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Story posted: Friday, 23rd October 1987

Northwood sweeps up
Story courtesy of Burton Mail
Gresley Rovers manager Frank Northwood is not a man to let the grass grow under his feet – and this week he delivered a broad hint that he is preparing to ring the changes again at the Moat Ground.
Despite a magnificent start to the Banks’s League Premier Division campaign – nine wins and two draws from 11 games – the Moat Ground supremo is less than happy with the form of his defence.

And there can be no doubt that Gresley looked anything but assured when Tipton Town launched a second half recovery in Tuesday’s clash.

Ultimately only some careless finishing by the Black Country side separated the teams after Gresley had romped into a 2-0 lead inside 20 minutes.

“We just opened the door and invited them in,” was Northwood’s terse verdict on a game in which Gresley all but sacrificed a precious point on a night when title rivals Tamworth and Oldbury United also won.

It is not the first time this season that Northwood has questioned the reliability of Rovers’ defence. In fact, he has still to settle on a regular formation.

Barry Wilcox and Steve French have already been jettisoned and unless there is a rapid improvement, Northwood may soon be tempted to break up the fledgling partnership of Steve Dolby and Ray Skeemer.

“Steve and Ray are both similar sorts of players and I am toying with the idea of changing things around a bit and introducing a sweeper system,” said Northwood.

The men he has in mind for the role are former Hinckley Athletic defender Nick Sales and Moat Ground new boy Neil Mason, whose appearances have been limited by suspension.
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