Grantham Town boss Carlton Palmer says to expect 'good days and bad days'
Gingerbreads fans have two home games to look forward to this week – but the question is, which Grantham Town will they see?
There was elation all round when Grantham claimed a convincing away victory at Witton Albion on Saturday, but devastation followed when they were whitewashed at Stalybridge Celtic on Tuesday night.
It was all about the second half in both matches, with all the goals coming after the break in each game.
Town went 3-0 up at Witton before finally conceding on 73 minutes, a goal which was cancelled out by Grantham's Ade Aydemir seven minutes later.
Despite the handsome win, Gingerbreads manager Carlton Palmer was under no illusion as to the challenges that still lie ahead. He said: "I didn’t think we’d turned the corner after Saturday’s performance. I know what we are in for this season.
"We decided to go a certain route with young players and the wage structure that we put in place, so we know that it’s going to be a long, hard season.
"The challenge is to stay in the division with some good, young players, to build a platform to go forwards.
"We know we are going to have to work really, really hard from now till the end of the season to get the points that we need to stay in the league.
"I’m 100 per cent confident that we will do that, and we’ll have good days and we will have bad days, but as long as we keep improving and performing in the right way, then we’ll get to where we need to get to."
Another evenly matched first half at Stalybridge was this time followed by a five-goal leakage after the half time break, a situation not helped by the sending off of Town striker Jonathan Wafula just after the hour mark.
Palmer said: "The other night we played well against a top eight side for 45 minutes.
"I said to them at half time, ‘be ready, because they are going to come out' – and we conceded two early goals. And then unfortunately when Jonno got sent off then the game was effectively over.
"It’s all a learning curve. I thought Jonno was unlucky. The two bookings were very harsh to say the least, but that’s football, that’s the way it goes. You’ve always got a mountain to climb when you’re down to 10 men."
The Gingerbreads have a tough two games at The Meres this week, facing fourth placed Bamber Bridge tomorrow (Saturday) and table toppers Matlock Town on Tuesday night.
But Palmer was adamant there would be no change in his approach to these two matches or, in fact, to the rest of the season.
Palmer said: "The approach will be the same all the way till the end of the season. We know it’s a tough league, we know there’s good teams in there.
"We will get our heads down, we’ll go again on Saturday. Anyone can be beaten in the league. Anything’s possible. We’ll prepare as properly as we can for every game.
"We’ll reshape the squad as and when we can. We know it’s going to be tough when you’ve got young kids. But unless you’re prepared to pay big money for players, which ultimately doesn’t guarantee you success anyhow, that’s the route to go down for longevity.
"Otherwise it’s just short term goals and then players move on and you’ve got no sustainability to go forward. And that’s not what we want to do.
"We’ll get back to work on Saturday and try and get a good result. We know we’ve got two difficult games. We don’t want to get a drift at the bottom of the league because that gives you a mountain to climb."
Kick-off on Saturday is 3pm and it is 7.45pm on Tuesday night.
l Match reports, page 46.