By Callum Boyle
After a break from league action over the weekend, Grantham are back at the Meres on tonight as they welcome Mickleover Sports.
It wasn’t a weekend to remember for the Gingerbreads as they were knocked out of the FA Cup in a 3-1 defeat away to Nantwich Town.
After the hosts went a goal ahead, Craig Westcarr returned from injury to fire home and level the proceedings at the Weaver Stadium before half time.
Sadly, an injury depleted squad couldn’t hold on and the home side added two goals in the second half to consign Paul Rawden’s side to FA Cup defeat.
Tuesday night’s visitors Mickleover Sports also tasted FA Cup defeat as they fell to a 3-0 loss away to Stafford Rangers.
However, it has been a positive start for the Derby-based side as they currently sit in eighth place – three places higher than the Gingerbreads after five games played each so far.
Player-manager of Mickleover John McGrath has a blend of youth and experience to pick from his side. Two of his most experienced players are central defender Pablo Mills and striker Lee Hughes who both have significant Football League experience.
Striker Jack Storer, a former Birmingham City academy graduate, provides the youth in McGrath’s side with his tireless presence up front.
The Sports also have a former Gingerbread in their ranks in the shape of winger Ben Fairclough who had a spell at Grantham, initially on loan from Boston United, before signing permanently.
New Grantham striker Chib Chilaka will also be a familiar face to the away supporters having had a short stint at Station Road. Chib will be available for selection having been cup-tied on Saturday.
Grantham boss Paul Rawden was disappointed with his team’s display in Cheshire and expects vast improvement on Tuesday night.
He said: “We were way too far off our expectations for performance levels last time out.
“It is vital that whoever is in the squad on Tuesday goes out and gets both a positive result and delivers a good show for the fans to get us back on track.
“They have some players who know the league well and have played at higher divisions just like we do. We need to be intelligent with the ball and have confidence in ourselves.”
The Gingerbreads have injury concerns with regards to AJ Adelekan, Rob Atkinson and Connor Bartle. However, Tom Ward is also available to return having been suspended over the weekend.