Grantham Town co-boss Hallcro cites poor defending as cause of FA Cup exit

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GRANTHAM Town joint manager Wayne Hallcro blamed his side’s defence for the Gingerbreads’ early exit from the FA Cup at Cambridge City on Saturday.

Grantham conceded three goals in a row before Conor Higginson reduced the deficit to gave Town a lifeline with just 20 minutes remaining.

Hallcro said: “Saturday was probably one of our worst defensive displays as a team since we came here.

“We didn’t defend the longer ball well on the day. Closing down up front with whoever we choose is only wholly effective if you defend as strongly at the back as we normally do.”

In comparison, Hallcro said Southern Premier League side Cambridge defended perfectly: He said: “Their defence were very solid and did not get pulled about at all. They showed how to defend as a unit.

“We seemed to get a bit more joy with a holding player up front, but they still didn’t move as a defensive unit.

“In hindsight, the game was probably more about Cambridge being a very good side more than us playing poorly. We have seen for a while that teams can only play as well as you let them. We got a bit of our own medicine on Saturday.

“Our reactions to things going against us on Saturday was wrong. When we conceded, we looked like doing it again. We also gave the ball away too easily and in wrong places in the final third. When we did lose it, we weren’t right in trying to get it back again.”

Grantham face Bedford Town at The Meres on Saturday (September 29) in the first qualifying round of the FA Trophy.

Hallcro said he was still hoping for Paul Grimes to be fit enough to rejoin the squad. There were also doubts about Ben Saunders, who has flu, and Phil Watt and Sam Saunders who are both carrying knocks.

Hallcro said: “Having a week without a game has freshened us up a bit and everyone is raring to go for the next game.

“We don’t know too much about Bedford, so we will do what we are good at, especially as we are at home, and let them worry about us.”