GRESLEY twice threw away a one-goal lead as Rainworth Miners Welfare converted their only shots on target to emerge with a scarcely deserved 3-2 victory.
The result left Gresley manager Martin Rowe critical of his side’s defending.
He said: “We gave three points away today. I don’t know how we lost the game.
“We’ve come away and scored two goals, had the lead twice and chucked the game away.
“Some poor, poor play by us giving the ball away and some bad decision-making has cost us the game.
“We came here looking for three points and I think we showed that in our play, but it was just poor defending that cost us.
“We’ve conceded three again! We are too inconsistent – we need to be more consistent and we’ve got to keep going
Jordan Nadat scored both goals for the Moatmen, but poor defending allowed the hard-working Wrens to level twice before snatching victory in the 88th minute.
New signing Jack Langston made his debut in midfield, replacing Sam Grice, while Marc Goodfellow was favoured on the wing instead of Paolo Piliero.
It all started so well for Gresley with Nadat finishing well from Kieran O’Connell’s pass.
It could have been more minutes later when a good move down the left ended with James Cullingworth almost putting the ball into his own net – but his embarrassment was spared as the ball flew past the far post.
The Wrens levelled from a poorly defended Scott Rickards corner.
Grant Ryan beat the advancing Ross Etheridge to the ball and headed into the net.
Gresley had a golden opportunity to regain the lead almost immediately.
O’Connell raced onto a through-ball and looked certain to score, but dallied too long, giving keeper James Martin time to force him wide and the chance was gone.
Nadat then went close to adding to his tally but his shot, from Marc Goodfellow’s corner, was deflected over the bar.
Miners continued to utilise their long-ball tactics, which caused the Moatmen problems on a number of occasions.
Gresley, with the wind at their backs for the second half, started brightly and were soon in front.
Rob Spencer sent a low shot towards the keeper. A defender took the ball almost out of Martin’s hands and played it back out to Spencer.
This time the Gresley midfieler put his cross into the box where Nadat was on hand to loop the ball into the net.
Goodfellow then had a shot deflected wide while O’Connell was denied by a good save – Martin dropping down to his left to push the ball away.
Rainworth equalised following some more poor defending, with Cullingworth allowed to pick out Jordan Ball.
Ball made no mistake, side-footing his effort beyond Etheridge.
The hosts should have taken the lead moments later when more slack defending saw a shot from the left flash just past the far post.
With just two minutes remaining Rainworth scored the winner.
In only their third attempt on target Cullingworth’s cross was drilled into the bottom corner by Ryan.
Rowe said: “The difference between last Monday and today’s game is that we created enough chances to have won the game and we should have taken those chances.
“There were many players who had chances but we’ve not put them away and we’ve got punished for some poor defending.
“I thought Jack Langston had a very good debut. Jordan Nadat got two goals which was nice to see. We’ve stuck by him and he’s got a pair of goals and he needs to push on know.”
“It was so frustrating because all Rainworth did was put long ball in and crowd the area. They are very physical and at times in the first half some of their throw-ins were like wrestling rather than football!
“I thought the officials could have clamped down on it a bit quicker because the longer the game went on Rainworth got away with it more and more.”