Rampant Rovers see off Pinchbeck to earn first league win
UCL Premier North
Gresley Rovers 3-0 Pinchbeck Utd
Gresley Rovers recorded their first league win of the season in a dominant performance against Pinchbeck United on Saturday.
Following a disappointing 2-0 opening day defeat to Heanor Town, Rovers had few problems recording their first three points of the campaign against a blunt Pinchbeck side.
The visible size difference between the two sides paid dividends for Gresley in the first period as two corners resulted in two goals, and a fabulous third from Steve Hart in the second half wrapped up a comfortable victory.
A late penalty was the only blemish on Gresley’s afternoon, but even then, a superb stop from Lewis Fenney gave it a positive spin - preserving his side’s clean sheet.
The Moatmen started on the front foot and got their reward with an early goal. In the fifth minute a corner from Ryan Seal was won in the air at the back post by Mason Frizelle, and he directed his header into the opposite corner.
Rovers continued this momentum throughout the first half and were causing the visitors all kinds of problems. Danny Munday teed up his strike partner, Hart, but he could only drag his shot well wide.
Munday’s electric energy was a thorn in the side of Pinchbeck and their goalkeeper, Alex Smith.
After dallying in possession, the ‘keeper was hurried by Munday’s presence - eventually being forced to concede a corner.
It was from that very corner that Rovers would extend their lead, with Munday showing heaps of desire to leap towards the ball and flick it into the far corner - scoring his fourth goal in two games.
United evidently had a weakness from set pieces and Rovers continued to exploit it, Seal’s delivery once again caused havoc as Alex Morris nodded into the side netting, whilst poor marking allowed Frizelle a free header just yards from goal, but he skewed his header over the crossbar.
Lee almost put gloss on a complete first half performance, but his spectacular volleyed attempt whistled just past the post.
In the second half, Gresley continued to control the game, and almost scored a third when Seal received the ball back after his initial corner delivery was cleared before forcing Smith into a diving save with a curling effort.
Pinchbeck were, however, providing more of a threat as Rovers started to run out of steam. Yet, good goalkeeping from Fenney, and strong defending meant the visitors were unable to take advantage of their set pieces.
With nine minutes to play, Gresley wrapped up all three points. Ashley Brown was the creator as he dinked the ball perfectly to Hart. After chesting down the pass, Hart brilliantly half-volleyed his attempt past Smith, getting him off the mark for the season.
The same combination nearly resulted in another goal, but this time Hart headed wide when well placed.
In injury time, there was to be late drama, as Lucas Harrison went to ground, taking out Nathan Moss, and the referee had no hesitation in awarding the away side a penalty.
However, Fenney preserved his side’s clean sheet with a fantastic save down to his right, tipping away Moss’s penalty and capping off a great afternoon for Rovers.