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Story posted: Friday, 14th September 2001

Reserve Team News
A rearranged fixture for Shepshed first team means that Rovers Reserves are without a game on Saturday but the lads haven't been off lightly.
We had had a tough training session this morning and I hope that most of the lads are here to join me this afternoon to urge the 1st team onto victory in the FA Cup.

Last Saturday saw us take on and beat Atherstone United reserves who until their visit to the moat ground boasted a 100% record, winning 3 out of 3. A tough game keenly contested by both side eventually saw us run out 3-1 winners with goals from Earl Alexander, recent 1st Team signing, Craig Hanson and late substitute Ravi Sangha. From my point of view, we had a difficult 1st half, where too many of our passes went astray and too many of us were making individual mistakes and in my book, we were lucky to go in level at 1-1.

Credit to the team in the second half as they came out and put in a much improved display to take a deserved win with two well worked goals. The support received from those of you who were there was again excellent and for that I thank you.. The pleasing fact from my point of view was that during our poor spell in the 1st half there was still lots of encouragement coming from the crowd which helps to relax the players when things are not going too well.

The morale in the Reserve team squad is currently very high and the competition for places is very intense and that makes for a good team spirit. Its Ok when you are winning but one thing Simon and I are looking to develop this season, other than a side that will get the ball down and play, is a hard to beat side with a fighting spirit so that when the inevitable periods come in games when things are not going so well, most , if not all the lads dig in and fight. The more lads you've got in your side who have the heart for a battle and can play, the better. This was very much a criticism of some of last years 1st team squad and im determined that those lads who get the chance to step up to the 1st team carry a bit of "fire" in their bellies. Players have got to hurt when we lose and for some people, im not sure it hurts enough !

Two of my squad go away to university this weekend. Tom Witham, is off to Cardiff University but will be back periodically and I will be certainly keeping an eye on his progress. Tom hasn't yet played this season due to him playing a good standard of cricket on Saturdays but he has trained regularly and we wish him all the best at his studies. John Smith is a slightly different case. He is going away to a more local University and so will be back more often. Again we at the club wish "Jonno" all the best with his studies.

Reserve team Captain, Kevin Wagastaff has recently returned from his holiday in Italy where he got engaged. He took a bit of stick from the lads when they found out but im sure it was well meant. Apparently he proposed just after the euphoria of Englands 5-1 victory over Germany !!! Congratulations to Kevin.

Our cancellation this week means that our next game is next Saturday at Hinckley Utd with KickOff at 2-45pm. Keep an eye or an ear out for next months Reserve team fixtures which will be out soon and see if you can get along to a home game or two. It would be great to see you.

Gary Norton
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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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