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Story posted: Tuesday, 19th April 1988

Skeemer back for Gresley cup date
Story courtesy of
Out-of-favour defender Ray Skeemer has been given a key role as Gresley Rovers chase Derbyshire Senior Cup glory against Alfreton Town at North Street tonight (7.30pm).
Manager Frank Northwood has issued a ‘keep it clean’ order to his players – and that means a shock recall for the Birmingham schoolteacher in the first leg of the final against the Northern Premier League Division One side.

Northwood explained: “We’ve only conceded one goal in our last five league games, but we want to make doubly certain tonight that we keep it tight at the back. We’ve never won the Senior Cup and I would certainly like to be the first manager to do it. A clean sheet will do for me.”

Skeemer will partner skipper Steve Dolby at the heart of the defence, with Dean Page being used as sweeper.

Dolby is hoping for a happy return to the ground where Rovers clinched a place in the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup on their last visit three years ago.

He recalled: “I got a split eye that day, but I didn’t bother about it too much because we won 1-0.”

And the experienced defender believes that Gresley’s impressive away form will prove decisive.

“We seem to be feeling the pressure a little bit at the Moat Ground at the moment. Away from home we are more relaxed and often seem able to get an early goal to settle us down. That was the case at Halesowen on Saturday and I’m hoping we can do the same against Alfreton. On top of that we always seem to perform better against good opposition and Alfreton will certainly fall into that bracket. They were a good side when we last played them and from all accounts they’re even better now.”

Midfielder Joe Jackson is left out of the Gresley squad after aggravating an injured ankle.
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