Two first-half strikes from Gainsborough Trinity saw a scratch Gloucester City side defeated at Whaddon Road.\r\n\r\nA Darryn Stamp header and a penalty from Simon Russell had put the Lincolnshire side ahead before half time, but after Josh Wilde’s cynical sending off the Tigers came back strongly.\r\n\r\nWill Morford’s sharp finish had put City with hope heading into the final echelons; however, they couldn’t score the equalising goal.\r\n\r\nIt was a fantastic performance considering how depleted the Tigers squad is, and now even more so with Morford and Darren Edwards heading off to surgery and Lewis Hogg potentially out for the rest of the campaign with a hamstring injury.\r\n\r\nCity had started strongly and came extremely close after Danny Andrew pumped a hopeful ball forward to Edwards, only for goalkeeper Jan Budtz to clear into the path of Morford and saw his snatch shot bounce off the crossbar.\r\n\r\nThe Tigers continued to attack but Lewis Hogg’s shot from distance produced a top save out of Budtz.\r\n\r\nTrinity started to see more of the ball and Jonathan Williams was unlucky with a free kick from 25 yards, which was superbly saved by Mike Green in goal.\r\n\r\nIt was Stamp’s turn to test Green, but the goalkeeper saved with flying colours once more.\r\n\r\nAfter end-to-end opening exchanges Morford saw his shot glance across the front of the goal line with Budtz stranded.\r\n\r\nGainsborough powered forward and only the heroics of Adam Mann on the line stopped Luke Waterfall from breaking the deadlock after his quick shot in the six yard box.\r\n\r\nThe Tigers went close yet again, but a Beckham-esque free kick from Andrew was saved brilliantly in the top left corner.\r\n\r\nAndrew then turned provider, but his cross, after being flicked on by Mann, fell to Morford only for a superb block from Wilde denied him.\r\n\r\nThen came the breakthrough; Gainsborough took the lead after a brilliant cross from Dominic Roma found the head of Stamp to slot the ball home at the front post.\r\n\r\nCity came back at the Lincolnshire outfit, but Darren Edward’s scooped shot from close range failed to trouble the keeper.\r\n\r\nThe second major moment of the contest came when Matt Liddiard unfortunately brought down Terry Hawkridge for a penalty, from which Russell tucked home.\r\n\r\nThe tetchy first half and a mild refereeing performance certainly irked both teams and saw a huge fracas as the sides entered for half time, from which City Assistant Manager Neil Mustoe was sent to the stands\r\n\r\nThe second half continued in this manner as in the 48th minute Josh Wilde was sent off after a cynical challenge on Steve Davies saw a second booking for the defender.\r\n\r\nGloucester immediately tried to capitalise on their one-man advantage but Andrew’s screamer from 30 yards was somewhat fortuitously saved by the keeper.\r\n\r\nFrom the resulting corner a trademark Liddiard thunderbolt shot past the post.\r\n\r\nCity smashed back on 59 minutes after a quick Tom Webb corner saw Davies crossed into the area where Morford was there to smash home first time to place City firmly back in the contest.\r\n\r\nCity continued to come forward but half chances for substitutes Scott Wilson and Joe Parker failed to trouble the goal and saw the Tigers succumb to defeat.\r\n\r\nGloucester City: M. Green, S. Rawlings, D. Andrew, M. Liddiard, C. Holland, T. Webb, L. Hogg (Mace 65), S. Davies (Parker 63), D. Edwards (Wilson 63), W. Morford, A Mann\r\n\r\nSubs not used: J. Hunt, N. Mustoe\r\n\r\nGoals: Morford 59\r\n\r\nStalybridge Celtic: J. Budtz, D. Roma, J. Wilde, L. Waterfall, G. Young, J. Williams (Thompson 76), S. Russell, C. Nelthorpe, J. Yates, D. Stamp (Jones 84), T. Hawkridge (Platt 87)\r\n\r\nSubs not used: P. Connor, L. Karkach\r\n\r\nGoals: Stamp 32, Russell 40 (pen)\r\n\r\nAttendance: 185

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