Market Drayton 0-1 Gresley
A disappointing defeat at home to Gresley left manager Jimmy Mullen reflecting on what could have been on a day where many felt the home side had the better of their opponents but failed to find the net.
Forced changes meant Mullen's team were battling against the odds even before kick-off, as Tuesday night's wonder-goal scorer Shaun Humphreys and winger Nicky Porter were both ruled out through injury and defender JJ Bailey was unavailable - his absence proving a double blow with fellow defender Matty Cohen filling in for long-term absentee Damien Stevens whose penalty heroics in the win over Chasetown left him with a broken collarbone.
Town started slowly but once they found their feet they looked the more dangerous of the two sides. Skipper Martyn Davies, Adam Proudlock and Kyle Blake all had chances that Gresley goalkeeper Gary Hateley had to be alert to deal with.
The home crowd hoped they would find something to cheer about when their side forced five corners in succession with Matt Johnson shooting over from a good position and then Proudlock bringing out another good block by Hateley. At half time there was nothing to separate the two teams.
The second half was a closer affair, with both teams creating good chances. Town forced two early but it was Gresley who went close to opening the scoring when Richard Hanslow's run down the left ended with a low shot which was blocked by keeper Cohen at his near post.
A James Jepson free kick was deflected over the bar and the resultant corner also taken by Jepson eventually came out to Hanslow who's first time shot was cleared off the line by Paul McMullen.
Gresley finally took the lead on 70 minutes with a spot of good fortune. Gresley's Rob Spencer appeared to scuff his shot but Cohen mis-judged the ball and it squeezed past him into the far corner of the net.
Cohen had to work hard again to block substitute Nadat's shot while at the other end Johnson had his shot cleared off the line as the home side tried to at least salvage a point and keep their unbeaten run going. It wasn't to be however and Mullen was left to pick out the positives from the performance of his team in general.
Market Drayton: Cohen, Matt Cohen, Jones, Connor, Sweatnam, McMullen, Blake, Proffitt (Cooke 85), Johnson, Davies (c) (Rodgers 66), Proudlock (Ryan 55), Fox
Gresley: Hateley, Woods, Gough, Strzyzewski, Nottingham, Barrett, Spencer, Jepson, Hanslow (Nadat 68), Massingham (Dillon 90), Goodfellow (Roome 87)
Subs not used: Minshull, Butler