Grantham Town bosses happy with victory over old enemy
Grantham Town joint manager Paul Rawden was pleased how his side came from a goal down to beat old foes Ilkeston 4-2 at The Meres on Saturday.
Following their latest dissolution two years ago, the Robins' current incarnation is Ilkeston Town FC.
Despite the Derbyshire side's lower league status, 'Ilson' can never be dismissed lightly and indeed, on Saturday, began the game with some purpose until the Gingerbreads took over the show.
Rawden said: "They've started quick, the lad has ran at us and scored with a great strike. I think that shook us up and then we really got going.
"We've played some really good football, we've got into the wide areas and got balls into the box."
The Grantham strike force that is Craig Westcarr and Gregg Smith gelled wonderfully and shared the Gingerbreads' four goals
"Gregg and Westcarr are going to get plenty of goals from those situations.
"I'm really pleased for Gregg as things just weren't happening, but he's buried a header and his bicycle kick finish are what he does in training. It just hadn't happened in a match; he was buzzing afterwards."
With it being a pre-season friendly, the last one at home, Rawden and co-boss Russ Cousins were able to give the majority of their squad a run-out as they brought on a raft of substitutes in the second half.
Rawden said: "We made eight changes during the game and that shows the depth we've got. We've got cover for all positions.
"We added Jake Green after giving us a great performance on Saturday. There might be one more added before the season starts."
Jacob (Jake) Green rejoins the Gingerbreads after initially coming in at the end of last season from Frickley Athletic.
He was at Matlock Town before that, scooping the Young Player of the Year award in 2017/18, having previously played for Kidderminster Harriers.
Rawden said: "Jake did exactly what we wanted on Saturday, he defended well and he got forward to create. Obviously we are well aware of what he can do when we slotted him straight into the side last season.
"We've seen on social media that supporters recognised him and were impressed too. We're delighted that once again he's part of our squad."
Grantham's final pre-season game is at Stamford tomorrow (Saturday), before next week's big season-opening game at The Meres when the visitors will be FC United of Manchester.
Rawden said: "We've got one last friendly on Saturday, that'll be another tough match. It's a local rival, they are going to want to impress their fans before the season kicks off, but we're going to want to do the same.
"It sounds like a few supporters are making the most of the day in Stamford and its many pubs."
More by this authorJohn Burgess