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Gresley Utd 1-1 WBAFC (3-4 pens)
Written by Boninsegna   
Friday, 08 December 2017 08:47


Derbyshire Senior Cup

Whaley Bridge defy all oddsto progress into the quarter finals of the Derbyshire Senior Cup beating Evostick opposition no less three tiers above them!

Having watched Gressley’s impressive performance against Sheffield FC the previous Saturday Whaley’s management knew this was a big ask tonight especially as Gresley made only four changes from their previous starting line-up and had a 5 man first team bench to fall back on.

Whaley too had to reshuffle the pack; with the influential Tom Streets side-lined on the night Bill Sutton slotted in seamlessly at centre back and as usual formed a formidable partnership with Captain Rob Newton.

Whaley started positively down the slope and it wasn’t long before speedy Sam Leadbetter began to torment the Gresley defence down the left; running at them and riding challenges he beat Roome and Harrison but ultimately overran meaning his weaker right foot shot was comfortably saved by Hawkins. Whaley’s Broome, Barlow and Gilbride worked tirelessly across the middle denying Gresley the time on the ball they expected and were afforded last Saturday. Forcing several corners both George Burgess and Rob Newton connected well but neither managed to guide their efforts on target; Bill Sutton and Jason Broome both skied efforts over the bar from 18 yards. So an evenly matched first half ended goalless with Gresley shading possession but possibly having fewer chances.

Whaley now had to negotiate the slope but at nil - nil were still in the game and it was difficult to see the gulf in levels at this point. Without doubt Gresley, as expected, started to apply more pressure down the hill and ten minutes into the second half Danny Quinn came close; Tattersall then managed to tip a long range effort from Basset over the bar. The visitor’s classy left back Jamie Kay was by this time struggling with a hamstring and that pre-empted another reshuffle with the Broome moving to left back and Jack Gregory taking his place in midfield. Jack began to get Whaley playing again and linking well with Dan Gilbride the move ended with a Sam Leadbetter shot well saved by the confident Hawkins. From defence Broome played a threatening long high ball over the Gresley’s defence and Leadbetter, harassed on both sides, raced through to chest down on the edge of the box and unleash a volley just over Gresley’s bar. Broome and Barlow’s eagerness to close down Gresley players, who on occasion should be congratulated on their amateur dramatics, resulted in yellows midway through the second half and an awful challenge on Whaley’s Gregory by Quinn added his name in the book but thankfully Gregory was able to finish the game.

Gresley searching for the win put top scorer Matt Melbourne and regular first teamer’s Sean Phillips and Reece Morris on to win the game, however Whaley’s superb back four of Bill Sutton, Rob Newton, Will Bailey and Jason Broome stood firm shadowing their every movement until a eventualy Gresley did get a clear opportunity but even then only after three attempts on goal, all blocked by Whaley’s defence, did the ball finally break nicely for Melbourne to volley in from close range for the first goal. The only difference in the two sides at this point was the home side’s ruthlessness in front of goal.

Whaley introduced Jack Kelly who had an immediate impact and was a bit unfortunate not to be awarded a penalty when brought down only six yards out. Always happy to receive and keep possession in tight areas the ball stayed ‘up the hill’ longer; Jack released George Burgess down the right and his crosses led to Whaley’s Leadbetter, Barlow and Gilbride all having difficult but still nevertheless opportunities that were squandered. The CFL side were still in it and for long spells in the second half looked the better side. With only minutes remaining Whaley’s pressure and terrific team spirit paid off when after a foul on Barlow Dan Gilbride swung in a beauty towards the back post which rebounded off a Gresley defender hitting Broome’s hip and into the net; arguably the least Whaley deserved out of the game.

Whaley went on to score 4 out of their 5 penalties but two terrific penalty saves from J Tattersall booked Whaley passage through to the quarter finals against Ilkeston town FC who beat Glossop North End.

J Tattersall W Bailey R Newton (c) B Sutton J Kay J Burgess A Barlow J Broome (1) D Gilbride S Leadbetter G Burgess

Subs J Kelly J Gregory J Gemmill

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