11:35 Wednesday 04 December 2013

Grantham Town 0, Gresley 2: Match report


GRESLEY made the trip to the South Kesteven Sports Stadium and in front of a sparse crowd beat a disappointing Grantham Town with second half goals from Jack Langston and Paolo Piliero (pictured) to progress into the next round of the Doodson League Cup.

As was expected, manager Martin Rowe made changes to the side which put on a fine FA Trophy performance at Wrexham on Saturday, with Jordan Nadat, Kieran O'Connell and Rob Spencer all on the bench.

Hayden Johns, Lucas Harrison, Langston, Mickey Lyons and Alex Steadman were all given a start, while John Guy and Eric Graves were both rested but new goalkeeper Mats Morch was once more given the number one jersey.

The first 20 minutes or so were largely uneventful, but Langston tried his luck, hitting a shot over the bar, and a free-kick from Lee Ridley caused mayhem in the Gresley area before being cleared.

Michael Towey tested Morch but the keeper dealt with the shot easily, and this was followed shortly afterwards by a header from Charley Sanders which Morch also saved.

The closest either side came to breaking the deadlock came almost on the final whistle of the first half when a uncharacteristic slip by Jamie Barrett allowed a looping cross into the box, but Greg Smith could only head wide of an upright when he should have done much better.

Smith had two more half chances early in the second half but both were easily snuffed out by Morch.

Gresley began to take control and went close to opening the scoring when Harrison hit a thunderous shot which Grantham keeper Dan Haystead could not hold, but the ball fell just behind Sam Grice.

Piliero, who had been given the captain's armband for the evening as he returned to his former club, was sent through but his final shot was well blocked by Haystead.

Piliero was involved again two minutes later when Gresley took the lead as he made a good run down the left and sent in a low cross which was left by substitute Spencer for the onrushing Langston, who rifled his low shot past Haystead and into the bottom corner of the net.

One of Grantham's very few second half chances came from a free-kick which substitute Gary King fizzed just over the bar.

Gresley were handed a great chance to see the game out when Haystead brought Steadman down in the box, and the referee did not hesitate in pointing to the spot.

O'Connell took responsibility for the penalty but it was a weak one and Haystead made amends by diving to his left to make the save.

Three minutes later though, Piliero got on the end of a long clearance and smashed home the visitors' second goal from 22 yards.

Grantham went close to reducing the deficit deep into time added on when King cut in from the right and hit a good low shot which was well saved by Morch, diving to his right to push the ball away from danger.

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