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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 November 1985

Roger and out?
Story courtesy of
There must have been a few raised eyebrows at the Moat Ground last Saturday when Gresley Rovers trotted out before their game with Malvern Town.
For the unmistakable lanky figure of Roger Davies was missing from the Rovers starting line-up and the former Derby County goal scorer was only introduced into the action with 25 minutes left – despite the fact that Gresley were slipping towards a disappointing 0 – 0 draw.

All that came eight days after he and his former Baseball Ground colleague David Nish had given a defensive display which had the assembled crowd drooling in the 2 – 0 win over Wednesfield Social.

Then again in Tuesday’s defeat at Halesowen the absence through work commitments of Ian Earley meant that Davies was brought back in and once again he proceeded to give a masterly display at the heart of the Rovers defence.

But if the evidence of the season so far is anything to go by that performance will not guarantee Davies a place in the side for tomorrow’s league trip to Brereton Social.

Manager Frank Northwood’s reluctance to utilise Davies’ vast experience in the central defensive position, which he fills with such authority, has been baffling.

At Halesowen he was at the heart of a marvellous display of controlled football from a Gresley side who were desperately unfortunate not to get a point against their multi-talented hosts.

But Northwood has gone on record as saying that the Mark Bromley – Steve Dolby partnership is his first choice at the centre of the defence.

All that means that Davies’ appearances in the side could be restricted to just a handful and that his influence will only be brought to bear in his capacity as coach.

But questions about this seemingly rather strange position bring a tactful response from the man who brought Northwood to Gresley when his own spell as manager was beginning to flounder.

“I enjoy playing at the back but frankly I’m happy to play anywhere I’m needed,” he says. “But Frank is the manager and Frank has the final say on team selection.”

One of the most significant matches that Davies missed was the FA Cup defeat at Leyton-Wingate.

“I was very disappointed when I was left out of the cup game and again last Saturday I was upset after David and I had played so well the previous week.”

But despite his disappointment at not commanding a regular place Davies still enjoys his coaching duties.

“They’re a great set of lads and I really enjoy coaching and working with them,” he adds.

The chief characteristic of Davies’ play in his centre half role is his refusal to resort to big boot tactics.

That can sometimes lead to some heart-stopping moments as he or Brian Attley attempt an apparently suicidal back pass or outrageous nut-meg but sheer class alone means they get away with it more often than not.

“We try to play simple football with the emphasis on keeping possession at all times and at Halesowen it worked really well. I thought we played some super football on Tuesday and although we lost, I reckon we played much better than in the games with Alfreton and Worksop.”
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League Position
  Team P GD Pts
1 Morpeth Town 11 17 26
2 Marske United 11 7 19
3 Brighouse Town 12 6 19
4 Gresley 12 -6 19
5 Ossett United 11 7 18
6 Pontefract Collieries 11 4 18
7 Lincoln United 12 3 18
8 Stamford AFC 11 5 17
9 Tadcaster Albion 11 2 16
10 Belper Town 11 -1 16
11 Frickley Athletic 10 -5 15

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