CHAMPIONS Grantham Town rounded off the season in style with a 2-1 win over Ilkeston FC at The Meres on Saturday.
A bumper crowd of 780 witnessed the Gingerbreads lift the league championship trophy as celebrations reached fever pitch at the end of their encounter with one of their main rivals of the season.
Grantham went in front in the eighth minute when Jamie McGhee got on the end of a long cross-field ball from Lee Potts and curled his shot round Ilkeston keeper Ben Gathercole.
The visitors replied in the 14th minute when Francis Green broke free in midfield and slotted to Sam Duncum who, in acres of space, fired past Rob Murray in the Town goal.
A share of the points looked to be the likely outcome but super sub Tony Battersby proved his worth three minutes into stoppage time. Martin Ball’s ball into the box found Rhys Lewis whose shot came back out to Battersby. Battersby let rip and hit the post but the ball ricocheted in off the back of Gathercole’s heel.
After on-pitch celebrations, the Gingerbreads paraded up into the directors’ box to collect the silverware and sing and dance to their adoring supporters.
To add to Ilkeston’s woes, Carlton Town won 3-0 against Goole and so clinched the runners-up trophy and home advantage in the play-offs by virtue of more goals scored.
More photos, words and video in Friday’s Grantham Journal and at www.granthamjournal.co.uk