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Story posted: Friday, 27th August 1993

Tony all tuned up
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Tony Marsden put a tormented first season at the Moat Ground firmly behind him when he smashed in Gresley Rovers’ opening goal against Cambridge City on Tuesday.
The popular former Grantham skipper was forced to miss exactly half of Rovers’ league games last term by an accumulation of injuries that eventually saw him sit out the vital climax to the promotion campaign.

But after a summer of rest the Derby-based Marsden is on song again – and raring to go.

“I’m just pleased to be back and getting my fitness right,” he said after Tuesday’s grueller. “It was frustrating last season but Steve Dolby has shown faith in me and it was great to get on the scoresheet tonight – a real bonus.”

Although a seasoned campaigner at Beazer Midland level Marsden, like the majority of Dolby’s side, is a new boy to the Premier Division and admits: “We’re still learning. We lasted 75 minutes, but we proved we can live with the best. As long as we can keep pinching points until we’re match fit for this level we’ll be all right.”

Meanwhile, says Marsden, the Moatmen have adopted a new, more professional outlook for life in the top flight – at the instruction of boss Dolby.

“Steve says we’ve got to be more professional in our outlook. He’s told us we can be winning 1-0 and relax and be losing 3-1. These teams can turn the pressure on and score if you give them the chance. You’ve got to be alert and organise yourself – and changing to a more professional approach is the main thing we’ve done in our preparations. When we went to Dorchester we made sure we defended properly first and everything else was a bonus.

“Tonight we had to attack from the off but we played tremendous football.”

While Marsden’s performance suggests only further injuries will force him out of Dolby’s reckoning a string of players await their chance on the sidelines.

And the manager warned: “I’ve told the squad that whoever plays well will stay in the side and I make no apologies to those sitting watching – they’ll have to take their chance as it comes.”

With life in the top flight sure to be faster and more physical, however, one thing seemed certain – if Dolby can keep his squad together everyone will get the chance sooner or later – with the first opportunity arising for tomorrow’s home game against Crawley Town as striker Martin Devaney begins a three-match absence through work commitments.
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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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