Racers escape with a point after a dreadful second-half display

Racing Club Warwick were lucky to escape with a point after a woeful second-half performance at home to their struggling visitors, writes Paul Okey.

Saturday, 7th September 2019, 8:29 pm
Action from Racing Club Warwick's clash at home to Gresley.

The home side had looked in control at the break courtesy of headed goals from Josh Cole and Adam Miles which owed as much to the delivery as the scorers.

However, unable to string two passes together, they found themselves on the back foot for huge chunks of the second period and were only able to gain a foothold once Gresley had brought it back to 2-2.

The delivery of Danny Fraser was a feature of the opening 45 minutes and the left-back’s corner presented Cole with the first opportunity of the game in the 11th minute. However, the midfielder could only glance it wide.

A shot from Albert Lansdowne proved comfortable for Charlie Bannister in the home goal before Racing Club broke the deadlock in the 19th minute.

Joe Smith’s driven free-kick from half-way picked out Cole on the angle of the box and he directed his header back towards goal with the ball arcing over keeper Byron Musgrove and into the far corner of the net.

Miles had a golden opportunity to make it 2-0 ten minutes later but from almost on the goalline he headed Fraser’s corner over the bar.

He made amends five minutes later, however, heading in a much more difficult chance after Curvin Ellis had earned the home side a corner. There was some confusion as it seemed the referee had blown his whistle as Miles connected with his header but after conferring with his assistant the goal was allowed to stand.

There was a belated response from Gresley in injury time, with Nehemia Zazi drilling wide before a Fraser drive was hacked away from the line at the other end after neat build-up play from Racers.

Both sides were transformed after the interval and Gresley fired a warning shot three minutes in when Zazi got the better of Smith only to hit the outside of a post with Bannister exposed.

Five minutes later, Lansdowne’s fierce strike from range was parried around the post by Bannister.

Home boss Scott Easterlow introduced Ciaran Houston for Tory Herbert in a bid to shore up the midfield but it was to no avail as Gresley pulled a goal back in the 63rd minute.

There was an element of luck about it as Joe Haines’ miscued shot was diverted in by Conor Gater but there was no denying the away side were deserving of their lifeline.

Desperate defending preserved Racers’ slender advantage after Zazi wriggled his way into the box, with a handball claim from the final shot earning Joel Howes a spot in the sin-bin for dissent.

It was the home side who looked to be a man down, though, as Gresley continued to press and they earned their reward in the 74th minute, Lansdowne finishing smartly after a neat one-two with Gater.

With parity restored, Gresley were unsure whether to stick or twist and Racing Club were able to wrestle back the initiative.

However, a sin-binning for Dale Wigmore robbed them of any momentum they may have had and the game meandered to a conclusion which left both sides a touch frustrated.