Boss Robinson says Grantham Town will stick to the basics in FA Cup replay at Meres

Pictured in pre-season action against Boston United, Massiah McDonald (right) will be available for tonight's FA Cup replay against Stamford at The Meres. Photo: 371D
Pictured in pre-season action against Boston United, Massiah McDonald (right) will be available for tonight's FA Cup replay against Stamford at The Meres. Photo: 371D
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Grantham Town joint manager Ian Robinson says little will be changed in the Gingerbreads’ FA Cup first round qualifier replay against Stamford at The Meres tonight (Tuesday).

The reward for Grantham if they can get past county rivals will be a home tie against Midland Alliance rivals Walsall Wood or AFC Wulfrunians on September 28.

Town drew 0-0 with The Daniels on Saturday, and Robinson said he and co-boss Gary Sucharewycz were pleased their side kept a clean sheet: “We were very strong at the back throughout pre-season but have made daft mistakes in the early games. The four at the back all looked solid against Stamford, a side who have got a lot of pace.

“In the centre at the back we are looking stronger. We need to remember at times that Deon [Meikle] is still learning the centre half role, having played most of his career in midfield.”

Despite the praise he gave his side for their performance, Robinson was not 100 per cent satisfied: “We need to be able to command things more and push forward from across the back four. There is still more we can do as a team against Stamford. They didn’t cause us too many issues on Saturday and we controlled a lot of the game.

The way the game developed on Saturday, combined with the much awaited availability of summer signing Massiah McDonald has given Robinson and Sucharewycz a lot to think about before tonight.

Robinson said: “We will probably tweak things a bit. Massiah is available for the first time this season and we need to get it right with him; do we start him, or does he start on the bench? When he was on the pitch in pre-season, we always looked like getting a goal. We know he won’t be fit to play the full 90 minutes, it is deciding what bit of the game it is best for us to have him in.”

Although the Grantham duo may make a few changes to what they want from their side in the FA Cup, as far as Robinson is concerned, many of the basics won’t change. He and Sucharewycz know how they want their side to perform, irrespective of who the 11 are that start the game and any changes that might be made across the match.

The replay is the third game between the two sides in just over three weeks. The two previous games have seen a win and a draw for Grantham at Stamford. The Daniels make their first trip of the season to The Meres and Robinson and Sucharewycz know what they expect from their side.

Robinson said: “Both teams will think that they could have won it on Saturday. We need to forget about what has gone before and be solid from the start and win our battles. We know if we do that, we will create chances to score. We know we are good enough to win the tie.

“They have their quick lads up front, but we won a lot of the ball played in to them on Saturday and worked to our strengths well. We want to see the side get the ball and play football as well as being strong.

“If we play like we can, we will back ourselves to get a result against anybody. If we don’t, we will only have ourselves to blame. We go out there to do our jobs – everyone of us.”

Kick-off tonight is 7.45pm.

Squad: Dan Haystead, Jake Turner, Sam Purcicoe, Lee Ridley, Paul Lister, Deon Meikle, Paolo Piliero, Michael Towey, Emeka Nwadike, Rhys Lewis, Kallum Keane, Nathan Watson, Ash Burbeary, Jamie McGhee, Kallum Smith, Greg Smith, Gary King, Massiah McDonald, Romaine Graham.