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Grantham Town boss Chatfield still hopeful for good crowd at final game of the season

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Grantham Town go into their final game of the season against South Shields at The Meres tomorrow on the back of a four-point haul from a possible six over the Easter weekend.

The Gingerbreads defeated Hyde United 2-0 at home on Saturday and drew 2-2 at Gainsborough Trinity on Monday, and Town manager Matt Chatfield saw the games as something to build on.

He said: "With the past few games before that and not scoring goals and not winning games, it was a massive bit of relief for the club and for the players, myself, the management team, everyone that's been involved.

Fully focused: Grantham Town's management team and their bench at Gainsborough on Monday. Photo: KLS Photography (56148566)
Fully focused: Grantham Town's management team and their bench at Gainsborough on Monday. Photo: KLS Photography (56148566)

“It’s been a tough old season, so all we asked was we finish as strong as we could.

"We had a tough game against Hyde, a local derby against Gainsborough, and then South Shields [this] Saturday.

“We feel that it’s success towards the end [of the season] which builds a foundation for going into pre-season.

“So, ultimately it’s nice to score four goals and only concede two. So, so far it's gone really well."

Dead ball specialist Steve Leslie definitely made his presence known for the Gingerbreads at the weekend in both matches, scoring direct from a free kick against Hyde and almost bagging a second with the last kick of the game.

Chatfield said it was good to Leslie performing to his capabilities: "Steve's been injured since he came in and been in and out of the squad, so we managed to get him a good run of games now and he's just shown his quality and what he can do with dead ball situations.

"And it's obviously positive signs for us knowing that we've got another tool in the armoury for next season."

Turning his attention to tomorrow's final game of the season when the Gingerbreads host second placed South Shields at The Meres, Chatfield said current injury niggles could play a part.

He said: “We were carrying five or six [niggles] on Monday. I think playing 90 minutes Saturday and then 90 minutes again on Monday might have been a little too much for them. We’ll address what injuries we’ve got, and then we’’ll just patch up for the last game of the season.”

Expecting a bumper crowd at The Meres, Grantham Town were hoping that the league title race between Buxton and South Shields would go down to results on this final day of the season, but the Mariners losing on Monday gifted the Bucks the trophy and will no doubt reduce the travelling support from the Tyne and Wear tomorrow.

Chatfield said: "I'm a bit disappointed to be honest because we haven't been told until I think today [Thursday] of how many they were going to bring down.

"So I think the club's plans for double, triple the amount of fans to be there [are gone]. So I'm really disappointed that the club haven't got their pay day, which is what all the fans deserve, to be able to spend that money on renovations to the ground and things like that.

"But hopefully it will still be a good enough turnout that they can make a good day of it. But yeah, bitterly disappointed that it hasn't come to the last day because for Grantham Town it would have been great to see that many fans down at the ground. But hopefully I'm mistaken, and there'll still be quite a few down there."

Kick-off at The Meres is 3pm tomorrow (Saturday).

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