Gresley Win Derby Battle
Coalville lose to neighbours but put in a good performance
Coalville travelled to Derbyshire neighbours for this Bank Holiday derby game and despite being the better side for the majority of the game they were undone again with a combination of not converting their possession into goals and a bizarre refereeing performance that left both sets of supporters scratching their heads at times.
Tommy Brookbanks brought in Benn Minshull for his first start for the club and Jake Woolley was restored to the line up following his injury. Joe Hopewell also made his first team debut from the bench.
The Ravens started brightly and almost opened the scoring on five minutes. Nathan Watson played in Alex Dean and his shot was deflected wide for a corner which was hit over the bar by Minshull. soon after Josh Raven launched a long throw into the box which Sam Saunders flicked on and found Minshull whose shot was well over the goal again.
The first incident involving referee Robbie Dadley occurred in the 10th minute when Jack Langston tackled Woolley. The Gresley man’s challenge was strong but he clearly won the ball but he was adjudged to have committed a foul and was shown a yellow card.
The visitors continued to push and Minshull found Watson who shot just wide of the upright from the edge of the penalty area.
Gresley’s first chance came in the 25th minute as Chris Richards whipped in a cross from the left which flashed in front of the goal but none of his team mates were on hand to apply the finishing touch. Josh Raven then fouled Richards an Langston’s free kick was met by the head of John Guy but he couldn’t direct his effort on target.
Martin Smyth then found himself in the book for a challenge on Watson. As the game seemed to be heading for the break goalless Ellis Storey challenged Kieran O’Connell in the box and appeared to have won the ball cleanly. Despite no Gresley players or supporters appealing for a penalty Mr Dadley blew his whistle and pointed to the spot with gusto. Up stepped Gresley’s top scorer Alex Steadman who hit his spot kick powerfully but Sean Bowles stretched up his right hand and saved superbly with the rebound being hit over.
As the half time whistle blew even Liam Roberts in the Gresley goal said to the Coalville supporters behind him it was never a penalty so justice was done on this occasion.
The Ravens continued where they left off and should have opened the scoring in the the 51st minute. A long ball forward was missed by the Gresley defence ad Luke Smithson burst through but with just the keeper to beat he hit his shot wide of the goal.
Alex Dean was next into the book as he was booked for “simulation” by the referee.
The deadlock was broken in the 65th minute. Coalville were awarded a free kick and thee ball was played over from the left to Woolley who made no mistake as he buried the ball past Roberts for his 20th goal of the season.
Woolley was in the thick of the action again. Firstly he was fouled by Lucas Harrison who was yet another booking and then he out muscled John Guy and fired off his shot which was dealt with by Roberts.
Gresley got back into the game with a well taken goal. The ball was played to Jack Langston who rifled the ball past Bowles from 25 yards to draw the hosts level.
With eight minutes remaining Harrison went down very easily on the edge of the box. Referee Dadley awarded a free kick and whilst Bowles was setting up his wall the kick was taken which the Ravens keeper managed to get a hand to but couldn’t hold the ball and substitute Rob Mulonga scored from close range.
Mr Dadley wasn’t finished and he handed two late bookings to Storey and Raven before blowing a final whistle.
How a game managed to have so many bookings when a bad foul wasn’t committed by either side remains a mystery but Gresley boosted their play off hopes with three points