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Grantham Town go into festivities looking to stabilise

Grantham Town's final match before Christmas is a visit to FC United of Manchester today (Saturday).

The Gingerbreads go into the game on the back of a disappointing result last Saturday when they were cruelly robbed of even a share of the points when Morpeth Town snatched the win late on with a controversial penalty.

Grantham joint manager Paul Rawden recognised an improvement in his and co-boss Russ Cousins side's performance, especially with the Gingerbreads having taken the lead.

Man of the match was awarded to Francois Zoko last Saturday. Photo: Toby Roberts (24838855)
Man of the match was awarded to Francois Zoko last Saturday. Photo: Toby Roberts (24838855)

Rawden said: “It looked like we were going to get something from the match. It was a big improvement from the League Cup match in the week and there were lots of positive signs.

“We’ve started in midfeld with Jack Wightwick and Francois Zoko. Jack, making his debut, has been superb, he’s done really well. Zoko coming in at an unusual position for him, but his experience has helped him.”

Grantham went in front with Craig Westcarr strike but the Highwaymen drew level just before the break.

Rawden said: “Westy has got his 15th goal of the season for us. He’s a deadly striker and you want him there to take the chances. It was a great ball up from Jack and Westy has got there on the half volley and put too much behind it for the keeper to keep out.

“We’ve given Tweedy a job to do by stopping their playmaker, he’s got on him and the only chances he got were from set pieces. Tweedy has done superb.

A share of the spoils looked to be on the cards until that questionable penalty award decision in the dying minutes of the match.

Rawden said: “Zoko gave us everything for the 80 minutes he was out there, that’s why he got the man of the match award. But he had done everything he could, we had to change it. That has changed the shape and it’s given Morpeth a bit more.

“The penalty is one of them, from our side it looked very soft. But we have to think about the decisions we’re making.

“We’re going to take all the positives from the match into FC United on Saturday."

Rawden and Cousins will be hoping for a repeat result of the opening fixture of the season when the Gingerbreads defeated the Manchester side in a 3-2 thriller at home, as they seek to get Grantham back on an even keel.

Rawden said: “We know where we’re lying in the table, we want to turn that round.

"Over the last few weeks we’ve lost the continuity in the side due to the outgoings, that were no fault of our own.

"We need to get that settled side again and get pushing back for those positive results.”

+ Soccer fans can get their traditional Boxing Day football fix at the Lincolnshire derby between Grantham Town and Gainsborough Trinity at The Meres on Thursday. Kick-off is 3pm.

+ Grantham Town are offering a half-season ticket deal which will be effective from the home match against Stafford Rangers on Saturday, January 4. It is priced at £80/£50 concessions. Order by emailing secretary@granthamtownfc.com

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