Grantham Town bosses say players are 'ready to fight' after magical start to rejuvenated side's campaign
Paul Rawden hailed Tuesday night's result as “a dream start” to his and Russ Cousins' tenure as Grantham Town joint managers.
The Gingerbreads dramatically toppled promotion-hunting South Shields in a 2-1 victory, with a virtually all-new team putting in a performance bristling with verve and vigour.
On-loan from Lincoln City, 18-year-old striker Jordan Adebayo-Smith was one of the stars of the night, scoring a brace with two impressive strikes.
Other new signings include Michael Tweed, from Nuneaton Borough, who began his career on QPR's books, and loanee Chris Dawson from Bradford Park Avenue. Five players making the transition from Harrowby United along with the managerial duo include goalkeeper Sam Andrew.
Rawden promised the new look Grantham Town would give 100 per cent, and they duly delivered.
He said: “These lads knew what we wanted them to do, they’ve really taken on board the task that we’ve got and are ready to fight for us."
And fight they did. The Mariners appeared taken aback by Town's energy and unrelenting pace, which Grantham sustained throughout the 90 minutes.
The chosen formation dictated that a single striker be alone up front, but if anyone was up to the job it was the fleet-footed Adebayo-Smith.
Rawden said: "We had to set ourselves up a little bit defensive, but we’ve got plenty of pace in the side so we can counter-attack when needed.
"I’m delighted with how the back four have come together. It’s the first time they’ve been a four; they’ve had to gel quickly.
"Being honest, every player out there was phenomenal.”
Rawden was pleased with the fact that the Gingerbreads forced the visitors to change tack, bringing on the towering Ben Harminson after the half time break.
Rawden added: "They’ve brought the big lad, Harminson, on up front and they’ve thrown the ball up to him at every opportunity. As an opposition manager, it’s really great to see the other team change their plans."
Despite the euphoria following Tuesday night's performance, Rawden was anxious to keep everyone's feet firmly planted on the ground and turned his mind to tomorrow's trip to Whitby Town.
Rawden said: "We understand that the supporters are going to be buzzing from the result, they’re going to be wanting this week in, week out. But at the moment it’s one win, it’s three points on the board.
"We’ve got lots of football to go, starting with the trip to Whitby on Saturday. We’ve got to rest up and recover. Saturday is now the biggest match."