The Evo-Stik League Northern Premier
Published 20th April 2012
....League First Division South championship trophy for their season’s efforts.
The Gingerbreads secured the title two weeks ago but tomorrow’s eagerly awaited clash with second-placed Ilkeston FC still promises to be something of a humdinger – and a season’s best attendance is expected.
Old foes Ilkeston are expecting to bring several hundred supporters as they seek to hold on to the runners-up spot which will give them home advantage in the play-offs.
Whichever way the game goes, after 90 minutes Grantham skipper Ben Saunders will be lifting the silverware in front of hundreds of jubilant Gingerbreads fans, before the celebrations continue in Strikers Bar with a free disco for all, going on into the night.
Grantham’s joint-manager Wayne Hallcro said the team owed it to themselves and the supporters to put on a performance in front of the big crowd.
Hallcro said: “Ilkeston is still a big game, even though we have already won the championship. Everyone at the club has been looking forward to this one all season. They have been our closest rivals all season and there is some history between Grantham teams and those from Ilkeston.
“Beating the second place side before collecting the championship trophy would just put a gloss on what will be a special day no matter what.”
Hallcro said that Town’s drop in form since clinching the title against Quorn was “inevitable” and he described Grantham’s form in the two subsequent games as “average”.
Ultimately, tomorrow’s result is of little significance to the Gingerbreads – barring pride.
Hallcro said: “Given where Ilkeston are in the league and what the occasion is, it will require a different approach to that we have shown in the last two games.
“Let’s hope for a good crowd and both sets of fans enjoying what should be a fantastic game of football.”
Already with his thoughts on next season, Hallcro said he and joint boss Jimmy Albans have begun budget talks with club chairman Steve Boam.
Hallcro said: “We want to strike as soon as we can with the players that are at the club and those who we would like to bring here.
“Our aim will be to get a top half finish next season and look to be progressing on again in two to three years.”