Home sweet home once again for Gresley
Gresley Rovers secured their third consecutive win at The Moat Ground, beating Worcester City 3-2 in the Midland Premier Division.
Goals from Danny Munday and Paul Sullivan gave the hosts a two-goal advantage early in the first half, before a header from Dave Reynolds cut their lead in half.
The home side stretched the lead to two goals once again when Sullivan curled a shot into the top corner of the net but were put under pressure late on when the visitors found the net late on through Birch.
Gresley were able to hold onto victory, but a frenetic last ten minutes saw both sides go down to 10 men, with Jack Storer and Ryan Winwood both seeing red.
The Moatmen came into the game off the back of back-to-back wins, with victories against GNP Sports and Highgate United, winning four of their last five matches, with their only loss coming in an away trip to Newark.
Worcester City were not in the same vein of form as their opponents, winning one of their last five, drawing two, and losing two.
The form showed in the first three minutes of the game, with Gresley taking an early lead.
Joe Haines was the man to slot the ball through to Andy Westwood on the right-hand side of the box. The midfielder’s cross-come-shot fell to the feet of the in-form Munday, who tapped home into an empty net.
The opening goal set the precedent for the rest of the game. The Moatmen dominated and doubled their lead soon after. After David Kolodynski was brought down in the box by Worcester goalkeeper Dan Jezeph, Sullivan was the man to be given the responsibility from the spot. The striker, who was unlucky not to score on Saturday, wrong-footed the ‘keeper and powered the ball low into the left of the goal.
Sullivan could have had a brace minutes later but was denied by a fine stop from Jezeph. Receiving the ball on the left-hand side of the box, the attacker opted to drive his shot towards the roof of the net at the near post, with a palmed save over the bar by the Worcester shot stopper keeping the game within the reach of the away side.
Worcester ended the half brightly, with the away side having the better of the chances. After Lucas Harrison was dispossessed in his own final third, a shooting opportunity fell to Sean Brain, but the forward whipped his shot just past the far post.
The home side struggled to deal with the later pressure and were undone by their usual kryptonite. Winwood crossed in a deep cross to Reynolds, who redirected the ball into the near post to half the deficit just before the break.
Gresley brought Storer on at half-time, with their recent signing almost having a hand in a third goal early in the second period. Playing the ball into Harrison, the defender drove a low shot just past the post from inside the box.
The second half turned into an open affair. It was Worcester with the next chance, with Reynolds the man with the opportunity. Collecting the ball on the edge of the area, his low attempt rippled the side netting.
The midfielder was almost made to pay for his miss, with Kolodynski coming close for the hosts. After Haines collected the ball from Sullivan, the midfielder found his striker in the box, but the attacker placed his shot straight at Jezeph, who pushed the ball away from danger.
Gresley went one better in the next attack, with Sullivan claiming his second of the game. After the ball was held up well by Storer, Sullivan took the ball off his teammate, and curled his strike into the top corner of the Worcester goal.
The away side came back strong and brought the score back to 3-2 soon after. A long ball over the top reached the head of Aaron Birch, who directed his header into the ground, bouncing over the head of a stranded Fryatt and into the net.
The end of the game ended in a heated fashion with two red cards. First it was Storer who was sent to the changing room for a push on a Worcester player, with Jamie Smith originally shown a red card before it was changed to Winwood.
It was a tense last few minutes, with Worcester playing dangerous balls into the box, but nothing came from it and Gresley came out with a narrow victory.
The win for the home side elevates them to third in the league, with the home side collecting 19 points out of their first nine games.
The loss for Worcester means they are now 16th, having won once and drawn three in 10 league matches.