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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, 7th October 1988

Story courtesy of
Frank Northwood is fighting for his managerial life at Gresley Rovers – or so claim sources close to the hub of the club.
Sensibly, Rovers committee members have distanced themselves from criticism of Northwood, despite an awful seven days in which Banks’s League table-toppers Paget Rangers beat them out of sight at the Moat Ground and Hinckley Town ended their dream of a glorious campaign in the FA Cup.

And Northwood, the wily old fox of the local soccer scene, brushed aside talk of a Moat Ground crisis in his own typically unflappable manner.

“Every club has a few moaners who try to stir up trouble, but you just ignore them and get on with the job,” said Northwood. “Even Brian Clough is being criticised at the moment – but he’s not suddenly become a bad manager. Frank doesn’t’ stop to worry about it. He just keeps going until he gets it right.”

Yet beneath the rhetoric, Northwood must be acutely aware that unease on the terraces could soon start to permeate the committee room unless there is a swift upturn in fortunes.

Expectations are high at the Moat Ground, where Northwood is blessed with the sort of financial resources that makes him the envy of every manager in the Banks’s League.

He was forgiven for last season’s relative failure in the league because success came Gresley’s way in the FA Vase and the Derbyshire Senior Cup.

But, overwhelmingly, Gresley’s ambitious overlords want to see Beazer Homes League football at the Moat Ground and this season they are likely to be less tolerant of another failure in the promotion stakes.

Northwood has been here before and, more than once, has lived to fight another day because he is often at his most resourceful when the chips are down.

It wasn’t even mildly surprising when he responded to Gresley’s cup failure by taking a couple of dips into the transfer market, first to reinforce his defence with the experience of Martin Haskins and then to add the skill and finishing power of Oldbury’s Tracey Norton to his attack.

Northwood has a vast knowledge of Midlands non-league football and an almost unequalled ability to lure established players from other clubs.

It is a brand of management which has earned him as many enemies as it is friends, but it has worked in the past and there’s a more then even chance that it will again now.

The only difference is that this time it might have to work better than ever before.
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League Position
  Team P GD Pts
12 Spalding United 39 -3 50
13 Peterborough Sports 39 -9 45
14 Loughborough Dynamo 40 -18 45
15 Belper Town 40 -40 45
16 Sheffield FC 39 -22 41
17 Carlton Town 38 -5 40
18 Gresley 38 -27 40
19 Kidsgrove Athletic 39 -21 38
20 Newcastle Town 40 -26 35
21 Market Drayton Town 38 -49 32
22 Romulus 40 -39 31

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