09:29 Wednesday 19 February 2014

Loughborough Dynamo 4, Gresley 3: Match report

Written byDAVID BROOME

IT WAS another case of one step forward, one step back for Gresley last night as they failed to build on Saturday's big win in a high-scoring defeat at Loughborough.

Last week, after grinding out a fine win against title favourites Leek at home on a very heavy pitch, the Moatmen fell to defeat at Belper on a good surface, and a similar scenario occurred again as Rob Spencer and Alex Steadman scored three gaols between them away from home, but their team-mates shipped four at the other end.

It was very disappointing for those who had made the short trip to Watermead Lane, with the visitors unable to get into the game in the first half after being caught by a very soft early goal, and despite a much-improved second half performance, Gresley could not get that vital equaliser which their performance probably deserved.

Manager Martin Rowe made changes from the side that claimed three points on Saturday with Liam Guest on the bench to rest an ankle injury he has been suffering with for the past couple of weeks.

Steadman and Kieran O'Connell swapped places, with Jack Langston also given a place on the bench.

Striker Royce Turville was still suffering from a virus and Danny Holmes was absent with work commitments.

Gresley were caught cold with only four minutes of the game gone when a low shot from Nathan Watson found its way through the defenders and disappointingly past Mats Morch at his near post.

The visitors hit back, forcing a free kick and a couple of corners, but at the other end Dynamo went close to adding to their score when Rob Norris flashed a shot marginally wide of the post.

Gresley equalised with a good move as Steadman made a good run down the left and picked out Spencer in the box, who slotted the ball home.

However, Gresley's joy was short lived as Dynamo grabbed the lead once more – almost from the restart – with poor defending the visitors' downfall as Jarrod Westcarr was allowed to race down the right before smashing the ball past Morch.

Dynamo added a third goal just a minute later and again it was the result of poor defending – this time it was Kris Nurse who did the damage, firing home a loose ball.

There were chances for both sides as the first half drew to a close, with Norris hitting a weak shot straight at Morch and Spencer being a fraction of an inch away from turning Steadman's cross from the left into the goal at the far post.

Gresley made a change at the break with O'Connell replacing Eric Graves, who was suffering a calf injury.

As with the first half, Gresley were caught cold again when the lively Westcarr beat the offside trap and raced through, leaving defenders in his wake, but shot wide with only the exposed Morch to beat.

Gresley reduced the deficit shortly afterwards when Mitch Hanson found Spencer down the right and he curled his shot around keeper Kahil Mann-Kler and in at the far post.

Once more, Gresley's defensive frailties were evident as Dynamo extended their lead five minutes later.

Nurse was given far too much room to turn in the area before firing past Morch.

O'Connell was beginning to have more influence on the game and it was from one of his passes that Gresley scored their third as he sent Steadman racing through on goaland he finished coolly, beating the keeper at the far post.

It looked like the visitors might grab an unlikely share of the points as they piled on the pressure on the Dynamo defence.

Steadman made a fine run down the right but instead of testing the keeper with a shot himself he cut the ball across the area, where Mickey Lyons was waiting to pounce.

Agonisingly though, Lyons' goal-bound shot was blocked by a team mate and the follow up shot from Paulo Piliero was also blocked.

Piliero then provided a cross which was met by Spencer, who was unable to grab a hat-trick as his header drifted just past the far post with Mann-Kler beaten.

At the other end, Morch needed to tip over a shot before Westcarr flashed his shot wide of far post.

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