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Match Report  |  Oldbury United vs Gresley Rovers

Note that this page is from our Gresley Rovers archive.
It may not be related to the new club Gresley FC.
21st April 1990

Oldbury United vs Gresley Rovers

Rovers go back on top – Rex Page – Burton Mail

Gresley Rovers emerged from another session of Banks’s League hiri kiri with their title dream still intact on Saturday.

For a few dreadful moments after a goalless draw at York Street they feared they might be fighting a lost cause.

But when news filtered through that Rocester, their principal rivals for the championship, had lost at Blakenall the point gained against considerable odds suddenly became worth its weight in gold.

It took Rovers back to the top of the table on goal difference and means the destiny of the championship trophy cannot now be decided until the last day of the season.

The whole affair is clouded by the fact that both Blakenall and Hinckley Town, like Rovers and Rocester, can finish the campaign with 82 points.

Such an accomplishment is a tall order, however, since it requires them to win five and six games respectively crammed into the final two weeks of the campaign.

In a fragile sort of way, Gresley must now be regarded once again as the favourites, especially as they probably feel they are through the worst of a hazardous run in.

Certainly, their final two games – at Malvern and Wolverhampton Casuals – can hardly provide a sterner test of their resolve than Saturday’s excursion to the Black Country.

Oldbury made the task difficult enough, but Gresley’s problems had rather more to do with a series of injury problems which piled up around them.

They had to pull off Dean Page and Steve Adcock during the half time interval and were effectively reduced to 10 men when knee injury left Kieron Smith hobbling through the final 40 minutes.

Oldbury had more of the game, but it was Gresley who could have prospered at the end of each half.

Their best spell was squeezed into the ten minutes leading up to the interval, the best chance of all coming in the 39th minute.

Gil Land, a tower of strength in defence, moved forward to meet Richard Denby’s free kick with a decisive far-post header, but Smith’s header from close-range was brilliantly kept out by Steve Johnson.

Denby was not far off target with a cunning lob and, as Rovers attempted to profit from their brief period of ascendancy, Smith whistled a shot wide from the edge of the area.

With their resources seriously depleted, survival was Rovers’ major pre-occupation after the interval.

But with Brian Beresford responding magnificently to emergency duty in midfield and Land rallying the defensive troops, survive they did.

Oldbury United (0) 0

Gresley Rovers (0) 0

Oldbury United: Johnson, Loughran, Sorrell, Brookes, Vowles, Nicklin, Caddick, Evans, Morrison (McCabe 72), Jones, Unitt. Sub not used: Garnczarek.

Gresley Rovers: Aston, Bottomley, Dick, Denby, Land, Page (Astley 45), Christopher, Norton, Smith, Beresford, Adcock (Acklam 45).

Gresley man-of-the-match: Gil Lands.

Referee: M Carrington (Shepshed).

Attendance: 170