FULL REPORT: Grantham Town face FA Cup replay after goalless draw at Stamford

Grantham Town's Rhys Lewis (left) challenges for a header with a Stamford opponent. Photo: Fardell Photography
Grantham Town's Rhys Lewis (left) challenges for a header with a Stamford opponent. Photo: Fardell Photography

FA Cup

First round qualifying

Stamford 0

Grantham Town 0

Grantham and Stamford will try again to sort out an FA Cup winner on Tuesday night. Neither side could get through some tight and at times desperate defending leaving both sides wondering what they need to do to unlock the door to victory.

Both defences stopped anything creating in either penalty area for a long time. Lee Ridley was well placed to break up a good Stamford move involving Daniel Lawlor, Andy Burgess and Shawn Richards after a quarter of an hour, but that was the best either side could muster.

It was typical of the game on 23 minutes that a good move from Grantham fell apart on the edge of the Stamford penalty area. Stamford broke quickly but, at the other end, Ryan Robbins shot wildly off target.

The home side finished the first half strongly. After 33 minutes, a ball over the top of the Grantham defence put in Jordan Smith. He shot across Dan Haystead but saw the Grantham goalkeeper get enough on the ball to ensure it rolled wide of the post.

A minute later, Jordan Smith and Nathan Haines worked a position on the Grantham left to deliver a cross. At the far post, Ryan Robbins turned the ball into the net, but the flag was already up for offside.

The home side also got away for the first real chance of a more open second half. Richards got away again on the Grantham left and squared for Jordan Smith, but Paul Lister did well to block his shot.

Stamford had the ball in the net for a second time just before the hour. Jordan Smith thought he had scored this time, but he had fouled Lee Ridley in getting to the ball.

It was only in the last 25 minutes that the Gingerbreads began to turn the screw on their hosts. A header from a corner after 68 minutes by Emeka Nwadike caused problems for the Stamford defence and they struggled to clear their lines. Kallum Smith and Rhys Lewis then opened up the Stamford defence for Ashley Burbeary, but his effort hit the side netting.

It was not all Grantham and Stamford had a good spell and could have taken the lead. Substitute Richard Wesley won the ball and sent Richards in again, only for him to waste the opportunity by shooting over the top.

The Grantham defence had to work hard twice in quick succession as first they were caught napping by a quickly taken free kick. Deon Meikle recovered quickly enough to block Robbins’ shot. The ball was put back into the danger zone and Wesley ran onto it, but Haystead was equal to his effort.

The last five minutes were all Grantham. Towey curled his shot past the upright and Greg Smith powered a header just over the crossbar from a Burbeary cross. Then Sam Purcicoe and Burbeary set up Paulo Piliero but he also missed the target.

In injury time, Jordan Smith could have won it for Stamford but Haystead kept scores level. At the other end, desperate defending from Stamford did the same. Greg Smith had his shot saved by Mario Ziccardi and only a brave block from Alvin Jarvis denied Burbeary an injury time winner.

Grantham Town: Haystead, Purcicoe, Ridley, Meikle, Lister, Lewis(Pilliero, 80), Burbeary, Nwadike, G. Smith, King (K. Smith, 63), Watson (Towey, 55). Subs not used: Keane, Graham, McGhee, Turner. Att: