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Match Report  |  Oldswinford vs Gresley Rovers

Note that this page is from our Gresley Rovers archive.
It may not be related to the new club Gresley FC.
6th December 1986

Oldswinford vs Gresley Rovers

Dolby system! – Burton Mail

Gresley Rovers’ Mr Dependable Steve Dolby inspired the Moatmen to victory which kept their title challenge on the rails – then turned their attention to dreams of Wembley.

Dolby coaxed and cajoled an out-of-sorts Rovers side to a vital two points but afterwards could not keep his thoughts from straying towards Saturday’s FA Vase mission against Hucknall CW.

“I’ve always had two ambitions in the game,” said the veteran of more than 300 Burton Albion appearances. “One was to get to the third round of the FA Cup and play a First Division side, the other was to play at Wembley.

Dolby achieved the first of those ambitions two years ago in Albion’s momentous battles with Leicester City and now he feels the time is right to set about reaching the second goal.

“I’d really love to play at Wembley – it’s every player’s dream. We’ll start as favourites against Hucknall but they have a very good record in the competition so we’ll have to be at our best.”

Dolby is very much the elder statesman of Frank Northwood’s side and his part in this single goal victory was acknowledged by the manager: “He was absolutely superb, the man-of-the-match,” he said.

Dolby was a man mountain of defiance at the heart of a Rovers defence that creaked a little in the face of a spirited Oldswinford first half onslaught.

But their eventual victory owed as much to an eccentric piece of refereeing from Great Wyrley official A M Hackett as it did to Dolby’s inspirational presence.

It was Hackett who, with ludicrous severity, sent off Rovers striker Peter Mould, apparently for the use of an elbow eight minutes into the second half.

Like so many sides before them, Rovers were galvanised into life by the sense of injustice and their reward came eight minutes from time.

Substitute Colin Taylor pushed the ball wide to Clive Arthur and he raced for the bye-line before cutting the ball brilliantly back into the path of the stylish Martin Devaney, who accepted the easy chance with a cool economy.

Oldswinford, reluctant to see all their honest toil count for nothing, staged a furious late assault and but for two saves in a minute by Karl Austin from Paul Welch might well have salvaged a point.

It was a combination of Austin’s brilliance and some indifferent finishing that kept Rovers in the match while they struggled out of first gear.

Welch was denied by Austin early on after an excellent run and cross by the troublesome Fred Rowe and Rowe himself headed straight at the keeper after the artistry of Hugh Ledgister had carved a gaping hole in the Rovers defence.

Rovers lacked someone to run the game from midfield and with only Devaney looking a consistent threat up-front it was no wonder that Northwood hinted afterwards about changes for Saturday’s Vase assignment.

Oldswinford (0) 0

Gresley Rovers (0) 1

Scorer: Devaney 82.

Oldswinford: Dudgeon, Aston, Pedley, Hamilton, Francis, Ledgister, Billingham, Winsper, Rowe, Bowerman, Welch. Sub not used: Cole.

Gresley Rovers: Austin, Bottomley, Bromley, Pearsall, Dolby, Laws, Arthur, Philpott (Taylor 81), Mould, Beresford, Devaney.

Referee: AM Hackett (Great Wyrley).

Attendance: 48