REPORT: Gresley edge through in the FA Vase
Gresley Rovers have progressed to the Buildbase FA Vase first round proper after a narrow 2-1 victory against GNP Sports at The Moat Ground.
Goals from David Kolodynski and Danny Munday before half-time gave the Rovers a two-goal advantage, before a strike from James Taylor soon after the re-start set up a nervy end to the game for the favourites.
The home side, who are celebrating the 30-year anniversary of reaching Wembley in this competition, came into the game off the back of a late 2-1 defeat away to Newark on Tuesday night.
Sports, who are the division below the Moatmen, were also coming into the game after previously suffering defeat, losing 8-0 to Studley FC during the week.
After a cagey midfield affair in the first ten minutes, it was the away side who had the first chance of the game. Collecting the ball inside the box, Hilton Arther had his original shot blocked before firing his second attempt well over the goal.
Sports were troubling the Moatmen and were denied a lead after an acrobatic save from Joe Fryatt. Crossed in from the left-hand side by Damian Osoimoe-Joikhain, the header from Sidik Atcha was heading for the bottom corner if not for the strong palms of the Rovers goalkeeper.
Despite their early domination, it was the hosts that took the lead. A fantastic through ball between the centre-backs by Aaron Cole found the feet of David Kolodynski, who slotted the ball past Taylor Davis in the GNP Sports net.
Gresley gained confidence from the opening goal of the game and took control of the tie. It was Munday with the next chance, but the attacker couldn’t keep his effort down, blazing his shot over the crossbar.
Munday went one better next time, doubling the home side’s lead. Finding the ball in the centre of the Sports half, Connor Ward found an onrushing Kolodynski in the box.
Showing composure, the forward player cut the ball back to Munday, who tapped in to score.
When chances came, often it ended in a goal, with the away side getting back into the game early in the second half. Taylor found the ball on the left side of the 18-yard-box and drove it low across goal past Fryatt to halve the deficit.
Sports struggled to build on their goal, with Gresley the side to create the bulk of the chances. It was Sullivan who had the next chance but could not direct his header below the crossbar, missing the goal by a couple of inches after being picked out by Smikle on the right-hand side.
Openings were few-and-far-between in the last 15 minutes. A long-range effort from Ryan Murphy stung the palms of Fryatt, but his attempt was directed straight at the ‘keeper, making it a simple save.
The home side were struggling with a similar problem, and lacking creativity until the last five minutes.
Mason Frazelle saw his chance inside the box tipped around the post by Davis, before his clearance moments later found Sullivan whose reverse shot left the Sports ‘keeper motionless, but found the inside of the post rather than the back of the net.
Sports did not give up on staying in the Vase and came close to levelling the score late on. It was the goalscorer Taylor that was in the middle of the action once again, curling a tight-angled shot from the left side just past the far post.
That was the best chance the away side got before the final whistle as Gresley held on to earn the win.
The next round will be played on the October 31, with the draw yet to be made.
By Harry Tizard