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Story posted: Thursday, 3rd May 1990

Magic Moatmen
Story courtesy of
Gresley Rovers were recrowned as the cup kings of Derbyshire last night after completing an historic hat trick of Senior Cup triumphs at the Moat Ground last night.
Rovers’ grip on the handsome trophy, tightened by a share of honours at Causeway Lane a week ago, was apparently broken when mercurial Matlock Town swept to a
2-0 lead with little more than 30 minutes of the return leg remaining.

But in an astonishingly reversal of fortunes rampant Rovers, inspired by veteran striker Brian Beresford, routed their HFS Loans League opponents, with three goals in a spell-binding sequence to capture the trophy for the third successive season by a 4-3 aggregate.

A night of real emotion was soured by ugly scenes involving Matlock fans in a crowd of more than 850 and bad-boy midfielder Everton Marsh.

Visiting supporters had to be cleared from behind a goal after Gresley’s lynch-pin Gil Land had been kicked.

More disgrace was heaped on the Gladiators when they had Marsh sent off by Walton-on-Trent referee George Stones three minutes from the end after midfielder had assaulted Gresley trainer Gordon Ford as he attempted to treat an injured player.

Beresford inspired Gresley’s fightback after coming on as a substitute to score twice, one a header, in eight minutes. Then amid jubilant scenes defender Steve Astley drove in an 85th minute winner.

Beresford said: “It was an unbelievable turnaround. I honestly thought we were dead and buried. Headed goals aren’t my strong point but I could see that their centre half wasn’t going to make it and I knew that if I could get on the end of Paul Acklam’s cross we were in for a goal.”

Astley, scorer in the victory over Stapenhill in last season’s final, admitted: “I just shut my eyes and whopped it. I haven’t been hitting anything lately but I seem to have a happy knack of making them count in cup finals.”

Rovers boss Frank Northwood said: “I never thought it was over even when we went two down, but we still had to show tremendous character to come back and win it.”

Matlock manager Dave Wilton declined to comment on the controversial incidents, but still snapped: “Obviously I’ve got to be very disappointed. We’re a semi-professional side and should not have lost a two goal lead.”
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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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