Defeated Grantham Town give league leaders a run for their money

Northern Premier League

Premier Division

Grantham Town welcome FC United to The Meres. Photo: John Burgess

Grantham Town welcome FC United to The Meres. Photo: John Burgess

Grantham Town 1

FC United of Manchester 2

Grantham Town enjoyed their best home result against FC United to date with a battling performance that deserved more reward.

The Gingerbreads were particularly impressive in the first half, matching and bettering the league leaders’ supposed superiority.

The Manchester fans were in full voice but it was Grantham who were on open throttle on the pitch in the opening period, with the visitors showing nothing going forward.

Town’s first chance came in the second minute with a long Ben Saunders ball finding Liam Read who fired off a shot, but United keeper David Carnell tipped it wide.

Grantham continued to create opportunities, with United soaking up the pressure.

And it was somewhat against the general run of play when the Manchester side went in front six minutes before the break.

The ball was squared across the six-yard box and, with the home defence in disarray, Greg Daniels tucked the ball into the back of the net.

Admirably unshaken, the Gingerbreads still had a couple of further half chances through Danny Meadows and Read before referee Mr Pashley blew for half time.

Grantham continued in attacking mode after the break but had a let-off at the other end when Matthew Wolfenden’s effort skimmed the crossbar.

Read’s 57th minute shot from the edge of the box rose over the bar and Rhys Lewis’s strike six minutes later was on target, but just the lacked conviction Town needed.

A mid-half lull was shattered in the 74th minute when Grantham had a penalty shout. Read got on to a long ball and ran into the United penalty area on the left where he was brought down, but Mr Pashley saw it differently and play carried on to the disappointment of the home crowd.

United’s Luke Ashworth was yellow carded three minutes later for holding back Read, but the resulting free kick was wasted by Jake Wholey.

United substitute Rory Fallon’s first touch of the game saw him unleash a shot from 20 yards but it was blocked.

Grantham conceded a second time in the 80th minute. Liam Brownhill floated his corner kick into the penalty area where sub Chris Lynch rose highest and headed in majestically.

Town’s never-say-die attitude paid off in the 86th minute when they deserved pulled a goal back. Danny Meadows’ long ball was flicked on by Ben Saunders who found that man Read again, and the number nine rounded the keeper and slid the ball in with aplomb.

But it was too little too late and, despite six minutes of added time, Grantham could not find an equaliser.

Grantham Town: Turner, Purcicoe, Wholey, Kay, Hellewell, Miveld, Meadows, Lewis, Read, Saunders, Hurst.