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Note that this page is from our Gresley Rovers archive.
It may not be related to the new club Gresley FC.
Story posted: Monday, 1st April 1991

Wem-ber-ley!
Story courtesy of
Glorious Gresley Rovers are through to the final of the FA Vase at Wembley Stadium on May 4th.
Rovers completed a 5-2 aggregate victory over semi-final opponents Littlehampton Town by winning 2-1 at the Sportsfield on Saturday through goals early in the first half by Paul Acklam and Stuart Stokes.

Manager Frank Northwood swept away on a tide of emotion and ecstasy after the final whistle, held back tears of joy to croak: “It’s the best day of my life – it was superb. The boys did everything we asked them to and we had terrific support.

“I said we would come to attack and we always looked as if we would score more goals. The supporters and the people behind the scenes at the club have been all A1. It’s a great day for us all.”

Rovers vice-chairman Dennis Everitt added: “Everybody at Gresley has put a lot of hard work into the club and this has made it all worthwhile. I’m really proud and I hope everybody in the district will be proud too. As an occasion it’s all a bit overwhelming.”

Rovers totally overwhelmed their Sussex County League hosts in a one-sided game watched by a capacity crowd that included hundreds of travelling South Derbyshire fans.

Coach Steve Dolby said: “The game went perfectly to plan for us – everything that we wanted to do came off. We wanted an early goal and we got one, we wanted to put pressure on their number six and we did and that paid off.

“In the end it could easily have been 6-1 to us but in a way I’m glad it wasn’t because we wouldn’t have wanted to rub Littlehampton’s noses in it. The early goal put pressure on them and by half time they were deflated. They changed their game completely by putting three at the back and relying on the long ball which played into our hands.

“This has got to be the highlight of my career. I’ll be out there on the pitch scoring a goal in the kick in with everyone else!”

Striker Carl Rathbone said: “It was our first half performance that won us the game. We took everything out of them and they had nothing left.”

Littlehampton manager Carl Stabler was sporting in defeat, saying: “We didn’t play well in the first half at their place and I felt we froze again in the first 20 minutes today. But good luck to Gresley, I hope they go to Wembley and win the Vase.

Skipper Steve Bates, scorer of Littlehampton’s first half goal, said: “We got off to a terrible start but we still believed we could win the tie if we’d got those two goals back by half time. We got one, but we tried everything after that and there was nothing there for us.”

Rovers skipper Richard Denby said: “It was a great performance – we could have had seven or eight. I was choked at the final whistle – it was very emotional.”

And midfielder Neil Lovell added: “This is the greatest moment of my life. I said all along we could get there and now we have – and the reason we’ve got there is the team spirit.”
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League Position
  Team P GD Pts
2 Belper Town 0 0 0
3 Brighouse Town 0 0 0
4 Carlton Town 0 0 0
5 Cleethorpes Town 0 0 0
6 Frickley Athletic 0 0 0
7 Gresley 0 0 0
8 Lincoln United 0 0 0
9 Loughborough Dynamo 0 0 0
10 Marske United 0 0 0
11 Morpeth Town 0 0 0
12 Ossett United 0 0 0

Full Table

Forthcoming Fixtures
Stapenhill
Pre-Season Friendly
Tue, 17th Jul 2018, 7.30pm (Away)
Kettering Town
Pre-Season Friendly
Thu, 19th Jul 2018, 7.45pm (Home)
AFC Hinckley
Pre-Season Friendly
Sat, 21st Jul 2018, 3.00pm (Home)
South Normanton Athletic
Pre-Season Friendly
Tue, 24th Jul 2018, 7.30pm (Away)
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