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Leek Town 2, Gresley 0

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: February 27, 2014

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GRESLEY'S winless run away from home will be extended into a fourth month after defeat to high-flying Leek Town last night.

With the Moatmen thumping the Blues at the Moat Ground last month, it was expected that the home side would be looking for revenge.

However, for the first half Gresley gave as good as they got and went close to getting on the scoresheet themselves, only for two sloppy goals in the second half condemning them to their 10th defeat on the road.

Manager Martin Rowe once more had to make changes to his side as Kieran O'Connell reported a slight injury, meaning he was restricted to a place on the bench.

Midfielder Jack Langston was out with a foot injury but Liam Guest (pictured) was back at centre half alongside Marc Strzyzewski, meaning Jamie Barrett was pushed up into midfield.

On a very poor surface, pockmarked with small mounds of sand, any chance of playing football on the ground was virtually impossible.

As was seen at the Moat, Leek used the long ball to good effect and should have taken an early lead as John Johnston beat the Gresley back line, only to blaze his shot well over the bar with only Mats Morch to beat.

The visitors came back strongly and went close to taking the lead when Guest got his head to Paolo Piliero's corner from the right, only to see his effort cleared off the line.

Two minutes later, another corner by Piliero, from the left, almost paid dividends but this time John Guy's header was hacked away.

A spell of Gresley pressure was broken up by a quick break and it needed a fine save from Morch to push the low shot from Andy Kinsey away for a corner.

Two minutes later, Morch again kept his side in the game, tipping Dan Shelley's shot over the bar.

Gresley were caught cold early in the second half as, after conceding a needless free-kick, Shelley drilled a low ball to the unmarked Kinsey, who side-footed his shot past Morch from close range.

A corner by Johnson was then played to Shelley, whose deflected shot was brilliantly blocked by Morch, who reacted superbly, by getting to his feet to block Johnson's follow-up shot.

Gresley had failed to test Town's keeper Ben Chapman so far in the second half but on the hour mark Mitch Hanson went close, planting his header from Piliero's corner narrowly past the far post.

Morch once more denied Leek from extending their lead when he made another good save from Johnson deflected's shot.

Another quick break from Town saw them go close to adding to their lead but Johnston could only fire wide of the target.

They did not have long to wait for a second goal though, and this one was handed to them by Morch, who up until then had been having arguably his best game for Gresley.

A ball was played back to the keeper, who dwelt far too long in his area and Shelley was able to rob him of the ball before skipping past and slotting into the net despite Guest's desperate attempt to clear.

Leek should have added a third goal at the end as Shelley threaded a ball down the right to Kinsey, who somehow managed to fire his shot from close range high over the bar.

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