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Story posted: Wednesday, 20th July 2005

Notts County pre-match news
Gresley Rovers go into tonight's Bass Charity Vase game against Notts County with a surprise inclusion in their squad. Former Jamaican international Jamie Lawrence is set to line up for Rovers after accepting an invitation to play from manager Gary Norton.
Lawrence started his career at Sunderland and also had spells at a number of clubs including Doncaster, Leicester City, and Bradford City. He went on to make over 40 international appearances for the Reggae Boys and only just missed out on a place in the squad for the 1998 World Cup Finals in France.

On the 35 year old former Coca Cola League Cup winner Norton commented: "Jamie playing tonight started out as a bit of a tongue in cheek moment but ended up with him agreeing to play for us. We were discussing the fact he is currently looking for a new club after he was released by Brentford at the end of last season and I asked him if he fancied turning out for us in our Bass Vase game against Notts County. As he's yet to fix himself up with a club for the new season and we have a few bodies out I thought the run-out would be good for both him and us. He's been keeping himself fit by training on his own but I imagine that gets a bit lonely and there is no substitute for matches at this stage of pre-season. To my surprised he agreed to play and we are delighted to welcome him as our guest tonight."

Norton is without no fewer than 10 of his squad for tonight's game but will again look at a number of trialists who are looking to earn deals with the club for the coming season. Gary White, Tony Hemmings, Emeka Ejiofor, and Allan Davies all missing from the squad that faced Burton Albion in Monday's Vase opener after the quartet picked up injuries. White clashed with Albion skipper Darren Stride early in the game but later x-rays revealed nothing more than deep bruising whilst Hemmings limped off with a slight groin strain early in the second half. Both are expected to resume training in around a week's time. Ejiofor picked up an ankle injury whilst full back Davies is suffering from a slight calf problem. Although the latter pair managed to complete the 90 minutes against the Brewers Norton is reluctant to involve either tonight as a precaution. Rovers also continue to be without the services of the holidaying Aaron O'Connor and Nathan Tate whilst Andy Simpson and Chris White are both a week or so away from being included in any action. On top of that the club have today announced the decision of Skipper Matt Smith to retire and also revealed that defender Nail Hudson has moved back to Ireland due to a change in personal circumstances.

Even with the absence of so many of his squad Norton remains upbeat ahead of tonight's game and commented: "Obviously it's a weird situation having so many of our squad out at the same time and it is proving to be quite a headache but having said that it gives us another opportunity to continue looking our trialists and fringe players within the club. Defender Matt Milns is again due to play and we were due to look at another central defender but he's been offered a weeks trial at a league club and is involved in a friendly for them tonight. We will continue to monitor that situation. Mark Strrzyzewsky is not available tonight but he impressed the other night and we hope to look at him again against Leek Town next week although he is also in talks with a couple of other clubs. Nicky Carter and Carl Adams will again feature tonight after impressive displays against Burton on Monday."

The Moat boss added: "Next week we have Aaron O'Connor and Nathan Tate back from holiday and Andy Simpson and Chris White should also be available after injury in time for the game against Leek Town next Friday night as should Gary White and Tony Hemmings. Hopefully the squad will start to take shape over the next couple of weeks and we can get away from the difficult situation we are in now and look to get things a little more settled that they are now."
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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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