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Story posted: Thursday, 8th May 1986

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Gresley Rovers go into the final game of their best-ever West Midlands League season tonight knowing that one point can clinch them an unprecedented runners-up spot.
And on the eve of their crunch clash at Harrison’s, club chairman David Nish today paid lavish tribute to the man that has taken the club to new heights.

“You judge a manager on his results – and Frank Northwood has done an excellent job for us in his first full season,” said Nish.

“We’ve seen a few players come and go, but Frank has a tremendous knowledge of the game at this level and he has instilled the necessary consistency into the side. Frank has built a very good team. He’s been backed by the committee and he’s proved his worth. I don’t see any reason why we can’t do even better next season.

“It’s been a great season, everyone has enjoyed it, and it would be great if the team could go out tonight and make sure of the runners-up spot.”

Rovers have one injury doubt after Tuesday’s home win against Tipton Town. Defender Mark Bromley has a facial injury and faces a late fitness check.

Northwood adds winger Kevin Banton to an otherwise unchanged squad.

Great Wyrley-based Harrison’s led the title race at the start of the season and rarely slipped from the top three places until a recent run of bad results.

But the team led by player-manager John McAlle, the former Wolves, and Derby defender, is still likely to pose a stern test to Rovers’ 21-match unbeaten run.
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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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