BRIGG Town snatched victory with an injury-time winner but were ‘totally outplayed’ for 90 minutes according to Gresley boss Martin Rowe.
Substitute Elliott Broughton struck in the 92nd minute after cancelling out Lucas Harrison’s first-half opener 10 minutes before.
Rowe said: I can’t remember a game where we dominated so much and came away with nothing.
“We started well but just haven’t put our chances away – and to be fair it could have been double figures before half time.
“We had chance after chance but unfortunately it didn’t go for us.
“We didn’t have a lucky bounce or anything but you make your luck.
“Second half we’ve not come out as well as we did in the first half, but we still played reasonably enough and were still creating.
“Brigg had one decision right at the end of the game and it was a deflection and beat Mats Morch in goal.
“And the last goal, the lad was four yards offside.
“We appealed, they continued - and put the ball in the back of the net.
“No wonder they were overjoyed with the win, because they’d been totally outplayed for 90 minutes and they pinched a win.”
Gresley manager Martin Rowe brought Matt Roome into the right-back slot with the returning Jamie Barrett on the bench.
The visitors made a bright start, with Rob Spencer crashing Paolo Piliero’s cross from the left against the bar with five minutes on the clock.
Spencer then turned provider, laying the ball on for Eric Graves whose effort just cleared the bar.
Spencer fired a shot fractionally wide of the far post before a superb move out of defence involving Roome, Graves and Spencer ended with the latter again firing over.
The opener arrived when the determined Piliero stayed on his feet – despite being hacked at two or three times by frantic Brigg players.
Piliero managed to push the ball out to Harrison on the left who slotted the ball beyond keeper Jake Turner into the far corner of the net.
It then seemed inevitable that an avalanche of goals would follow with chance after chance created – but none finished.
Jack Langston put a shot wide before more good play almost led to a second goal. Graves found Kieran O’Connell but his goal-bound shot hit the back of a defender and flew over the bar.
The corner by Langston was played short to Piliero who returned the pass.
Langston controlled before unleashing a shot which Turner did extremely well to acrobatically tip over the bar.
More flowing football from Gresley sent Alex Steadman flying down the right. His cross picked out the unlucky Spencer who was denied yet again by the bar.
As the first half drew to a close Gresley went agonisingly close when Piliero’s effort whizzed past the far post.
Early in the second half yet another chance went begging as John Guy failed to get any power on his header from Langston’s free-kick.
Steadman was then put through on goal by a defence-splitting ball, but was denied by Turner who raced out well to smother.
Guy flicked a header to Langston who smacked a shot which Turner did well to hold, as the Moatmen continued to pile on the pressure.
Spencer raced through on goal before Turner, who timed his tackle perfectly as he raced out of his area, thwarted the visitors. Spencer had another chance minutes later, but skewed his shot wide.
A rare attempt on Gresley’s goal arrived on 70 minutes, when Paul Ashton’s excellent dipping shot clipped the top of the bar with Morch beaten.
It was a warning before manager-less Brigg made the substitution which turned the game.
After Piliero had fired a shot wide Brigg got into the Gresley half, and a soft free-kick was conceded 30 yards from the visitors’ goal.
Paul Grimes took the kick which cannoned off a defender and fell nicely to Broughton.
He had been on the pitch three minutes before bagging the equaliser – firing across Morch and into the far corner.
Thing got worse for Gresley as Brigg scored an undeserved winner well into time added on.
With Gresley pressing forward they got caught by a quick break.
The ball was played out to Broughton who looked suspiciously offside.
The substitute could not be caught by the Gresley defenders who were frantically racing back, and finished coolly past Morch to snatch an unlikely winner.
Rowe said: “It’s very disappointing that we’ve haven’t come away with all three points.
“We played really well and things haven’t gone for us in front of goal unfortunately.
“We tried to change it for the last 15 minutes, bringing on Mickey Lyons and Royce Turville to try and finish the game off but it didn’t happen.
“Sam Grice will be back for Boxing Day after serving a one-match ban, but we’ve played well even though the game didn’t go our way.”
I’d have been worried if we had played, badly but we didn’t.”