded 15 6
Yellow Cards 3 3
Red Cards 0 0
Possession (%) 48 52
Streaming Interview
Gresley Rovers
1 Lewis Fenney
2 Tyler Donaldson
3 Izak Reid
4 Michael Williams
5 Dominic Perkins Yellow Card
6 Alby Lansdowne (c) Yellow Card
7 James Spruce
8 Bekir Halil Yellow Card
9 Jonathan Letford
10 Danny Munday
11 Shaq Leachman-Whittingham
12 Dylan Hunniford
not used
15 Kane Lee
for 2 - 46 mins
16 James Harrison
for 7 - 67 mins
Loughborough Dynamo
1 Lewis King Yellow Card
2 Harvey Ridgly
3 Callum Cocks
4 Luke McGinnell
5 Nathan Whitehead Yellow Card
6 Edward Cook
7 Charlie Young
8 Rob Norris (c)
9 Aaron Cole#
10 George Ball Yellow Card
11 Evan Garnett
12 Eddie Bamfo
for 11 - 84 mins
13 Byron Musgrove (GK)
not used
14 Princewill Ogunmekan
for 8 - 76 mins
15 Lui Bull
not used
16 Jack Gibson
for 9 - 56 mins
Other Match Info

Referee: Scott Mason

Attendance: 433

Star Player
Bakir Halil

Bakir Halil

Chosen by match sponsors Group Automotive Limited