REPORT: Gresley forced to settle for a point in scrappy affair

Updated: Jan 12, 2020

Despite taking the lead, Gresley had to settle for a point as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Racing Club Warwick at the Moat Ground.

McLane Durdey’s first goal of the season had given the home side the lead in the first half, but a second-half header from Nick Seabourne salvaged a point for Warwick to frustrate the hosts.

The Moatmen started the game very brightly - forcing the away side back and they had a chance early on through Michael Nelson. The tricky forward managed to wriggle away from his marker on the left before cutting the ball back to Louis Briscoe who fired wide.

Gresley’s good start, however, would not go unrewarded when just nine minutes later the home side took the lead. Briscoe was at the heart of it as the striker worked room for himself on the edge before forcing James Wardle into a diving stop. Yet, the ball fell straight to the feet of Durdey who made no mistake with the finish, sliding the ball in for his first of the season.

Despite a confident opening from Gresley, Warwick did pose a threat on the counter-attack with the physical presence of Seabourne causing the home side a number of problems. In fact, it was nearly their undoing as the physical midfielder rose highest to nod down to Tom Smith who could only volley straight into the arms of Amrik Virdee.

With the Racers starting to develop a foothold in the game, Gresley pushed hard for a second to give themselves some breathing room, and they nearly found it in the 34th minute when another long range strike from Briscoe was deflected just wide of goal.

With conditions not helping either side, the fixture was a very scrappy one, and this was especially true in the second period as neither side could find a clear path to goal.

It was the visitors who started the better however with Gresley sluggish out of the gates. The hosts had a warning when Ty Knight had a shot deflected wide, but the pressure Warwick were applying eventually told.

A good run down the left flank from Muziwandile Nduna was matched by a superb cross to the back post. Awaiting the delivery was the physical force of Seabourne, who punished the home side by heading into the net from close range.

With the tie now level, both sides pushed desperately forward to find a winner, and with conditions difficult, neither could fashion out a good enough opportunity.

Gresley however, looked the more likely as they nearly hit the front again when Briscoe fed Nelson through - only for keeper Wardle to produce a superb fingertip save to tip his shot narrowly over the bar.

After providing for his fellow attacker, Briscoe decided to have a go himself eight minutes from time. After cutting in from the right hand side the tireless forward fired towards the far corner but was denied the winning goal by the outstretched boot of Wardle.

In the end, however, neither side could snatch victory and both had to settle for a point - and despite the result stretching Gresley’s winless run to four, the Moatmen did have their chances, but a lack of clinical edge was ultimately the difference between three points and just one.

Gresley’s next game comes next Saturday as they welcome current league leaders, Coventry United to the Moat Ground in what will no doubt prove to be an incredibly difficult fixture for McDermott’s side.

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