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Story posted: Monday, 25th March 1991

Almost there!
Story courtesy of
Gresley Rovers manager Fran Northwood predicts there are more FA Vase semi-final goals to come after Saturday’s first leg at the Moat Ground took Rovers tantalisingly close to a dream trip to Wembley.
Gresley, 2-0 up after 28 minutes and leading 3-0 after 83 minutes, eventually beat Littlehampton Town of the Sussex County League 3-1.

And while Gresley would clearly have preferred not to have conceded a late goal, Northwood said afterwards: “I think we can score more goals again down there.”

After seeing his side dominate the first half only for Littlehampton to come back and control much of the second, Northwood said: “I felt we had the first half and the last 20 minutes of the second. Bob Aston pulled off a couple of great saves but we deserved our win.

“It’s only half time but we’ll go down there and score goals again. I’m certainly happy. We got our just reward and it’s better to go down there 3-1 up than with no goals at all. Anybody would settle for a two-goal advantage.”

Skipper Richard Denby agreed, saying: “I’d have settled for 3-1 before the game. And we’re always capable of scoring away from home.

“Give Littlehampton credit, they came at us in the second half but we could have had four or five in the first.”

Littlehampton manager Carl Stabler was so lost for words afterwards that he came out with the ultimate soccer cliché, saying: “I’m as sick as a parrot – we didn’t play at all well.

“Our first half display was the worst we’ve played all season although I thought we showed in the second half that we can play a bit and their keeper played really well to keep us out.

“It will be a tight game on Saturday – there’s no way the tie’s over yet.”

Northwood today paid tribute to the army of helpers that made Saturday’s game – attended by 1,942 spectators – an organisational triumph.

“I would like to congratulate the committee for their tremendous organisation and all the people who came from outside the club to help.
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League Position
  Team P GD Pts
10 Highgate United 29 -3 38
11 South Normanton Athletic 26 0 37
12 Worcester City 26 11 36
13 AFC Wulfunians 31 -6 36
14 Coventry Sphinx 25 -19 34
15 Tividale 23 -4 27
16 Haughmond 29 -29 26
17 Racing Club Warwick 24 -29 24
18 Lye Town 28 -31 18
19 Gresley 26 -22 16
20 Selston 25 -38 13

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