Grantham Town begin new season unbeaten
With Grantham Town having made an unbeaten start to the new season, they go into this weekend's FA Cup fixture in optimistic mood.
The Gingerbreads came from behind to defeat FC United of Manchester 3-2 at a packed Meres on Saturday, and then battled out a 1-1 draw at Stafford Rangers on Tuesday night.
Gingerbreads joint manager Paul Rawden was delighted with the start.
He said: “We couldn’t really ask for much better. To start with a win against FC United gave everyone around the club a buzz, and that really was for the supporters that had given us so much last season.
"I really felt we deserved the win. We’ve got in front early but they’ve pegged us back by playing some really good football. We’ve tinkered with our set-up and the lads stepped it up and to turn it round to a 3-2 win. We’re all delighted.”
On Tuesday night, the Gingerbreads had to come from behind to take the point at Stafford. Rawden said: “Stafford is a tough place to go to, but we’ve dominated the first and last 30 minutes.
"We did everything but score in those opening 30 minutes, but we’ve come up against a very big and physical defence. It’s their centre half who has put them ahead.
"At half time, we changed things around a bit; that’s given us chance to work round them.
"The long ball to Gregg is flicked on to Westy. He’s held the ball up and got it out to AJ who has smashed it home.
"Before that, though, we’ve had to weather the storm a bit as they came out all guns blazing.
"The back four stood very firm and the one time they really should have scored, Danny Racchi has made an excellent tackle in the box to deny them.
"The last 10 minutes, we battered them, but their keeper has made a couple of good saves, and an excellent one from Ryan Baldwin.”
Rawden, co-boss Russ Cousins and their team turn their attention to the FA Cup tomorrow (Saturday) when they travel to Northern Counties East League side Barton Town.
Although from a lower tier, Rawden warned against being over-confident and complacent. He said: “I’ve heard a bit of chat that we should go through easily, we’ll take the prize money etc. But no, this is the FA Cup.. We’re going to their ground, they’re going to want to step it up to beat us.
"We have to be professional, we have to put the work in, we’ve got to concentrate. We’re taking nothing for granted.”
If the the game is draw, the replay will be at The Meres on Tuesday, September 3.
The Gingerbreads are back home in the league at The Meres on Bank Holiday Monday, when they host Basford United.
Rawden is well aware of the Nottingham side's potential but remained fully focused on tomorrow's FA Cup clash. He said: "Basford beat Hyde, who then beat FC United. It is a league that anyone can beat anyone.
"They've got a strong squad with experience at this level. We had someone watching their match against Matlock on Monday night.
"Although we've got one eye on that, we need to get through Saturday first."
Kick-off at The Meres on Monday is 3pm.