GRESLEY are still yet to get off the mark this season despite an improved display in Tuesday night’s defeat to Newcastle Town at Lyme Valley Stadium.
The Moatmen looked better than in their season-opener against Mickleover SPorts, but a solitary first-half goal from Leon Ashman separated the two fairly matched sides in what was largely an uneventful encounter.
Gresley made changes, with Danny Holmes slotting into the right-back slot, Mickey Lyons returning to midfield after serving his suspension and John Guy being given a role higher up the field in the place of the injured Marc Goodfellow.
Debuts were given to both Ross Etheridge, the on-loan young keeper from Derby County and left back Lucas Harrison.
The home side went close early on when a looped effort clipped the top of the corner of post followed by a shot which Etheridge dealt with easily.
Gresley’s first chance fell to Dean Oliver, whose dipping shot flew wide of the far post.
Etheridge was tested again with a low shot but five minutes later he could do nothing to prevent Town from taking the lead.
A cross found Ashman in the area and he turned and slammed a shot home.
Gresley looked brighter in the second half with Eric Graves hitting a low shot which lacked the power to test home keeper Dave Parton.
Rob Spencer (pictured) then went close to levelling but his header from Mickey Lyon’s cross went wide of the far post.
Oliver then slipped a defence-splitting pass through for Spencer to run onto but his shot was blocked by Parton.
Gresley went close again when a free-kick from James Jepson was spilled and Guy, reacting quickly, hit a shot which Parton knew nothing about as it crashed back off his chest and away to safety.
As time began to run out for the visitors, substitute Royce Turville hit a tremendous shot on the turn over the bar and Spencer followed suit also letting fly a shot which cleared the woodwork.
With Gresley pushing forward trying to get the point their performance deserved they were almost caught at the end of the game when a quick break saw Town fly down the other end of the pitch, but they were thwarted by another good block from Etheridge.