Uttoxeter Town 2
Pilkington XXX 1
UTTOXETER Town bounced back from a disappointing defeat by Bolehall Swifts on Tuesday evening to get three points against Pilkington XXX in a match that was more comfortable than the scoreline suggests.
Town headed into the match without Liam Sowter, Mark Springall, Jack Holley and James Curley, but were boosted by the welcome return of striker Lee Bagley and the in-form Matty Redshaw.
Manager Mark Grimley (pictured) played youngster Harry Price in the holding midfield role with George Marshman deputising at centre half and John Littler taking his place at left back.
The early signs were good for Town as they took the match to Pilkington from the off and were unlucky not to be in front on only six minutes, when Redshaw crossed for Kyle Esplin, whose firm left-foot volley was superbly saved by Pilkington’s keeper.
The hosts were not to be denied for long though as they forced an early corner and Littler’s excellent delivery was smashed into the roof of the net by youngster Price.
It was no more than Town had deserved for a bright opening and winger Ollie Melllor should have extended the lead on 11 minutes when he volleyed Redshaw’s cross wide from less than five yards.
The young winger turned provider on 26 minutes when he powered down the left before pulling the ball back to Esplin, who turned sharply before edging the ball past the on-rushing stopper to double Town’s advantage.
Further chances came for Town to extend their lead, as a Mellor thunderbolt from 25 yards clipped the outside of the upright and Redshaw forced a good save in a one-sided first half.
The second half saw Pilkington press more, but Town keeper Alex Langridge was well protected by Doug Price and Marshman, and the visitors provided little threat other than a free-kick that flew a yard past the upright.
Skipper Martin Gadsby, Price and Esplin were well in control of the midfield battle and had the referee had a different view of a collision in the box with Redshaw, Town may have been awarded a penalty in the last 15 minutes.
As it was, the visitors hooked home the next goal with five minutes remaining but Town comfortably held on for another three points and Bagley was unlucky not to grab a deserved goal after a wonderful run from deep.
Next up for Uttoxeter are back to back games this bank holiday weekend at Oldfields as they host Studley on Saturday and an historic local derby with Stafford Town on Monday, (both 3pm).
Dave Price Builders man of the match: Martin Gadsby
Town: Langridge, Woods, D Price, Marshman, Littler, H Price, Gadsby, Esplin, Mellor, Redshaw, Bagley.