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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: Tuesday, 18th December 1990

Gresley prepare to beat Brewers
Story courtesy of
Two or three years from now, Burton Albion’s unquestioned claim to be the area’s top club could be challenged – by their arch rivals Gresley Rovers.
While the Brewers are continually moaning about how much money they have to spend simply to stay where they are, Gresley are making gigantic strides in preparing the Moat Ground for Beazer Homes League Midland Division football.

On Saturday I dipped out of Burton’s 2-0 victory over Farnborough Town to watch Rovers reach the last 32 of the FA Vase trophy with a 2-1 win over United Counties League side Raunds Town.

The atmosphere at Eton Park could hardly be more different than the one at Moat Street.

Off the field Burton seem tired, negative and resigned to accepting the standard of football they are experiencing now – at least for the next 18 months.

On the other hand, Gresley are vibrant, progressive and determined to bring success to this great little club which has a wonderful tradition.

As soon as you walk through the turnstiles at the Moat, you get a friendly welcome that makes you feel at home.

I was amazed at the work they had taken place since my last visit, Gresley’s committee don’t just talk about getting things done – they roll up their sleeves and do it. They have to rely on outside experts only for the specialist jobs.

There was a vibrant atmosphere on Saturday despite the fact that only 329 people were there – Gresley, like most clubs, were a casualty of the pre-Christmas syndrome.

And their fans really got behind their side to give them a boost just when they needed it.

That’s one thing you can rarely expect Brewers fans to do. Most of them are happy only when they are complaining: vocal encouragement is not their strong point.

Incidentally, a handful of Albion fans deserted their team to watch Gresley. They paid their £1 admission instead of £2.50 at Eton Park and told me there was nothing for the Brewers to play for in the league this season.

That’s despite the Brewers putting together an 11-game unbeaten run which has propelled Steve Powell’s side up the table.

Gresley, the best-supported non-league side in Derbyshire, would hold their own both on and off the field if they were to be accepted into the Beazer.

They would no doubt have to strengthen their side to make any impact on the Midland Division – but as far as crowds are concerned they would have few equals.

A recent survey showed that Gresley’s average gate of 441 is bettered only by only four Midland Division clubs, Newport, Tamworth, Nuneaton and Kings Lynn.

And only four HFS Loans League PREMIER Division clubs can boast better gates: Witton, Hyde, Leek and Chorley.

Buxton trail behind the Moatmen with 426 while Matlock are attracting an average of just 397. The First Division clubs are nowhere.

Rovers have been unlucky in their previous attempts to get into the Beazer. It would be a tragedy if they don’t manage it at the end of this season.

In these days of clubs struggling to make ends meet and not knowing whether they will make it until the end of the season, Gresley have a refreshing philosophy: you can’t spend what you haven’t got.

The club has a sound financial structure, ambition and enthusiasm.

The last two qualities may not have totally disappeared at Burton – but they have sunk into the background off the field.

Continued success at the Moat Ground over the next few years could mean that the Brewers’ tag as the top side in the area will be under threat from galloping Gresley who could well become the local team of the 90’s.
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League Position
  Team P GD Pts
12 Spalding United 40 -5 50
13 Peterborough Sports 40 -8 48
14 Loughborough Dynamo 41 -18 46
15 Belper Town 41 -42 45
16 Sheffield FC 40 -22 42
17 Kidsgrove Athletic 40 -19 41
18 Carlton Town 39 -7 40
19 Gresley 39 -32 40
20 Newcastle Town 41 -26 36
21 Romulus 41 -37 34
22 Market Drayton Town 39 -49 33

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