Rainworth Miners Welfare 0
Grantham Town 1
A hot afternoon at Rainworth saw Grantham maintain their 100 per cent pre-season winning record.
Their Northern Premier League Division One South opponents gave the Gingerbreads a decent enough test, but did not have enough to break down a solid Grantham rearguard.
Former Brigg and Goole winger Danny Buttle was the first to present a threat. He got down the Grantham right and delivered a low cross that the Gingerbreads defence comfortably cleared. A minute later, the home side created a shooting chance for Jared Holmes, but he curled his effort over the top of the Gingerbreads goal.
With five minutes on the clock, Grantham scored with their first serious attack. Rainworth failed to clear the initial cross well and Jamie McGhee returned the ball into the danger area. Sam Purcicoe put the ball into the centre where Greg Smith headed home from close range.
Town had now woken up and Nathan Watson turned sharply 20 yards out, but lifted his shot just too high. Romaine Graham almost got on the end of a huge clearance from Dan Haystead as Grantham got the ball forward quickly to put the home side under pressure.
Midway through the first half, neat football saw Grantham work the ball well from the back to Graham. His effort went wide of James Martin’s goal. Rainworth only threatened sporadically. When they did, Grantham defended well and Haystead did not have to make a save. Lee Ridley blocked Jamie Brown before he could get a shot away.
McGhee was involved in a lot of the good moves from Grantham. He twisted and turned the home defence and shot from the edge of the penalty area. Martin did well to turn the effort over for a corner. McGhee then fed Greg Smith who laid the ball back for Watson. Watson slipped his shot past Martin, but agonisingly wide of the post as well.
Jake Turner was in action shortly after coming on as one of Grantham’s three half time substitutions. Brown sent Buttle away but Ridley cleared his cross. Callum Lloyd put the ball back into the danger zone for Joe French who turned Deon Meikle. Turner stood his ground well at the near post to give French little at which to shoot.
Grantham made another three substitutions, then took the sting out of the game. After a period of scrappy play, Watson took control of midfield just in front of the Grantham back line and ran the rest of the game. The Gingerbreads played possession football, not looking like adding to their score, but without looking in any danger of conceding a goal.
Grantham Town: Haystead (Turner, 45), Purcicoe, Ridley, Meikle (Chambers, 57), Hawes, Nwadike, Watson, Keane (Towey, 45), G. Smith (McDonald 57), Graham (K. Smith, 45), McGhee (Neill, 57).