Gresley FC 2 Brigg Town 1
Thanks to Gresley FC for this match report
Gresley signed their league programme off with a win at the Moat Ground but they were made to work hard for the three points after having to come back from a goal down.
Rob Spencer's two goals in as many minutes ensured Gresley finished at their highest position, ninth, since they formed in 2009, two positions better than last season.
Manager Martin Rowe was forced into one change from the side who beat Coalville earlier in the week with Mitch Hanson coming back into the right back slot replacing Matt Roome who had returned to University to complete his studies.
After a slow start Gresley had two very good chances to have taken the lead. After racing through, Kieran O'Connell skipped around the advancing Town keeper Chris Stanley but took the ball slightly too wide giving Stanley the chance of blocking the first effort. The ball came back to O'Connell but his second attempt hit the side netting.
With arguably Brigg's first meaningful attempt on goal they took the lead. Paul Ashton hit a vicious shot which Mats Morch managed to push away for a corner. The corner from the left taken by Kieran McCaffrey and the ball seemed to swerve as it flew into the box with Morch failing to grab it leaving Jamie Coulson the simple task of heading in at the far post.
The lead lasted just four minutes as Gresley hit back with vengeance. Serge Makofo lifted a cross from the left over to the far post and Eric Graves nodded the ball back into the middle for Spencer to head home.
Gresley recovered the ball quickly from the re-start and a superb long diagonal ball from Hanson picked out O'Connell wide on the left. It looked as if O'Connell had lost control of the ball but he did well to pick out Spencer who slammed the ball across Stanley and into the far corner of the goal.
Both sides had a chance to add to their tally as the half drew to a close. Brigg's William Peers hit a tremendous shot with Morch managed to push onto the far post and the ball flew very kindly in to the grateful keeper's arms. Gresley's Hanson then got his head to Piliero's corner but the effort went straight at Stanley.
Hanson went close to increasing the home score early in the second half. A corner from the right came deep to Spencer who headed the ball back towards the far post and Hanson was inches from scoring but poked the ball just wide.
The moment every Gresley supporter was waiting for came on 67 minutes when Moat Ground favourite Royce Turville entered the game for the last time in a Gresley shirt as he hangs up his boots after the match. There was a great touch from Gresley's captain Jamie Barrett who handed Turville his captain's arm band.
Turville, as usual, was soon involved giving the visiting defence problems when he lifted the ball to Spencer in the area who in turn headed it on to Graves who planted his header wide of the far post.
Gresley's John Guy put a header over the bar late on before Graves blazed Mickey Lyons' corner from the left also over the bar.
Brigg team - Chris Stanley, Will Forrest, Scott Matthews, Kieran McCaffrey, Scott Hellewell, Jack Bowskin, Paul Ashton, Will Peers, Jamie Coulson, Matt Muldoon, Elliot Broughton (Subs - Craig Tock, Gary Paton, Anthony Bowsley and Garry Moment)
Zebras man of the match - Paul Ashton