GRESLEY have looked to the Football League in a bid to solve their defensive problems.
The Moatmen have kept just one clean sheet in their four Evo-Stik NPL Division One South games so far this season, and their cause was not helped last weekend when Jamie Barrett limped out of the 2-0 FA Cup win over Kettering Town.
His knee injury keeps him out of tomorrow’s visit of Loughborough Dynamo to the Moat Ground, and so manager Martin Rowe has signed centre-halfs Liam Guest and Mitchell Hanson, latterly of Notts County and Derby County respectively.
Rowe said: “Both the lads played in a intra-squad friendly in midweek, and we liked what we saw.
“Liam got a bit disillusioned at Notts County but he looks promising and we might bring him straight in for his debut, but they have both been very impressive.
The squad is getting quite big now so that’s something we’ll have to look at.”
Derby-born Hanson, 25, started his career with the Rams, but one League Cup appearance aside, failed to make the grade, and after loan spells with Port Vale and Notts County, suffered a dislocated kneecap in 2009 which ruled him out of contention for a year.
He was releassed in 2011 and after a brief spell with Oxford United, signed for Conference North club Eastwood Town, before playing joining Ilkeston.
While with the Badgers, Hanson was briefly joint caretaker-manager following the departure of John Ramshaw in October 2012.
Guest, meanwhile, was released by the Magpies’ academy this summer and was playing with Graham St Prims before being lured to Gresley.
With only one win to their name in the league, Rowe will be hoping his side can use their cup success to start picking up results, especially at home, where they have yet to win.
“I’m going to be telling the players that I want their work rate to improve,” he said.
“At home, we’ve got to concentrate more, and Loughborough won’t be an easy game.
“Sometimes you try and be a bit more attacking when you’re at home and you lose out defensively.
“We’re not getting that quite right at the moment.
“But it’s only two games so I’m not unduly worried.
Gresley were already missing Marc Strzyzewski through injury last weekend, with John Guy stepping in at centre-half against Kettering and Matt Roome coming off the bench to replace skipper Barrett.
“When we lost Jamie Barrett I thought ‘this is all we need’, but Matt Roome came in and did very well,” said Rowe.
“John Guy moved across and was my man-of-the-match, although we defended well as a team
“That potentially gives me a headache for this weekend.”
Strzyzewski is back from suspension tomorrow, and should return at the back, most likley partnered by Guest, with Hanson also in the squad.
Danny Holmes is back from suspension as well, but could be away with Derby County in Marbella as the Rams enjoy the international break.
Royce Turville has played the last two games up front due to a niggling injury to Dean Oliver, who could return to lead the line tomorrow.
“Dean wasn’t 100 per cent and so Royce came in and did well,” said Rowe.
“Royce wants to keep the shirt, which is great for us.”
Barrett would have been missing this weekend anyway as he attends a wedding, and Rowe will hope his captain is not missing for too long.
“Jamie Barrett’s knee locked up and it’s still the same and he can’t move it.
“When we got back to Gresley he n“He’s missing this week anyway so he’s got a fortnight to recover.”
Marc Goodfellow is also at a wedding, and misses out.
GRESLEY FROM: Hateley, Etheridge, Johns, Harrison, Guy, Roome, Hanson, Guest, Graves, Lyons, Jepson, Turville, Oliver, Spencer, O’Connell, Grice, Fitzhugh, Withers, Townsend, Holmes, Strzyzewski.