FOOTBALL: Grantham Town battle out goalless draw with Linnets

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Grantham Town 0

Danny Durkin on the ball for the Gingerbreads, with Jack Beckett in support. Photo: Toby Roberts

Danny Durkin on the ball for the Gingerbreads, with Jack Beckett in support. Photo: Toby Roberts

King’s Lynn Town 0

Grantham Town’s latest pre-season friendly saw two pretty much evenly balanced sides battle out a game without goals at The Meres on Tuesday night.

The match kicked off apace on a balmy night for football and was immediately an end-to-end affair.

The first shot of the game came in the seventh minute when a good move forward resulted in the ball being squared across the front of the Lynn 18-yard box where Sam Purcicoe was waiting, but the Grantham defender sent his effort waywardly over the bar.

Two minutes later, Grant Ryan had a stab at goal from the edge of the penalty area, forcing a save from Linnets keeper Alex Street.

The visitors’ first strike on goal came in the 13th minute but Toby Hilliard’s shot was blocked at close range by the Gingerbreads defence.

Grantham were back on the attack on 17 minutes when Ryan broke through the Lynn defence, but a touch too much saw the ball run away from him, to be safely gathered by Street.

The Linnets defence was easy to unlock sometimes and the visitors were more adept at going forward, with panache at times, and the Gingerbreads defence could only stand and watch as Lee Stevenson placed his curling shot just wide of the post in the 22nd minute.

On 36 minutes, Stevenson turned provider after he danced through the Grantham back line, squaring to Jack Frohawk who squandered the chance by lifting the ball over the bar.

The final minute of the first half saw the Gingerbreads allow Stevenson through too easily once again, giving him time to tee up his shot, but they were fortunate their keeper Jake Turner was able to block his effort.

The game continued at the same pacy rhythm after the break when Lynn’s Frohawk had two more opportunities in the opening seven minutes, fluffing the first easy one and seeing his second strike deflected for a corner kick.

Recent Grantham signing Luke Shaw looked a useful asset to have and, coming on as a second half substitute, soon made his presence known when he crossed to Danny Durkin in the box on 54 minutes, only for Street to pounce on the ball before him.

Stevenson and Michael Clunan both had chances repelled by the Gingerbreads defence just before the hour mark whilst, at the other end six minutes later, that man Shaw again fired over the bar after a good build-up on goal.

Stevenson’s reward for an ambitious 68th minute long range strike was a corner kick, from which Grantham cleared the danger right on the edge of the six yard box.

With 15 minutes remaining, Turner saved the day again when he scopped Hilliard’s effort into his gloves at the foot of the near post, and then rose highest three minutes later to pluck Clunan’s dangerous corner kick away from looming Linnets.

The final meaingful action of the game came in the 89th minute when Gingerbreads sub Michael Hollingsworth broke down the right and beat the first defender, but Meres faithful fans’ hopes were dashed when he was foiled before he could get a shot off.

Grantham Town: Turner, Purcicoe, Storey, Galinski, Carr, Beckett, Meadows, Kirby, Durkin, Ryan, Burrows. Subs: Shaw, Lewis, Hollingsworth, McGhee, Hankin, Bilyk, Dabell (GK).

Att: 109.