Football: Onwards and upwards for Grove after they send Castle crashing
KIDSGROVE manager Shaun Hollinshead is hoping his side have turned their season around following Tuesday's 4-1 derby triumph over Newcastle Town.
The victory, at the Seddon Stadium, completed a remarkable four days for Grove, who were hammered 6-1 at Chasetown on Saturday.
Hollinshead wasn't at the Chasetown game, but shared his team's pain as he was recovering from a double hernia operation.
He was able to return to dug-out duty on Tuesday and was delighted with the performance as his players brushed aside a run of eight defeats in nine games to put Newcastle to the sword.
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Now Hollinshead wants more of the same when his side entertain Gresley tomorrow.
He will be joined in the dug-out by Dave Johnson and Kevin Street, the former Crewe midfielder who has joined the coaching staff having initially been recruited as a player at the start of the season.
Hollinshead said: "I got a blow-by-blow account of what happened at Chasetown from Dave and Kevin.
"Confidence was low after losing like that and we decided to make changes, although in positions as much as personnel.
"We asked Liam Shotton to play on the left of Andy Kinsey up front, with John Johnston on the right, so when we were defending the system became a 4-5-1.
"It worked very well because we were closing down spaces which we hadn't done in the past."
Kidsgrove nerves were settled within 30 seconds when Kinsey smashed the ball into the top corner from 25 yards.
Matt Lowe equalised for Newcastle on 42 minutes, but Paul Taylor fired the home side back in front on the stroke of half-time Kidsgrove then took over in the second half as Johnston, pictured right, scored twice to confirm their superiority over a Newcastle side who lost Laton Wint, Kyle Diskin and Tom France to injury.
Johnston's performance underlined the potential of the youth-team graduate who is hoping for a regular run in the first team.
Hollinshead was delighted by the contribution of the 18-year old from Silverdale.
He said: "The easy thing with a young player is to just throw them in, but we have tried to be a bit more structured than that.
"He is impatient to play, which is good, but we have been using him in bits and pieces to give him a feel for the game. He is quick, has bags of energy and scored two very good goals.
"He is certainly getting to the point of justifying a place."
Johnston shared the man-of-the-match award with left-back Jack Sherratt, the former Newcastle player who also served under Hollinshead at Stone Dominoes.
Hollinshead said he was also impressed by his central midfield trio of Ash Hill, Craig Dove and Dan Skelton.
The victory leaves Kidsgrove third-from-bottom of Evo-Stik League Division One South, but looking optimistically up the table as Hollinshead builds a side in his first season in charge.
He said: "The expectations at Kidsgrove are so high. This club deserves a top-notch side, but it won't happen overnight.
"If we finish just below mid-table, the same as last season, then that would be a success because we would have had a season of young players learning to play at this level."
NEWCASTLE Town could be in for a tough time again tomorrow when they travel to leaders Coalville Town, who have rattled in 57 goals in their 16 league matches so far.
LEEK Town head for Derbyshire to take on Mickleover Sports.