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Story posted: Wednesday, 11th September 1991

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Gresley Rovers set out on the FA Cup trail tomorrow with manager Frank Northwood in a much happier frame of mind than he was a week ago.
The veteran Moat Ground supremo was in a lather after his creaking league champions leaked six goals in as many games to slump to an unfamiliar bottom half slot in the West Midlands Premier Division table.

But Tuesday’s league cup draw at Chasetown left Northwood with a smile on his face – even though Rovers conceded another two goals to the trophy holders.

“It was good preparation for the trip to Raunds,” said Northwood as he turned his thoughts to tomorrow’s clash with the Northamptonshire-based United Counties leaguers – the third time in a year that the teams have met.

Rovers knocked Raunds out of the FA Vase with a 2-1 win at the Moat Ground in December and followed up with a 1-0 away win in a pre-season friendly.

Meanwhile, Northwood singled out former skipper Dean Page for special praise after Tuesday’s game, saying: “Dean did well – he tightened things up for us.”

That could mean bad news for the man ousted out of the side by Page Steve Astley.

Astley only established himself as a regular in the side when Page was hit by a long-term injury problem, having previously had to be content with a utility role at the club.

Indeed, he rose from the substitutes bench on Tuesday to take up a wide attacking role.

Meanwhile, Northwood planned talks last night with former Moatman Michael Guest, another player who can play anywhere in the middle or across the back, Dudley left back or midfielder Jason Darkes and two other players, yet unnamed, one attacker and the other a central defender.

And teenager Stuart Evans, signed during the summer after being released by Wolves, is also waiting in the wings after impressing during a couple of brief appearances as substitute.

Said Northwood: Stuart hasn’t had much of a look in yet, but he’ll get his chance.”
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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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