Bosses praise squad as Grantham Town return to winning ways

Wayne Hallcro

Wayne Hallcro

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Grantham Town finally returned to winning ways with victory at old foes Ilkeston on Saturday.

It was the Gingerbreads’ first win in 14 games and the debut triumph for returning joint managers Wayne Hallcro and Jimmy Albans.

Grantham continued in the winning vein on Tuesday night when they knocked Deeping Rangers out of the Lincolnshire Senior Shield, to set up a semi-final clash with Stamford next month.

Back in the fold, returning striker Paul Grimes made his mark immediately with a free kick to open the scoring against Ilkeston.

Joint manager Jimmy Albans praised Grimes, and his only gripe with the win was that Grantham had not managed to score before half time. Albans said: “You know what you get from Paul and we got it today. At 1-0 up against 10 men, it was ours to throw away. We were fitter and stronger than a few weeks ago and saw the game out

“We put the ball into good areas today and got into them. I was disappointed not to come in at half time in front. I’m happy with the clean sheet as well as the win.”

Co-boss Wayne Hallcro also praised the squad that took on UCL Premier side Deeping, and featured several Gingerbreads youth team players.

Hallcro said: “We know they are not ready for 90 minutes week in, week out, just yet. It was a nice measure of where these lads are in their development. It has given us even more confidence in what we have got for the future of the club.”

Looking to tomorrow’s home game against lowly Stafford Rangers, Hallcro said they were feeling confident: “Stafford have had a change of manager recently and their recent results have been on the up. But so have ours.

“We are expecting to win; another win would do our league position a load of good. We know, however, that to make that happen, we have got to do things right on Saturday for 90 minutes.”

Hallcro said that some of the new faces at the club were going to make team selection that bit harder.

He said that the return of Adie Hawes and Kallum Smith from injuries had been a boost, and added that defender Lee Ridley should be back after he was rested on Tuesday. Michael Towey is doubtful for the Stafford game.

Hallcro stressed that his and Albans’ aim was to create a “settled squad with a settled style and formation”, although he said he could not rule out bringing in new players when the opportunity arises.

He said: “We need to let things settle a bit and assess how it all works now. This is the right time to consolidate what we have done so far.

“We need everyone to know that they are part of things, not to think that they are on trial here.”

Kick-off at The Meres is 3pm.

+ The Gingerbreads are making an effort to encourage families to go along and enjoy the match day experience at The Meres tomorrow.

Under-16s will be admitted free with paying adults; £5 if unaccompanied. There will be a free match programme for under-16s to collect autographs, and free orange and blackcurrant drinks for children too. Pints and bottles for adults will be on offer at £2 after the game until 6pm.

Fans will have the chance to meet and be photographed with players in the MCS Centre after the match.

+ There will be a coach to Trafford next Saturday. To book your seat call 07506 825282.

+ An extraordinary Grantham Town supporters meeting will be held at The Meres MCS Centre on Monday evening at 7pm.

The Gingerbreads’ press officer, Graham Cowell, said there will be an important announcement regarding the future direction of Grantham Town “which could prove to be a milestone in the history of the club”.