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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: Friday, 15th January 1993

Defiant Dolby Vase pledge
Story courtesy of
Gresley Rovers boss Steve Dolby stared adversity in the face today and pledged: “We can still beat Bridgnorth.”
The Shropshire team come to the Moat Ground for tomorrow’s FA Vase 4th round clash with Rovers thrown into crisis by Tuesday’s broken leg sickner for midfielder Tony Marsden and top scorer Kieron Smith’s failure to recover from a knee injury.

The double blow means Dolby is faced with the prospect of fielding a reshuffled side for Rovers’ most important game of the season so far – and plunging 10-goal striker Paul Acklam back into action after a 12-week injury lay-off.

But a defiant Dolby insisted: “We can cope – and I’m hoping Tony’s injury will act as a spur for the rest of the side.”

Meanwhile, Town boss Billy Ball is boasting that his team – who sent shock waves through the Beazer Midland Division by becoming the first team to win a league game at the Moat Ground for more than a year back in October – is now even stronger than the one that inflicted that 2-1 defeat.

Ball said this week: “When we one at Gresley I was four or five players short of the team I’m playing now.”

Statistics back Ball’s claim that his side is much improved since Gresley went to Crown Meadow, with Town coming to South Derbyshire on the crest of a 15-game run in which they have suffered just three defeats.

But as Dolby surveyed the remnants of his first team squad today he declared: “No matter how many players he’s got they can only play 11. And, if we perform, our players will be better than his.”

Dolby believes his latest injury setback could act as a spur to the team, saying: “These things can work two ways. If someone gets an injury the rest of the players often raise their game – just look at how we played in the second half against Rushden on Tuesday.

“I just want the lads to go out there tomorrow and say: ‘Right, let’s win this one for Tony Marsden.”

Ball will have his team in an equally determined mood, however, as they bid to equal the club’s best ever performance by reaching the 5th round of the Vase for the first time since 1976.

The Town boss said: “With Gresley’s track record in the Vase you’ve got to make them favourites, but it will be a great day with a great atmosphere and I just wish I was playing.”

Dolby plans to expand his embattled first team squad by moving into the transfer market.

He said after hearing that Marsden’s injury is likely to keep him sidelined until March: “I’m making enquiries but it’s not a good time to sign players at the moment.

“We’re down to 15 players at the moment and that’s not enough to push for the title.”

The good news is that Acklam and Smith are both almost ready for a return. But fellow striker Mike Taplin must revisit a specialist after failing to shake off a persistent knee problem.
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League Position
  Team P GD Pts
12 Spalding United 40 -5 50
13 Peterborough Sports 40 -8 48
14 Loughborough Dynamo 41 -18 46
15 Belper Town 41 -42 45
16 Sheffield FC 40 -22 42
17 Carlton Town 40 -7 41
18 Kidsgrove Athletic 40 -19 41
19 Gresley 40 -38 40
20 Newcastle Town 41 -26 36
21 Romulus 41 -37 34
22 Market Drayton Town 39 -49 33

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