Boss Hallcro proud as Grantham Town exit FA Cup battling

GRANTHAM Town’s dreams of continuing FA Cup success were shattered on Saturday.

Playing against opposition from two leagues higher than the Gingerbreads, Town put on a brave show at Solihull Moors and could quite easily have stolen the glory.

At 2-0 down after just half an hour, Grantham could have buckled but instead responded to level the affair after another 30 minutes’ play. The killer blow came midway through the second half. Despite a lengthy period of added time, the Gingerbreads were unable to find a third goal to bring the West Midlands side back to The Meres for a rematch.

Town’s joint manager Wayne Hallcro said he was proud of the way his and Jimmy Albans’s side had performed. Hallcro said: “The way they played suited us and we certainly had a right go at 2-0 down. When we pulled it back to 2-2 I thought there was only going to be one winner.

“We went there and largely did what we do week in week out. We gave them a scare, I just wish we could have watched them a bit more to really get to grips with what they were about.

“If I was being highly critical of last Saturday, I would say it is the first time in a long time that we have lost the battles at centre half. We didn’t win our first headers as we usually do. It shows that against higher level opposition, you can’t afford to give an inch.”

The Gingerbreads return to Chasetown tomorrow for their first qualifying round match of the FA Trophy. Grantham knocked the Staffordside side out of the FA Cup at the beginning of the month and Hallcro and Albans will be hoping to do the double on the Northern Premier League side.

Hallcro said that Town could have done with a midweek game and that he did not believe back to back cup ties were an ideal scenario.

He said: “We have lads who have been on the bench each week who need to get games. Given that we only played them a couple of weeks ago, we need to think about how we change things to make them think a bit more about us.

“We are certainly going there to win the game. Different faces are likely to make them worry about us. If we go there and just do the same as last time, it is playing into their hands.

“It is difficult to change a side that is doing so well, it almost picks itself, but as we met them and won three weeks ago, we need to think a bit about how we approach the game.”

Rhys Lewis turned his ankle late at Solihull on Saturday and did not train on Tuesday, but he is still expected to be in the squad for tomorrow.

l Match report, page 94.