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SLIDESHOW: Gresley 2, Brigg Town 1

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: April 27, 2014

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GRESLEY manager Martin Rowe believes the vast majority of his squad will remain at the Moat Ground as he begins to plan for the 2014/15 campaign.

The Moatmen signed off with a 2-1 victory over Brigg on Saturday.

Rob Spencer grabbed both goals as Gresley finished ninth in First Division South – their highest position since the club reformed in 2009.

Rowe said: “I’ve spoken to all the players and I’m just waiting for one more – but they’ve all agreed they will stay next season.

“Sometimes they say that and other things happen and they may get better offers.

“The atmosphere in the dressing room is very good and we are very positive about next year.”

Rowe reckons the Moatmen must improve their points tally away from home after suffering 13 away defeats. Only rock bottom Kidsgrove Athletic have lost more.

“One of our problems this season has been our away form,” he said. “It hasn’t been good enough.”

The Moat boss does take several positives from the campaign.

Rowe said: “The FA Cup run, the FA Trophy run was absolutely brilliant and we’ve beaten quite a lot of big clubs this season, like Trafford, Grantham and Ilkeston.

“We can do it, it’s just about being consistent and that’s what we’ll be aiming for next year.

“Halesowen away (the 5-0 defeat) was a bit of a downer on our season, but we never looked back after that game.

“Sometimes you need a bit of a kick up the backside to get you going.

“Against Scarborough we were poor and the lads knew that. The lads reacted by beating Coalville on Monday, which was an excellent game.

“It’s just a shame we couldn’t reach the same performance levels today (Saturday).”

Rowe was forced into one change from the side that beat Coalville earlier in the week, with Mitch Hanson taking up the right-back slot from Matt Roome, who had returned to university.

After a slow start the hosts spurned two excellent chances to take the lead.

After racing through, Kieran O’Connell skipped around advancing Town keeper Chris Stanley, but took the ball too wide, giving Stanley the chance to block his initial effort.

The ball came back to O’Connell, whose second attempt found the side-netting.

With arguably Brigg’s first meaningful attempt on goal they took the lead. Paul Ashton hit a vicious shot which Mats Morch managed to push away for a corner.

Kieran McCaffrey’s delivery seemed to swerve as it flew into the box, deceiving Morch and leaving Jamie Coulson the simple task of heading in at the far post.

The lead lasted just four minutes. Serge Makofo lifted a cross from the left over to the far post and Eric Graves nodded the ball back into the middle for Spencer to head home.

Gresley recovered the ball quickly from the restart and a superb diagonal ball from Hanson picked out O’Connell wide on the left.

It looked as if O’Connell had lost control, but he did well to pick out Spencer who slammed the ball across Stanley and into the far corner of the goal.

Both sides had chances to add to their tally as the half drew to a close. Brigg’s William Peers hit a tremendous shot which Morch managed to push onto the far post – the rebound flying kindly into the grateful keeper’s arms.

Hanson then got his head to Piliero’s corner, but the effort went straight to Stanley.

Hanson went close to increasing Gresley’s advantage in the second half.

A corner from the right came deep to Spencer, who headed the ball back towards the far post.

Hanson was in the right place, but poked the ball inches wide.

The moment every Gresley supporter had been waiting for arrived on 67 minutes when Moat Ground favourite Royce Turville was introduced in his last game before hanging up his boots.

Turville was soon involved, lifting the ball to Spencer in the area. His header found Graves who planted a header wide of the far post.

John Guy failed to hit the target late on, before Graves blaze over the bar from Mickey Lyons’ corner.

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