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Story posted: Friday, 19th November 2004

Clitheroe pre-match news
Rovers entertain Clitheroe at the Moat Ground tomorrow (3pm) in the UniBond First Division looking to build on wins in the last week over Belper Town and Kidsgrove Athletic.
Jamie Hood is available for selection after serving the final game of his suspension. Hood originally received a three game ban for his sending off at Mossley on September 29th but received a further two game ban after a misconduct charge found him guilty of offensive remarks to a linesman. Now clear of suspension his return to the side is by no means clear cut as Andy Simpson has filled in admirably at the back on five occasions recently and the team have conceded just once in those games.

Manager Gary Norton speaking to commented: "Its great to have Hoody available again but in Andy Simpson we have got one of the finds of our season. When Jamie originally got his suspension I was really worried that we didn't have any recognised cover in that area. We brought Jimmy Turner in against Spalding in the Trophy and played him in the centre on his debut but he didn't really convince me so going into the game at Ilkeston we gambled with Simmo in there and he was absolutely superb. He's been magnificent every time he's played there and has given us a massive boost to know that we have now got quality cover for most areas of the squad. Versatility is key in a small squad like ours. It was a similar story last week at Belper when left back Gary White was out. Jimmy Turner switched sides and put in a man of the match performance in an area that previously I was a little worried about if Whitey was ever missing."

Unfortunately, Rovers will be missing the services of Liam Hebberd for the Clitheroe game after he took a bang on his leg late in the 4-1 win on Tuesday night. Norton said: "Liam took a knock on Tuesday late on and it swelled up considerably overnight. It's in the same area where he broke his leg last season so it was feared that there was a possible fracture but fortunately x-rays revealed that there was no serious damage. That's good news for us and Liam and we are hopeful that Liam will be back before too long."

With Hebberd being out Rovers have a plethora of good options down the right with Sean Gummer, Andy Marlowe and Chris Gray all possible replacements in that position. The Moat boss however was remaining tight lipped other that to indicate that there might be other options in that area to think about as well as the more obvious ones.

Norton knows tomorrow's encounter will be a tough one against a Clitheroe side who have run into a bit of form culminating in them beating leaders North Ferriby United last weekend. He said: "Clitheroe have been on a good run recently. They are six unbeaten and last week did the chasing pack a big favour by beating the leaders. We will need to be somewhere near our best if we want to take the points."
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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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