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Story posted: Tuesday, 4th August 1992

Dreaming of Vase return
Story courtesy of
Bob Aston breezed into the Moat Ground for his second stint as Gresley Rovers keeper and declared – “I’m back for another crack at the Vase.”
The popular Stoke-based goalkeeper confesses: “That’s what I’m back for – I believe we can make another little trip somewhere down London way come May.”

Aston was one of Rovers’ heroes in the historic Wembley comeback against Guiseley last year, producing a string of stunning saves in the shadow of the Twin Towers as Gresley overturned a 3-0 deficit to claim a dramatic 4-4 draw with the Yorkshiremen.

But things turned sour when the Moatmen tumbled out of last season’s competition at Newcastle Town – and Aston was dramatically shown the door by the then boss Frank Northwood.

It was the evergreen keeper who had the last laugh though – for soon afterwards Northwood himself was given the boot – and new boss Steve Dolby swooped to make Aston his first signing as the club geared up for it’s first season in the Beazer Homes League.

Aston recalls: “I thought it was a bad decision to sack me – and I told Northwood so. I was very disappointed – I thought I’d played to a good standard all season and I believe I played well at Newcastle. For someone to turn round and tell me I wasn’t doing the business – well, we weren’t talking on the same wavelength.

“But it’s all in the past now – Steve’s manager now and we can start afresh. There are one or two new faces around the club and things are going all right – they’re all buzzing in training and looking fit. You could tell even in our first pre-season friendly that everyone was looking to play a bit.

“Like most years, we’re starting with a big squad with plenty of good footballers. If we can keep it together we’ll be all right.”

“Although I’ve played in the Northern Premier League, this will be my first taste of the Southern League. But I’m sure we’re going to be on a high when we kick off.

“We’ve got a good cup record against Beazer sides and, while it’s going to be different playing week in, week out, a lot of our lads have been playing below their standard for a few seasons now and it can only be good for our game.

“A place in the top eight is a realistic aim – I don’t think we should set our sights too high. But we’re still in the Vase and, like I say, I’d like another one of those Wembley weekends.”
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League Position
  Team P GD Pts
12 Peterborough Sports 42 -8 51
13 Spalding United 42 -10 50
14 Loughborough Dynamo 42 -17 49
15 Sheffield FC 42 -19 45
16 Belper Town 42 -44 45
17 Gresley 42 -42 43
18 Kidsgrove Athletic 42 -20 42
19 Carlton Town 42 -10 41
20 Newcastle Town 42 -24 39
21 Market Drayton Town 42 -46 39
22 Romulus 42 -37 35

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