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Match Report  |  Gresley Rovers vs Sporting Khalsa

Gresley Rovers  3
Hunniford 7  |  Knowles 21  |  O'Connell 90+2
Sporting Khalsa  0

Northern Premier League Midlands

The Moat Ground

Tuesday, 26th March 2024, 7.45pm

Match Sponsor: Vickers Young

Vital Three Points For Rovers

In front of a decent crowd on a dreadful wet midweek evening and with England on the television, Rovers put in one of their best performances of the season beating top ten side Sporting Khalsa at the Moat Ground.

A big credit goes to the Rovers’ ground staff whose hard work had got the pitch looking good for the start of the game but predicted constant rain arriving midway through made the surface tricky and difficult for both sides to play. Both sides did a sterling job to entertain the crowd under such rapidly deteriorating conditions.

First half goals from Dylan Hunniford and Charlie Knowles had given the Rovers’ faithful something to cheer at last before Kieran O’Connell added the cherry on the cake sending them home happy albeit very wet!

A change in the line-up before kick off was due to John Guy being held up in traffic on his way due to an accident meaning Martin Smyth having to swop places coming off the bench.

Rovers started well pushing their opponents back from the start and after just seven minutes they took the lead in spectacular fashion. Hunniford collected the ball some way out but raced forward before smashing a thunderbolt of a shot from 25 yards which flew past keeper Sam Arnold leaving him a mere spectator.

Hunniford was causing all sorts of problems for the visitors with his work rate and tenacious tackling. He was involved with Rovers’ next goal as his persistence lead to Richard Hanslow chipping the ball over the advancing Arnold only to see his goal bound effort blocked but at the far post Knowles was lurking and he cheerfully smashed the ball into the net.

Rovers had not won since the beginning of January and only four times during the season so could they hang on to their two-goal lead. It looked as if they could as they continued to snuff out any danger from the visitors and continued to create chances with a header from a corner going close and Connor Pace’s stinging shot from the left flying inches wide of the post.

The second half started in the same way as the first with Rovers on top and more determined work from Hunniford in midfield leading to him firing a shot that fizzed past the upright.

Rovers made their first change with John King replacing the hard-working Hanslow and within a couple of minutes the substitute was involved with the next chance. The worsening conditions didn’t stop O’Connell from charging down the left before cutting into the area. He then picked out King racing forward, but the final shot flew wide.

On the hour mark Khalsa had one of their chances with a shot from distance which Rovers’ keeper had to save but again the home side hit back forcing a corner.

More changes for the visitors followed with Dilano Reid, Liam Amstrong and Jordan Clarke replacing Vidal Hendrickson, Max Martin and former Moatman Curvin Sanderson-Ellis respectively.

Rovers went close again after another good move but once again the effort went wide. However, they didn’t miss their final effort. Knowles’ run down the left ended with him beating a defender before picking out O’Connell who was running through the middle towards the area. O’Connell with the ball at his feet rounded the onrushing Arnold before slotting the ball into the empty net prompting joyous celebrations both on and off the pitch despite the now heavy rain.

Match Stats
Shots on Target 4 3
Shots off Target 4 2
Corners 4 2
Fouls Conceded 10 9
Yellow Cards 4 5
Red Cards 0 0
Possession (%) 58 42
Gresley Rovers
1 Louie Turner
2 Harley Kozluck Yellow Card
3 Josh Egginton
4 Dylan Hunniford
5 Marc Strzyzewski
6 Martin Smyth
7 Charlie Knowles Yellow Card
8 Connor Pace Yellow Card
9 Richard Hanslow
10 Jack Tyson (c) Yellow Card
11 Kieran O'Connell
12 Nathan Banton
not used
14 John Guy
not used
15 Omreiki Myles
not used
16 John King
for 9 - 56 mins
Sporting Khalsa
1 Sam Arnold
2 Vidal Hendrickson Yellow Card
3 Kane Lewis
4 Andrew Parsons Yellow Card
5 Tesfa Robinson (c)
6 Peter Taylor Yellow Card
7 Sean Williams
8 Max Martin
9 Curvin Sanderson-Ellis
10 Chay Tilt Yellow Card
11 James McGrady
12 Dilano Reid Yellow Card
for 2 - 70 mins
14 Liam Armstrong
for 8 - 70 mins
15 Jordan Clarke
for 9 - 76 mins
16 Callum Lee
not used
Other Match Info

Referee: Ben Stott

Attendance: 222

Star Player
Dylan Hunniford

Dylan Hunniford

Terrific performance, Chisen by match sponsors Vickers Young