A point on the road for Rovers as Newark are held
UCL Premier North
Newark FC 1
Gresley Rovers 1
Gresley Rovers picked up their first point on the road since last September with a 1-1 draw against Newark FC on Tuesday evening.
Following three straight away defeats at the end of last season, Rovers opened the season with a 2-0 loss at Heanor - but they overcame their away day hoodoo to seal a point against a physical Newark side.
An early goal from the in-form Danny Munday had given the Moatmen the lead, and for the majority of the time the visitors defended admirably. Yet, at the end of the first period a long ball evaded the Gresley defence, allowing Danny Meadows to chip Lewis Fenney for the equaliser.
Rovers began the game as they did against Pinchbeck at the weekend - quickly and clinically. Just eight minutes into the game, Gresley were ahead.
A great save from Joe Searson had initially denied Ryan Seal in the build-up, but Alby Lansdowne recycled the ball quickly and whipped a delicious cross into the box, catching Searson out and allowing Munday to tuck home the opener.
Gresley weren’t happy to settle on just a one-goal lead, however, and they continued to push.
Lansdowne forced Searson to push away his piledriver, whilst Munday’s curler was pushed for a corner by the ‘keeper.
Newark’s direct and physical style of play was always going to cause some problems though, and they also had their opportunities. Jamie Lloyd headed just over the crossbar from close range after Kevin Hamagou’s cross was volleyed back across goal.
Yet, the away side were the ones creating the clearer chances. George Clark was unlucky to see his brilliant diving header cleared off the line, whilst substitute Massiah McDonald nearly made an instant impact as he dragged a shot wide of the target having been played through by Seal.
Rovers were made to rue these missed chances, however, when Newark equalised at the end of the first half.
Alex Morris misjudged a long ball from the goalkeeper, allowing the ball to bounce to captain Meadows on the edge of the box. The skipper produced a brilliant, improvised finish as he chipped Fenney, with the ‘keeper caught in no man's land.
Following the break, both sides continued to push for the winner, but a change of shape on the hour mark swung the game in Gresley’s favour as they had some glorious opportunities to go back ahead.
Clark’s run down the right-hand side opened up space in the box, and his squared ball across the Newark area was dummied by Seal to Munday at the back post, but the striker’s shot was too close to Searson who pushed it away to safety.
Two minutes later, Munday had yet another chance to get his second of the evening. Morris’ switch to full-back led to him charging down the left, beating his man before finding Munday in the box, but his shot was off target - blazing the ball over the crossbar.
Despite both sides continuing to push for a winner in the final ten minutes, neither team could find the opening they needed.