GRESLEY’S run of games without victory stretched to eight after being held to a draw by Mickleover Sports.
The last time they put all three points on the board was against Saturday’s opponents when they won comfortably on a very wet Sports pitch on Boxing Day.
If the Moat Ground faithful thought a repeat showing was on the cards after dominating the away fixtue for long periods, they were to be sadly mistaken .
A vastly changed Sports side put up a dogged performance to claim a share of the spoils.
The visitors had just three of the starting 11 which faced Gresley in the Christmas holiday.
The home side also made changes with Michael Nottingham and Danny Holmes starting and Jordi Gough continuing in the left wing slot he occupied against Ashby in midweek.
There was a glimmer of hope that the Moatmen would break their winless streak when Holmes headed Gresley into the lead right at the end of a cagey first half.
But those hopes were dashed midway through the second period when Martin Smythe levelled for the visitors.
The first half was a cagey affair with neither keepers overly tested. Sports were the first to threaten when Mark Farthing fired just over the bar. Gresley responded in kinc when Gough also fired over after bursting into the area.
The home side went agonisingly close to taking the lead when Mickey Lyons laid the ball on for Gough but his goalbound shot was deflected away by the outstretched leg of Sports keeper Joe McCormack.
Just as it seemed that the half would end goalless Holmes got on the end of Marc Goodfellow’s looped ball and headed beyond McCormack.
From the restart Sports opened brightly with Joe Pheasant heading Joe Conkleton’s corner over the bar. Gresley responded well and Jordan Nadat, who had replaced Marc Strzyzewski at the break, made a good run down the left and picked out Dean Rathbone but the final shot flew over the bar.
Gresley went close again minutes later. Keeper George Woodward sent a long kick down the middle towards Royce Turville who steered his shot fractionally wide of the far post.
Nadat was causing problems for the Sports defence down the left and he picked out Gough but again the final shot flew wide. Moments later an almost identical move saw Gough fire a low shot which was cleared at the near post.
Sports levelled when Gresley failed to clear a free-kick. The ball came to the unmarked Smythe who drilled a shot past the helpless Woodward.
Gresley went agonisingly close again when another long punt from Woodward was flicked on by Turville to substitute Richard Hanslow.
But once again the chance went begging as the shot flew the wrong side of the Sports upright.
SCORERS: Holmes 45 (Gresley); Smythe 76 (Sports).
GRESLEY: Woodward, Barrett, Walker, Strzyzewski (Nadat 46), Nottingham, Holmes, Lyons (Hanslow 77), Rathbone, Goodfellow, Turville, Gough. Subs not used: Roome, Hateley (gk).
MICKLEOVER SPORTS: McCormack, Grocott, Cockleton, Kellogg, Pheasant, Wood (Munn 51), Smythe, Tansley, Benger (Ritchie-Smith 96), Farthing, Guy (Harris 68). Sub not used: Sturgess.
YELLOW CARDS: Nottingham, Holmes (Gresley); Kellogg, Tansley (Sports).
GRESLEY STAR MAN: Michael Nottingham – getting back to his best.
REFEREE: Richard Price (Birmingham)