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Story posted: Friday, 4th February 2005

Rossendale pre-match news
Gresley Rovers include new signing Gary Browne in the 14 man squad for the visit of Rossendale United in the Unibond First Division (Sat 3pm).
Browne signed for the Moatmen on Thursday and the former Manchester City and Northern Ireland U21 international becomes the first addition to Norton's squad after the Moat boss promised to freshen things up. Browne scored 9 times from midfield for Conference North Worksop before being released in late December as a result of budget cuts.

Norton had hoped to have Birmingham City academy striker Dean Curtis sign in time for Saturday on a month's loan but revealed that the club had been "gazumped" at the last minute. Said Norton: "Dean had just returned to Birmingham after 3 months at Tamworth. He came on when we played them in the Trophy last month and Mark Cooper recommended him to me very highly. We were really excited when both Birmingham and the player agreed to the deal yesterday afternoon. Alan Titterton was due to meet him at Birmingham this morning to complete the paperwork but we received a phone call whilst at training last night from Birmingham to say that he was now going elsewhere on loan. Its bitterly disappointing, especially having agreed things with both the club and player but like I always say, until the ink is dry on the paperwork you can never relax on a players word in this game. It's a blow, especially after the hard work Alan put in getting the deal agreed in the first place. I had jokingly said to the Chairman that I would probably have a sleepless night until the paperwork had been signed then barely 2 hours later we get the news that he's going elsewhere. Its disappointing but that's football I suppose."

The Moat boss revealed that there would be 'at least two more signings next week' as he looks to add to a squad low on confidence after just one league win in seven. "We have seen our blip turn into a blimp during which we have been more than patient with many players who are consistently playing below par. They set themselves certain standards earlier in the season with their performances and for some time now those standards are not being reached by a few. We have though about leaving things as they are in the hope that things will change but how long do I do that for? If we have another month like the last two then we are in danger of a promising season going down the pan. We need to act now and some new faces to add competition for places in certain areas may shake a few up as well as give us a bit more experience, strength and depth for the last few months of the season. We have a lot of games in March and April and need to make sure we have enough quality around the place. We are hoping to bring in a midfielder, defender and have just opened talks with a striker who is due to train with us next week."

Norton will be heartened by the news that all four of last week's absentees will return. Jamie Hood has completed his suspension whilst Andy Simpson will return after missing last week's game through illness. Top scorer Aaron O'Conner will also return from injury as will influential defender Gary White although the 21year old is still suffering somewhat with his ankle. Norton added: "Having key player back is obviously a boost. Gary White ankle isn't 100% yet but he's desperate to play and it's a must win game for us. He's had treatment all week and is almost there. Ideally we would have like to have given him another week but tomorrow is crucial for us and we need him out there. He's shown superb attitude and is desperate to help us kick start things with a win tomorrow."

Striker Chris Freestone is Rovers main injury concern with a back problem picked up during last weeks game at Warrington whilst skipper Matt Smith turned an ankle in training but is expected to be fit to play.

Norton confirmed that Shaun Gummer was the third player to leave the club this week. The midfielder is expected to re-join Belper Town after playing for Glapwell on loan for the last two months.
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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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