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Match Report  |  Gresley Rovers vs Daventry Town

Gresley Rovers  2
Spruce (pen) 38  |  Munday 72
Daventry Town  0

Northern Premier League Midlands

The Moat Ground

Saturday, 22nd April 2023, 3.00pm

Match Sponsor: Glynns Gutters

Rovers Secure League Place

by Kieran Leary

Gresley beat the relegation play-offs with a comfortable win against Daventry Town with goals in both halves and it could have been more for the Moatmen as they created a lot of chances throughout the 90 minutes.

A very comfortable first half for Gresley saw them go into the break with a one goal advantage courtesy of a 38th minute penalty from James Spruce but it could have quite easily been more for the home side.

Gresley doubled their lead in the 72nd minute from a Danny Munday header after a delicious cross from the left wing and the forward was able to just guide it past the Daventry keeper.

The home side started the first half the better with some very good early possession but were unable to create any clear cut chances.

The long over the top ball from Gresley caused the away side some early trouble with Daventry playing a high line at the start of the game.

The first big chance came on the 10-minute mark with James Spruce putting a lovely ball into the back post but Danny Munday was not able to convert.

Dominic Perkins tried his luck from about 30 yards out, but the strike whistled wide of the goal mid-way through the first half.

A misplaced pass from Michael Williams almost gifted Daventry a goal but the Ayo Akinbobola blazed the shot way over the bar.

Gresley’s Kane Lee thought he had been fouled in the box and wanted a penalty, but the referee saw it the other way and booked the forward for simulation.

However, on 38 mintes, Izak Reid was in the area and James Spruce made no mistake and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to put Gresley one up.

Dennis Nkrumah had a great opportunity just before half time to level for the away side but his long-ranged effort was dragged well wide.

Gresley ended the first half very comfortably with a few late chances from Danny Munday and James Spruce to add to the score line.

The second half started end to end and scrappy with both teams trying get a hold of possession.

Kane Lee and Danny Munday both had great opportunities to double the score but both their shots were well over the bar.

The ball fell nicely for Izak Reid on the edge of the box but his strike was easily saved by Justin Cerga in the Daventry goal on the hour mark.

Another great reaction save by Justin Cerga to deny a bullet header from Alex Morris to keep Daventry in the game.

Danny Munday finally doubled the score line for Gresley with a superb header in the 72nd minute which definitely had been coming after a lot Gresley pressure.

A very comfortable end to the game in the last 10 minutes here for Gresley with Daventry struggling to create any clear-cut chances to get back into the game.

Manager's View

Carl Abbott honestly revealed this season has been a “tough one to enjoy” following Gresley’s victory over Daventry Town which diminished any chance of relegation.

Goals from Spruce and Munday secured the match victory and booked The Moatmen’s spot in the Northern Premier League Midlands Division for another season.

Despite the joy from yesterday’s result, Abbott showed his relief after a long and tough season tinkering above the relegation zone.

The Rovers’ manager said: “It’s been so pressurised all season looking over our shoulders so it’s been a tough one to enjoy I’ll be honest.

“I’m glad it’s done, I’m glad it’s behind us and I’m glad we’ve maintained our status and we can look forward to that.
“We probably just need to take it in that we’ve stayed up.”

Gresley’s aim going into the match was to decide their fate in the league and not leaving it to other results going their way.
Abbott said: “I’m glad that we did it on our terms.

“We didn’t need a favour to stay up. We’ve won the game here and dealt with it obviously with the game elsewhere meant that we just stayed up anyway.

“It was a messy game, they got a draw a week ago and I saw on their social media ‘they won 0-0,’ and I think that was very much their attitude again today.

“If they got a draw they would have taken a lot of heart from that. So it was hard to break them down, the pitch is very bobbly and dry and we didn’t play particularly well I don’t think but at the end of the day the result was all that mattered today.

“I wanted to keep it in our own hands and get the win.”

With the season now over, Abbott revealed he wants to build on what they’ve achieved in the last few weeks and what steps need to be taken to improve next year.

He said: “I want to build on this season.
“We now know our base target of 41 points which we’ve achieved this season. I think we need to improve year on year and that’s what we need to aim for as a football club.

“We can’t buy success, we need to do it organically, we’ve got to develop and recruit well. Consistency has been a problem and scoring goals has been the biggest problem.

“I think that’s been 12 clean sheets today which is a remarkable stat if you consider the position we’ve ended in.

“If we score goals I think we’re a far more comfortable side in the division and that’s a problem we’ve got to solve in the summer. So we’ll be looking to build on this season, finish better, finish more comfortably, score more goals, win more games and move things forward that way.”

Match Stats
Shots on Target 6 1
Shots off Target 9 3
Corners 7 4
Fouls Conceded 7 6
Yellow Cards 4 1
Red Cards 0 0
Possession (%) 60 40
Streaming Interview
Gresley Rovers
1 Lewis Fenney
2 George Clark Yellow Card
3 Izak Reid Yellow Card
4 Alby Lansdowne Yellow Card
5 Dominic Perkins
6 Alex Morris (c)
7 Kane Lee Yellow Card
8 Michael Williams
9 Jonathan Letford
10 Danny Munday
11 James Spruce
12 Tyler Donaldson
not used
14 Mason Frizelle
not used
15 Dylan Hunniford
for 11 - 68 mins
16 James Harrison
for 7 - 68 mins
17 Shaq Leachman-Whittingham
for 9 - 68 mins
Daventry Town
1 Justin Cerga
2 Alex Mercer
3 Damien Ozo
4 Bruno Valent
5 Sonny Knights
6 Ollie Emrey
7 Callum Calver (c)
8 Dylan McGinley
9 Ayo Akinbobola
10 Dennis Nkrumah Yellow Card
11 Matt Giante
12 Jonathan Joseph
for 6 - 68 mins
14 Edgars Nickolajevs
for 8 - 68 mins
15 James Lovell
for 11 - 46 mins
Other Match Info

Referee: Gareth Davis

Attendance: 482

Star Player

James Spruce

Chosen by match sponor Glynn's Gutters