Gresley Overcome Dynamo in Dull Boxing Day Encounter
Loughborough Dynamo came off second best in their Boxing Day visit to Gresley FC, the home side scoring two second half goals to secure all three points.
The match did not live up to the time of year as regards festivities, the affair was a dull encounter, particularly the first half.
Dynamo were first to threaten, Josh Riley cutting in from the left in the eighth minute and saw his shot blocked. Two minutes later a Gresley break saw a crossfield pass just elude Reece Morris, who was to be the most impressive player on the field during the game.
The half then developed into a dour midfield encounter on a bobbly surface. The next goalmouth encounter did not arrive until the twenty-first minute when a good pass by Morris set up Jason Law for a shot from the edge of the penalty area, but the Gresley number 7 saw his shot sail over the bar.
From Dynamo’s first corner in the twenty-sixth minute a Gresley defender miscued his clearance, the ball going high into the air. Gresley’s 18-year-old goalkeeper Callum Hawkins, on loan from Burton Albion, held the ball virtually on his goal line under pressure from Ash Hodgkinson, Referee Richie Watkins awarding the home side a foul, showing Hodgkinson a yellow card for an incident with a home defender.
Following another Dynamo corner in the thirty-second minute, the ball was back and forth across the Gresley penalty area before Hawkins eased the pressure by collecting Louis Keenan’s left-wing centre.
As half time approached more activity started to take place in the respective goalmouths. Former Dynamo midfielder Sean Phillips put in a shot which was straight at Dynamo goalkeeper James Martin. A good run by Gresley front man Matt Melbourne saw his shot hit Martin’s side netting. Dynamo went straight down the pitch and in the last action of a disappointing half Riley shot over from a good position.
The deadlock was broken soon after the restart, when in the forty-eighth minute Melbourne turned and hit a low shot which bobbled just in front of Martin and appeared to hit the top of the diving goalkeeper’s right arm, the ball nestling in the corner of in the net.
The fifty-fourth minute saw Dynamo’s Jack Andrews foul Morris, the centre back looking the last man. However, the pace of the pass appeared to force Morris wide, Referee Watkins ruling that was the case, issuing Andrews a yellow card rather than a red. From the resulting free kick Gresley’s Oliver Bassett shot high and wide.
Two minutes later Dynamo hit Gresley on the break, but Hawkins narrowly beat Karl Demidh to Riley’s pass. The match then went into a midfielder encounter mirroring the first half.
In the seventy-first minute Gresley’s Dexter Morris-Clarke pulled the ball back from virtually on the Dynamo goal line, but a Dynamo defender was able to turn this threatening ball for a corner, which was collected by Martin. From this Dynamo went straight down the pitch and substitute Luke Smithson’s right-wing centre was met by Riley, but his diving header went over the Gresley crossbar.
Dynamo right back Luke Thorogood then delivered a good pass into the Gresley penalty area in the seventy-sixth minute, but the referee assistant’s flag for offside brought this attack to a halt. Three minutes later Gresley had a chance to extend their lead. Melbourne put a low ball across the Dynamo area which initially eluded everyone. The ball was turned back into the area, however, and eventually arrived at the feet of centre back Alvin Jarvis up with the Gresley attack, but the former Dynamo captain miscued his shot and the chance went.
Gresley were not to be prevented from scoring a second time in the match, and this duly arrived in the eighty-third minute. A low ball from the Gresley left by Josh Egginton was met by Danny Quinn, a third former Dynamo in Gresley’s colours, and the frontman turned the ball home at the near post.
This sealed the match and three points for Gresley. Dynamo tried to hit back in the closing minutes, but Thorogood’s shot in the eighty-sixth minute from close in went straight at Hawkins. In stoppage time a good Dynamo passing move saw Demidh’s shot saved by Hawkins at his near post, to seal Gresley’s 2-0 win.