Grantham Town face league leaders with renewed confidence
Grantham Town managers Paul Rawden and Russ Cousins were pleased to see their side bounce back from last week’s embarrassing defeat at Buxton, holding Hyde United to a 2-2 draw at The Meres on Saturday.
The Gingerbreads enjoyed the majority of play, especially in the first half when they took a deserved early lead from a Craig Westcarr free kick.
Five minutes of turmoil in the second half saw the situation reversed, but a late equaliser saved the day when Westcarr scored his second of the afternoon, with a draw some reward for Town’s efforts.
Rawden said: “We’ve controlled large parts of the game but towards the end we’ve had to pull ourselves out of it and Craig Westcarr has got us a deserved point
“It’s a great free kick from Westy. He knows what he’s doing and made it look so effortless. Then for the equaliser he’s there and ready to get us back level. There is no wonder why he’s leading the goal scoring for us.
“We needed a big reaction to what happened at Buxton and we got that. They rolled their sleeves up and battled for each other. That’s what we expect.
“From the start, we got on the front foot. Remaye [Campbell], Karl [Byrne] and Charlie [Ward] have all had good chances. We’ve made the keeper make a big save just before half time. If that had gone in, it should’ve been game over.
“We also created a lot of danger from set-pieces. We need to work on making the great balls in by Danny Racchi count.”
The game turned in Hyde’s favour midway through the second half when they found an equaliser from a dubious looking goal. The visitors then took the lead from the penalty spot several minutes later.
Rawden said: “We’ve switched off when the referee and his assistant gave a bizarre offside decision; that’s cost us, not the decision. We can’t afford to do that, as we could lose matches from it.”
Rawden highlighted some good performances in the Gingerbreads defence: “We were able to bring Rob Atkinson in and he’s led that back line so well. Connor Bartle has put in a great shift. He went off injured but should be OK for the trip to South Shields.”
Tomorrow’s visit to the runaway league leaders will surely be a tester for Town but, as good as they may appear, the Mariners are certainly not unbeatable.
Rawden said: “South Shields are going to be hurting from their defeat to Witton. They’re at home, they’ll have a big crowd behind them; we’ve got the experience that means crowds won’t faze us.
“We’ve got to, though, work very hard, back each other up, and take the chances that come to us.”
Grantham Town’s next home match is an FA Trophy first qualifying round tie against Rushall Olympic next Saturday (October 26), kick-off 3pm.