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Grantham Town boss Carlton Palmer says 'Town won't go down'

Grantham Town manager Carlton Palmer says he is confident his side will escape relegation at the end of the season.

Now sitting at the bottom of the table, the Gingerbreads were defeated at home to both Scarborough Athletic and Nantwich Town this week.

Grantham lost 2-1 to Scarborough and then a single goal for Nantwich was enough to help the Dabbers to the win on Tuesday night.

Jacob Wright fends off the attentions of a Nantwich defender at a rain-lashed Meres on Tuesday night. (51744095)
Jacob Wright fends off the attentions of a Nantwich defender at a rain-lashed Meres on Tuesday night. (51744095)

But it was the Gingerbreads who had the first real opening, Joel Stair misjudging the speed of a ball through and had his pocket picked as he tried to shepherd it out of play. Rio Molyneux was the beneficiary but his effort was deflected behind.

The Dabbers’ first effort came courtesy of Sean Cooke who let a low ball from the left run across his body and hit a half volley that was just pulled wide. Grantham keeper James Pollard was rooted to his spot; had Cooke got it on target, it would surely have been a goal.

Cooke went dangerously close again just two minutes later. A sharp move from a free kick came to Cooke in a pocket of space and his effort was destined for the top corner were it not for an acrobatic save from Pollard.

Gingerbread Thierry Latty-Fairweather had the ball in the left corner but was short of options. Heath capitalised on this by pressing and, winning the ball off him, then charged towards the Grantham goal. His shot was not held by Pollard and Dan Cockerline was there to score.

Cooke could have made it two on the cusp of half-time. Cockerline had the vision to pick out Cooke with a pull-back but he just could not get it on target in terrible weather conditions at The Meres.

In the second half, Heath again tested Pollard with a free kick that the keeper again failed to hold. Cockerline looked to profit once more, but Grantham were quick to clear.

A dinked ball over the Gingerbreads defence from Cooke found Luke Walsh in the left channel. He lofted across the box to Cockerline but the ball skimmed off his head and wide.

Manny Kianga had half a chance for Grantham, seeing the ball come to him in the box all the way but missing his kick as he tried to turn it towards goal.

Despite not killing the game off, Nantwich still managed well enough and had largely taken the sting out of the match until the third minute of stoppage time.

A ball came in to a packed penalty area and was somehow put wide from about 15 yards out – a missed opportunity to have taken at least a share of the points.

Grantham Town manager Palmer summed up his thoughts. He said: “We’re a young side. The other night we’d got seven players under the age of 20.

“So, it’s evolving, we’re getting better. We deserved to beat Scarborough and we deserved to win the other night. But we conceded a goal on 38 minutes from a mistake just before half time. And then second half we don’t get a break or anything, and we don’t finish our chances.

“Against Scarborough we had seven clear cut opportunities, the penalty wasn’t a penalty, we gave away a sloppy goal, and that’s just young inexperience.

“Like we’ve said to the players, we’re disappointed that we haven’t got the points on the board that our performances have deserved. But we’ve got to keep working hard.

“We played some really good football in the last two games. Both of the managers from both teams have been very complimentary about my team.

“We played a young Academy player the other night. Seventeen years of age, young Sisa [Tuntulwana] was man of the match for both teams.

“The plan was from the start, like I said, I was going to come in and work with young players, and that’s what we are going to do.

“We will stay in the league this season – I have no doubt about that – and we will have a platform with the young players that we are acquiring now to go forward with.

“We know it’s going to be a long, hard season but we’ve only got to finish out of the bottom four, and I’m confident we’ll do that.”

Grantham are away at Witton Albion tomorrow and at Stalybridge Celtic on Tuesday.

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