GRESLEY deserved to get beat according to manager Martin Rowe after slipping to a 2-0 reverse at home to Scarborough Athletic.
Second-half goals from Andrew Milne and Jordan Thwelis sealed victory for the Seadogs following an under-par display from the hosts.
“After our last two wins we were quietly confident that we could get something out of the game,” said Rowe.
“It was a difficult pitch but it’s not the pitch, but the players on the pitch.
“They were not at the races today (Saturday). We did well enough in the first half but in the second half Scarborough changed their formation and went the same as us – 4-3-3 – and we couldn’t cope with it.
“We didn’t work hard enough back, we didn’t cover the full-back and got what we deserved.
“There were very poor performances by us and there is not a lot more I can say.
“We’ve had a chat with the players. Some of them look a bit tired, but it looked an end of the season game to me.
“We should want it a bit more when we play at home and we’ve had that all season – but unfortunately it was not there today.
“We had two or three chances where we should have scored but we didn’t take them and Mats Morch has been the busiest keeper on the day.”
Rowe named the same side that won at Market Drayton the previous week, with Liam Guest and Royce Turville on the bench.
Way back in August Gresley made the trip to Bridlington and came away with all three points through Rob Spencer’s goal.
And Scarborough were viewed as pre-season favourites to take the title at their first attempt by many.
But they have had a disappointing season and the six points deducted after Eastwood’s demise virtually ended their play-off hopes.
Gresley started well and were unfortunate not to take an early lead. A Paulo Piliero corner from the left found its way to John Guy who turned and hit his shot – and was unlucky to see the ball strike the bar with the keeper beaten.
Scarborough’s first chance came from a free kick taken on the left, just outside the area, by Ryan Williams.
His well-hit shot was heading towards the top corner but a terrific save from Morch saw him acrobatically tip the ball over the bar.
Morch was in action again five minutes later. A blistering shot from Grant Ryan saw the keeper dive low to his left, grabbing the ball at the second attempt.
Gresley had one more chance before the break, when Piliero hit a volley that went straight into the hands of visiting keeper Jason White.
Scarborough took the lead 12 minutes into the second half. Ryan was allowed to get in his cross from the right and Milne was waiting to head the ball home.
The visitors could have doubled their advantage minutes later, but Morch held a decent shot from Williams.
Gresley were a little unfortunate not to have levelled matters when they were denied by the woodwork for a second time.
Serge Makofo did well down the right and picked out O’Connell, who curled a shot which struck the base of the post before bouncing into the hands of White.
O’Connell had another good chance a few moments later, but this time sent another curling effort the wrong side of the far post.
Morch then kept his side in the game, making two fine saves.
The first was from a swerving shot which he could not hold. As the ball bounced Ryan dived to head towards goal, but Morch reacted brilliantly to block the header from close in.
Morch could do nothing to deny Scarborough their second of the afternoon shortly after.
A ball forward for Thewlis looked to have been easily dealt with by Jamie Barrett, but the unfortunate defender slipped at the vital moment, allowing Thewlis to race forward and slip the ball past the advancing Morch and into the net via the far post.
Both sides had chances at the end of the game, with Eric Graves firing wide and Thewlis having his volley parried by Morch.