Bumper crowd expected at The Meres on Saturday as Grantham Town’s play-off chances gain momentum
A bumper crowd is expected at The Meres tomorrow with Grantham Town keen to get a result to help secure their play-off berth.
Numbers are also expected to be swelled by visiting fans from table-topping Altrincham who will be hoping to be crowned league champions if the game goes their way.
Town followed up an excellent away win at Workington on Saturday with a disappointing end to the midweek fixture with Hednesford Town who equalised in the dying seconds of added time to dsappoint the home fans.
Gingerbreads manager Adam Stevens thought his team should have sewn the game up beforehand: “We dominated the game to the extent that they probably had a couple of efforts on target and scored with one, whereas we had enough opportunities to close the game out well before the added time.”
In a hectic end to the season, both Altrincham and Grantham won on Thursday night.
The Gingerbreads triumphed 5-1 at Whitby Town after a brace of goals from Jordan Hempenstall, with Danny Meadows, Sam Osborne and Andrew Wright adding the others.
Meanwhile, Altrincham went within a single point of being crowned champions after their 2-1 victory at Shaw Lane.
Town boss Stevens was upbeat about the finale to the season: “Cramming matches into such a short timescale is not an ideal way of ending the season, but we have no option and all the top teams have to face the same scenario. The lads have responded well and we will do our best to use the whole squad where possible.”
Whatever happens tomorrow, there will be little time for reflection or rest as on Tuesday the visitors to The Meres will be second-placed Warrington Town – so yet another big fixture as the Gingerbreads have not yet given up hope of achieving that position at the end of the season.
Stevens relished the chance to compete at the top end of the league: “If, in August, we could have anticipated that we would be battling for second place in the league come late April, I would have been delighted.
“The lads have been great and hopefully with the full squad now available again we can give it a good go.”
Last weekend, the Gingerbreads received acknowledgement of their progress over the last two seasons with both striker Lee Shaw and goalkeeper Kieran Preston being picked in the Northern Premier League Managers’ Team of the Year.
Stevens was present at the awards evening: “It was good to see the two lads being recognised and I am sure they will be the first to acknowledge that the whole squad have contributed to this award.”
The combination of a sunny day and the visitors’ strong following means a big crowd is expected tomorrow, so local fans are advised to arrive early to ensure they all get into the ground in time for the 3pm kick-off.