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Story posted: Saturday, 30th March 2002

Gaz Norton's Reserve Team News
Such a lot has happened since my article, but the obvious place to start is with the shock of losing John to Ilkeston last week.
No-one was more shocked or disappointed than I when I heard the news and initially I was most upset at losing John because of the fantastic way he treated me personally and also the rest of the lads in the Reserves. He has given several of the squad opportunities in the 1st team during the course of this season. (Moran, Jenkinson, Lonergan, Roberts, Lewesley, and Withers) and that in itself was good motivation for the younger lads at the club. I have spoken to John at length and passed his best wishes on to the Reserve team squad as he requested. However, that’s all in the past now and it’s now the future we all must look forward to and I remain hopeful that whoever comes in has a similar policy of giving opportunities to the Reserves lads if they warrant it.

Friday saw us receive some excellent news when the Reserves were named “Midland Combination Reserve Division Team of the Month”. Simon and I were obviously delighted with this news and the lads deserve special praise for this. Its especially nice considering the run we have been on of late.

Since our 8-3 drubbing at Solihull which was obviously a low point of the season at the end of November, we have embarked on a run of only 1 defeat in our last 12 games (that coming also against Solihull 3-1 at home). In particular the recent run of being unbeaten in our last 8 games including a 6 game winning run, has shown what the lads are capable of. I see that big defeat at Solihull as the turning point for the season because we all learnt something from that game, myself included and the experience has made us a better, tighter unit.

Last Saturday's game against Shepshed seemed certain to give us our 7th win on the trot until a 35 yard wonder goal from Andy Dunn in the 2nd minute of injury time gave Shepshed a share of the points. Ryan Yearsley gave us the lead after 4 minutes although Damian Heskey levelled early in the 2nd half. James Lewesley popped up with a rare goal from a well taken free kick to give us the lead again.

Today we are playing Atherstone Reserves as we look to get back to winning ways and perhaps embark on another decent run of results with the target of finishing as high up the league as possible.

Finally, we have been drawn at home in the Semi-Final of the Challenge Trophy against Reserve Division champions elect Solihull Borough. This provides an excellent opportunity for us to avenge our two league defeats against them and the lads will most certainly be up for that one.

Regards
Gary Norton
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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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