Dooodson Sport Cup
Grantham Town 0
THREE goals in the second half of extra time put Grantham out of the league cup at Quorn. The Gingerbreads showed seven changes to the starting line-up from the Market Drayton game, but had their chances to have won comfortably.
The first half hour of the game was very lively with little in the way of quality football. Both sides played at a quick tempo, but neither put together any moves of substance. Rob Murray tipped over an effort from Kris Nurse in the opening minutes and the same player then flicked the resulting corner on to the crossbar.
Kris Nurse was the home side’s biggest threat in the early exchanges, but he struggled to hit the target. At the other end, teasing crosses flashed across the Quorn goalmouth, but could not find a Grantham forward.
After half an hour, Grantham began to exert some control on the game. They started to hold the ball and pass it around, but still the final product was weak. After good work from Alistair Asher, Niall O’Rafferty and Joe Ward on the right, Tom Maddison’s volley lacked power. A cross from Ward a few minutes later was just too high for Ben Saunders.
Asher went close for Grantham on 36 minutes. Lee Potts and Ben Saunders worked the ball to him and Asher stepped forward into space. He let fly from 35 yards out but his shot flew just wide of the angle of post and crossbar.
Murray was well positioned to deal with efforts from Shawn Richards and Kris Nurse before Grantham finished the half strongly. A corner four minutes before half time deserved better as it flashed across the 6yd box with no-one attacking the ball. When it was returned into the danger zone, Ward and Maddison got on the end of it and Quorn were grateful to see the ball come down off the crossbar and land in play for them to hack clear.
The best chance of the game fell to Quorn player-manager Lawrie Dudfield two minutes after the break. From a free kick delivered into the Grantham penalty area, he had a free header from eight yards out, but put the ball went over the crossbar. Three minutes later, it was Grantham’s turn as Potts set up Purcicoe. His fierce shot was clawed away by Matt Nurse in the Quorn goal.
The two sides exchanged good chances again just after the hour mark. Martin Ball attempted to clear his lines but only found Tony Law. Murray had to react quickly to keep the ball out. A minute later, Purcicoe tested Matt Nurse again with a volley and again the Quorn keeper saved well.
Purcicoe was unlucky again 20 minutes from time. His header from O’Rafferty’s cross was turned round the post by the Quorn goalkeeper. From the corner, he was reliant on his captain Ricky Nurse to clear Paul Grimes’ header off the line.
Rob Norris went close to breaking the deadlock as both sides maintained a high tempo to the game. Norris gathered the ball in midfield and exchanged passes with Grimes. He made room for himself but curled his shot just wide of the target. A low cross from Ben Saunders caused problems for the home defence, but they smuggled the ball away to ensure there was an extra half hour.
Grantham had the first chance of extra time when Purcicoe found Ben Saunders in the penalty area. His header was cleared off the line and Ball’s shot was clutched by Matt Nurse. The home side forced a few corners in the first period of extra time, but did not threaten and another chance fell to Ben Saunders in the last minute of the period, but his header went across goal off a deflected cross and fell wide of the far post.
The home side took the game by the scruff of the neck three minutes into the second period of extra time. Kris Nurse was sent through with just Murray to beat but hit the side netting before Sam Wood opened the scoring. The midfielder made himself some room on the edge of the Grantham penalty area and fired a low shot past Murray.
Two minutes later, Quorn doubled their lead. A quick break, after the Quorn defence had cleared Sam Saunders’ header off the line from a Grantham corner, saw Shawn Richards run at a stretched Grantham defence. Asher was caught in two minds and Richards squared the ball to an unmarked Kris Nurse who put the ball away into the empty net.
In added time, Nurse got his second of the night with a similar goal. Richards’ pass sent Sam Leggitt through the Grantham defence and he laid the ball back for Nurse to slide home.
Grantham Town: Murray, Purcicoe, Potts, Asher, S. Saunders, Ball, Maddison, Melton (Watt, 47), Ward (Grimes, 60), B. Saunders, N. O’Rafferty (Norris, 73). Subs not used: Carchedi, Briers. Att: 105.