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Note that this page is from our Gresley Rovers archive. It may not be related to the new Gresley Rovers (formerly Gresley FC until 2020).
Story posted: Tuesday, 1st December 1987

Crunch match
Story courtesy of
Gresley Rovers’ unbeaten Banks’s League record goes on the line tonight (7.30pm).
Table-topping Rovers – 12 wins and two draws from 14 league outings this season – meet in-form Halesowen Harriers with memories of two painful soccer lessons still fresh in their memories.

Harriers – newcomers to the Banks’s Premier Division – dealt Gresley’s title hopes a painful blow by winning 2-1 at the Moat Ground last season.

And when Rovers sent a weakened team to Halesowen for their final game of the term needing to win to finish in the top three, they suffered their biggest hammering in recent years, losing 6-1.

The fourth placed Black Country side sent a chilling warning as the Moatmen kicked their heels after Saturday’s postponement by hammering six goals in 45 minutes against Wolverhampton United.

And that result came hot on the heels of a shock 4-0 away win against championship aspirants Oldbury United.

But Rovers boss Frank Northwood today refused to award special status to tonight’s game.

“I don’t think it’s any more special than playing a bottom-of-the-league side like Blakenall,” Northwood said.

“Everyone who comes to the Moat Ground these days is gunning for us, and Harriers will be no exception. But we’ve no reason to fear them. True, they did well against Oldbury – but they’ve had some indifferent results as well. We didn’t have a side when they beat 6-1 last season, and it was only a stupid mistake by Mark Bromley that cost us the match at out place.

“They’re a young, lively side and it should be an entertaining game – but if we play to our potential we’ll do the business, believe me.”

With no injury problems, Northwood names a strong 15-man squad that includes returning strikers Martin Devaney and Brian Beresford.

Devaney is certain to come back after missing a string of games through work commitments, allowing Guy Hall to resume a midfield role.

But Beresford, yet to appear in the first team this season after a long eye-injury lay off, can at best hope to vie for a place on the substitute’s bench with Clive Arthur, despite scoring four goals in a Sunday game at the weekend.
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