Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Gredziak rediscovers scoring touch at just the right time

AFTER scoring with his first touch for the club back in September, it appeared Wayne Gredziak would go on to challenge the leading scorers in Ebac Northern League Division Two this season.

But it had not quite worked out that way. After that debut goal against Horden CW, Gredziak went 10 matches without scoring as he seemed to constantly run into opposing goalkeepers on the very top of their form. And when he did find the target, like against Esh Winning at the end of September, the referee disallowed it for an earlier offence.

"That summed up the run I was on," said Gredziak. "Sometimes as a striker that happens. I never lost faith in my ability but you need to be scoring goals. I always felt that once I got one, others would follow and thankfully that has been the case."

Since breaking his barren spell with a goal in the win over Chester-le-Street last month, Gredziak has hit top form and Saturday's hat-trick at Thornaby took his tally to five goals in the last four matches.

It had appeared his luck was out again early on at Teesdale Park on Saturday when he saw a close range effort cleared off the line by Thornaby skipper Stephen Morrison, but it all came good for the former Durham City man in the end.

"That was my first hat-trick for a while," said the 32 year old in the wake of his match-winning treble.

"I knew I was onside for the first one, as I was behind Chilli when he had the original shot. The second was a great cross from Emmo but it was slightly behind me so I had to re-adjust my position.

"I didn't even look at the goalkeeper for the third. It was a great ball from Gav and I knew that if I could bend it around him, it would go in."

Gredziak's treble, along with goals from substitute Stephen Butterworth and Emson, helped Town came back from 2-0 down to beat Thornaby 5-3.

"It was a big result for us after the disappointment of Washington the previous week," said Gredziak. "We knew the first half was not good enough but we stepped it up after the break and we are all delighted with the win, especially as (leaders) Ryhope lost."

Town manager Mark Fanning also paid tribute to his striker. He said: "Wayne has worked extremely hard since coming to the club. He sometimes moans a bit but you cannot fault his attitude. We were pleased to be able to sign him and he has given us exactly what we hoped he would.

"I wasn't really worried about his lack of goals. I knew he would score eventually. His record speaks for itself. His hat-trick on Saturday was just reward for the work he has put in up until now, and I can see him pushing Emmo all the way for top scorer at the club now."

With leaders Ryhope visiting the RGPS on Saturday, it was a good time for Gredziak to rediscover his goalscoring touch. The Ryhope front two of Johnny Butler and Chris Winn have scored over 50 goals between them so far this season, but the Town forward line of Gredziak, Emson and Chillingsworth have now contributed 34.

"Ryhope are not just about the front two," said Fanning. "They are a very good side. They have won everything at Wearside League level over the last few years so we know it will be a tough match.

"It is too early in the season to call it a title decider as there will be many twists and turns along the way, but if we can close the gap a little on Saturday, I will be delighted."

Before the visit of Ryhope, however, Town entertain Teesside League Division One side North Ormesby in the North Riding Senior Cup tomorrow night. Town were originally drawn away, but as Ormesby do not have floodlights at their Vicarage Field ground, it was agreed to switch venue.

North Ormesby have enjoyed a decent start to the season with only two league defeats so far, so they will provide Fanning's side with a tough examination ahead of Saturday's summit meeting.

With that in mind the Town boss is expected to make changes to the side that won at Thronaby, with Academy goalkeeper Dean Hudson expected to start, while other Academy players like Sam Grainger and Alex Caisley could feature.

Although Town have never won this competiton, they were beaten finalists in both 2006 and 2007 so will be hoping to go one better this time. Kick off at the RGPS tomorrow night is 7.30pm and entrance is £5 for adults and £2.50 concessions.

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