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Large travelling contingent expected for play-off final with Grantham Town on the very brink of promotion

Grantham Town's top striker Lee Shaw (left) holds off a couple of Sutton Coldfield defenders in Saturday's final league game of the season that sent the Gingerbreads into the playp-offs. Photo: John Burgess
Grantham Town's top striker Lee Shaw (left) holds off a couple of Sutton Coldfield defenders in Saturday's final league game of the season that sent the Gingerbreads into the playp-offs. Photo: John Burgess

Grantham Town’s dream-like season will come to an absolute climax in tomorrow’s NPL Premier Division play-off final at Ashton United.

The crunch game will decide whether it is the battling Gingerbreads or the Robins who will join league champions Altrincham in promotion to the National League North.

A terrific performance at Warrington Town on Tuesday night earned them a deserved place in the final, with second half goals seeing the Grantham triumph, roared on by a large and very vocal following.

Town manager Adam Stevens expressed his delight as his young team vercame a very experienced Warrington side.

Speaking after the game, Stevens said: “The lads were brilliant from minute one to minute 95 and it was a great team performance. To go there and stifle them is a tough ask, but to then score three goals is tremendous.

“These are big games and sometimes inexperience shows, but tonight we were on the front foot, worked very hard and took our chances, so in many ways the perfect away performance. Before the game, you hope that the lads can put aside any tiredness after a long season and they certainly did that, and were led by a captain’s performance from Stef Galinski.”

Second in the league Ashton United defeated Farsley Celtic 2-1 on the same night to set up tomorrow’s nail-biting final.

Stevens is aware of the challenge facing his team. He said: “We know thay are a good team, but then so are we, and if we can turn in another performance then we have every chance.

“Playing away does not faze me or the lads. And of course we have our fans to urge us on. They were absolutely first class at Warrington and made it seem like a home game. Marvellous support.”

The last time the Gingerbreads were promoted was in the 2011/12 season and many diehard fans now look forward to the possibility of a chance to play in the National League. This would give the club a tremendous boost and the opportunity to compete against former football league clubs like Boston United, York City, Stockport County, and Kidderminster Harriers.

Stevens maintains he would relish the opportunity to play a part in such big games: “The club needs to progress in that direction if it is to grow its fanbase, and the opportunity to pit our wits against such big clubs would be great and I am sure would attract more to The Meres.

“I am, however, not going to spend time on that now as our focus has to be entirely on going to Manchester and giving it our best shot.”

Needless to say, tomorrow’s final is expected to attract a large crowd, with a sizeable legion of Grantham Town fans travelling by road and rail to say they were there for the club on this historic day.

Grantham Town Supporters Club are are running at least one coach to the game, departing at 10.30am from The Meres.

The cost will be £12 for Supporters Club members and £15 for non-members. Juniors will be charged at £6 and £7.50.

To book, contact Ian De’ath by text only on 07817 522925 or email ian.death@hotmail.com as soon as possible


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