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Grantham Town boss Chatfield says they will not give up the fight

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Grantham Town’s remaining hopes of avoiding relegation were dealt a serious blow against Whitby Town on Saturday when they suffered a 2-0 defeat at The Meres.

The Gingerbreads are now 15 points from safety and, with only another 15 possible points available to them, they would need to win their remaining five games to retain even a glimmer of hope of staying up, depending also on other clubs’ results.

Grantham bossed the first half on Saturday, stifling every Seasiders move and once again having the majority of chances on goal.

Grantham Town players watch on as Lee Shaw chases a loose ball. Photo: Toby Roberts (55711054)
Grantham Town players watch on as Lee Shaw chases a loose ball. Photo: Toby Roberts (55711054)

But conceding two goals in the first 20 minutes of the second half sealed their fate and will most probably prove to be the final nail in the Gingerbreads coffin.

Grantham manager Matt Chatfield said: “It was just disappointing because the first half, for me, it was one of our best halves of the season. I think we moved the ball very well, we limited their chances, we frustrated Whitby who needed to win to keep the play-offs alive.

“I think everything we did, it just deserved a goal to top it off really. And unfortunately, in the predicament that we’re in, both halves were chalk and cheese really.

“I think we just needed a little bit more experience on Saturday to see that first 10 or 15 minutes out and then get back into how we were in the first half.

“The first half was excellent and then it was just an uphill battle in the second half, trying to fight for everything they could.”

Chatfield brought star striker Ricky Miller, back from injury, on once Grantham had gone 2-0 down, but unfortunately he did not have the impact hoped for.

Chatfield said: “He said he wanted to come on and try and make some impact, but obviously you could see his fitness wasn’t there.

“He’s expected to return hopefully fully on Saturday.”

With the Gingerbreads still in with a slim mathematical chance of surviving the drop, Chatfield said it was too early to throw in the towel.

He said: “For us, until there is an R next to our name we will keep fighting. We owe it to the fans that pay money, we owe it to the volunteers at the club, to make sure that we give everything we can until we can’t anymore.

“Yes, we know it’s looming and it’s been looming for a while now. It’s obviously going to be a horrible day for the club when it does happen and I just hope we can prolong it as much as we can.”

Chatfield and the Gingerbreads’ first opportunity to prolong survival will come tomorrow when they visit 11th placed Stafford Rangers, who might be on something of a high after defeating, an albeit youthful, Stoke City in the Staffordshire Senior Cup semi-finals during the week.

Chatfield said: “If it does happen that we go down Saturday, after that we still keep fighting because there’s still lots of things to play for.

“There’s personal pride, the club’s reputation, we’ve still got to make sure we fight for everything.”

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