MARTIN Rowe says Lucas Harrison will be a big miss this weekend after praising the young left-back for successfully filling the big void left by former Gresley star Jordi Gough.
Gough was one of the club’s best players over the past three seasons, and his performances earned him a move to Solihull Moors this summer.
Harrison (pictured) was brought in from Stapenhill and impressed until a thigh injury ruled him out of action.
He will be unavailable as the Moatmen face a tough test at Conference outfit Brackley Town in the FA Cup tomorrow, kick-off 3pm, and manager Rowe said: “It’s a real shame he’s injured.
“Lucas has been one of the finds of the season.
“He’s very like Jordi Gough, and they both came from the same club as well.”
Brackley may ply their trade two levels above Gresley, but Rowe said his side will not sit back and defend at St James Park.
“Being underdogs is something that we like, because everyone will be writing us off like when we went to Scarborough and Kettering Town, and we won those games,” he said.
“The players know they have to step it up to another level, but we can do that.
“There’s no point going there to defend because we’ll be inviting them onto us, so I’ll select an attacking line-up.
“It’s one of those cups when an underdog can do well and when I was at Borrowash Victoria we beat Mansfield.”
Gresley will go into the game on a high after finally picking up their first home league win of the season on Monday
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with a 2-1 victory over Sutton Coldfield Town, and they have won their last three games in all competitions.
Rowe said: “The win in the FA Cup took a lot of the pressure off, but went we went 1-0 down (against Sutton) I thought ‘here we go again’, but the lads kept working hard and we got the result.
“People have been asking me why the fortunes have changed, but we’ve been playing well all season, just not putting our chances away.
“We’re playing better as a team now, even though I’ve had to keep changing the back four.
“Sometimes it just takes teams a bit of time to get into a season.
“The lads are playing with confidence.”
Rowe also said he was pleased to have brought the average age of the Gresley squad down with a number of young signings over the summer.
“We’ve got a good mix of experienced players and youngsters now,” he said.
“We realised this summer that the team was getting a bit older, so we’ve looked at getting younger players in like Sam Grice, who has come through from the reserves and forced his way into the first team.
“There’s also the likes of Lucas, Liam Guest and Dean Withers, who have all done well, and it’s nice to see that they are taking the challenge and pushing the senior players for a chance.
“The senior players know they’ve got to keep working hard.”
Midfielder James Jepson and skipper Jamie Barrett were given a rest as unused substitutes on Monday night, but will come back into the squad.
However, the game comes too soon for Royce Turville (knee), and Liam Guest is cup-tied.
Rob Spencer is rated as 50/50 but could make the bench.
GRESLEY FROM: Etheridge, Hanson, Guy, Strzyzewski, Grice, Graves, Holmes, Oliver, O’Connell, Nadat, Goodfellow, Lyons, Barrett, Wilson, Jepson, Spencer.