08:00 Wednesday 05 February 2014

Leek Town v Gresley: Match preview

Written byTOM SLOAN

GRESLEY boss Martin Rowe has warned his men to beware of a backlash when they visit Leek Town tonight.

The Moatmen hammered the Evo-Stik NPL Division One South promotion hopefuls 4-1 when they met in South Derbyshire on January 25.

Now, Gresley visit the Staffordshire Moorlands for the return fixture, kick-off 7.45pm, with Rowe “quietly confident” of doing the double over the Blues.

“We’re certainly expecting a reaction,” said the manager. “We know it’ll be a tough game after what happened at our place.

“But we’re quietly confident going into the match after beating them 4-1.”

Rowe is planning on lining his side up in more of a defensive formation and frame of mind to contain Leek, who currently sit third in the table after a recent wobble.

The Blues have lost four of their last five games, including the 4-1 defeat at the Moat and a 1-0 loss at Belper Town at the weekend.

“We know we’ll be put under a bit of pressure,” said Rowe, whose side lost 4-1 at Belper last time out. “So, we’ll most likely make a few changes and look to be solid defensively before opening up and trying to go for it later on.”

Rowe could be without former Derby County defender Mitch Hanson, who has a sore knee.

It could give him a problem at right-back.

However, midfielder Jack Langston returns to the starting XI after his skiing holiday.

“We’ll have to hear all about the holiday, I’m sure!” joked Rowe.

Leek boast winger John Johnston, who signed for League One Crewe Alexandra in January but was immediately loaned back to Harrison Park.

Midfielder Jordan Johnson, meanwhile, has netted 21 goals this season for the Blues and Rowe is aware of the dangerous duo.

“They’ve got the lad who signed for Crewe and was then loaned back, and the lad whose been banging in goals,” he said. “They’re both dangerous.”

GRESLEY FROM: Morch, Hanson, Barrett, Guy, Harrison, Lyons, Graves, Langston, Piliero, O’Connell, Turville, Grice, Spencer, Holmes, Steadman, Guest.

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