Grantham Town go into final game knowing they are safe
Grantham Town did not enjoy the best Easter bank holiday weekend, suffering two 2-0 defeats – at Scarborough Athletic on Saturday and at home to Gainsborough Trinity on Monday.
But, looking on the bright side, the Gingerbreads are now mathematically safe from the dreaded drop.
Grantham were effectively saved from a possible relegation by Mickleover Sports' inability to muster even a point in their penultimate game at home to Basford United.
And so Town joint managers Russ Cousins and Paul Rawden and his side were finally able to breathe a sigh of relief as they can now look forward to another season in the NPL Premier Division.
Rawden said: "Our only goal was to ensure that the club would be in the same division next season, and that's happened. We obviously would have preferred to do it ourselves – but we'll take it."
Rawden said that he and Cousins had noted an improvement in the Gingerbreads following last Saturday's 4-0 loss at home to league leaders Farsley Celtic.
Rawden said: "We definitely saw a reaction to the Farsley match in the two matches over the bank holiday. But again it's fine lines between success and defeat.
"Scarborough had an outside chance of making the play-offs. For 70 minutes we've been the better side.
"We've had a number of chances which if things were going well would've gone in. There were goalmouth scrambles, a wonder save, a shot that hit one post spun on to the other and went out of play.
"Their keeper has won the man of the match award – that tells you what it was like on its own.
"Gainsborough we matched throughout the game. The first half, at times they had four up front. They needed a win and to better what Buxton were doing [a 6-0 win at Matlock as it turned out].
"The penalty is given by some referees and not others. I'm not discussing what happened for their second, we'll keep that between the players and myself."
The Gingerbreads face the trek up to Stalybridge Celtic for their final game of the campaign tomorrow.
Although the result of the match now has no bearing on Town's status, it does have import for Celtic who need a win to negate any chance of Mickleover leapfrogging them on the final day of the season.
Rawden would like the win to end the campaign on a positive note for the club and its loyal fans.
He said: "Stalybridge are in a position we were in. They need a win to guarantee their safety.
"We want a win to give something positive to go into the summer with.
"We've been backed by an unbelievable group of supporters, they've been brilliant at every match we've been at."