AFC Wulfrunians

Est. 1922

MATCH REPORT: AFC Wulfrunians 0 Gresley Rovers 2 Jul 08, 2023

AFC Wulfrunians’ FA Cup quest comes to an end with defeat to Gresley Rovers in the Extra Preliminary Round

It was an intriguing test for the Wulfs as they welcomed eighth-tier opposition to the Prestige Midlands Arena. Rovers looked to express their quality from the off through Jamie Sleigh, the striker opting for the shot twice in the opening moments to no avail.

A first chance down the other end meanwhile fell the way of Jamie Meddows, the midfielder weaving past his man before forcing a low save from Lewis Feeney from the edge of the area.

Ultimately, chances proved few and far between from the opening exchanges, the Moatmen’s danger man James Spruce looking to force the issue as time went on. The no. 7 whipped a low ball across the face of goal as the match approached the half-hour mark, a last-ditch interception from Asa Charlton clearing the danger for the time being.

A spell of possession for the visitors and Wulfs struggled to clear their lines, a free kick on the edge of the area a first serious opportunity of the affair. James Tague’s rifled effort evaded the wall instead opting to go towards the goalkeeper’s side, his effort crashing off the post and bouncing across the other side of call, much to the relief of the Wulfs.

Craig Gregg’s side looked to punish soon after on the counter, a searching ball from the right-hand side finding the onrushing Meddows at the back post but could only poke wide on the stretch.

A late chance – and the best opportunity of the half – saw Rovers go close to taking the lead. A loose ball from the Wulfrunians defence was pounced on by Sleigh before sliding the ball through to Kane Lee through on goal. The forward failed to find the back of the net, however, a superb stop at close range from Jake James to keep the scores level going into the break.

The visitors came out the stronger in the second half, George Clark and Tague both trying their luck from inside the area, firing wide of the target as the Wulfs looked to regroup.

A chance soon fell to Junior Smikle following a smart spell of play in the final third by the Wulfs, the midfielder in space firing over from the edge of the area.

Meanwhile the South Derbyshire outfit continued their push for the opener with the half-hour right around the corner, a sharp save from James to deny Sleigh once again.

The hosts failed to sustain the heavy pressure – struggling to the clear the danger, the ball dropped to Mason Frizelle, the captain making no mistake as he rifled the ball past the goalkeeper for a deserved lead following their early second-half performance.

Wulfs looked to respond via a dangerous set-piece after Tom Poole was brought down just outside the areas. Meddows over it, his initial effort cannoned off the wall before his rebound fell into the path of a red shirt, forcing an important save from Feeney down to his left while the offside flag had already been raised.

Rovers proved a tough unit to break down with the Northern Premier League outfit aiming to see the game out, only to double their lead in the final moments.

Sharp build-up play broke down the Wulfs backline, a ball through finding Riley Davoile on the left-hand side before rolling the ball across the area to an unmarked Steve Hart who managed to squeeze the ball home under the goalkeeper to settle the scores with less than three minutes left on the clock.

Attentions for Wulfrunians now turn to the Midland Premier League opener as we welcome Highgate United to the Prestige Midlands Arena on Saturday 12th August, kick-off 3pm.