FULL REPORT: Grantham Town march on in FA Cup

MHBG-18-09-14 FA Cup 1 NNL-140913-082821002
MHBG-18-09-14 FA Cup 1 NNL-140913-082821002

FA Cup

Second qualifying round

Stamford 1

Grantham Town 2

Grantham Town progressed to the next round of the FA Cup after victory over local rivals Stamford on Saturday.

The Gingerbreads’ first half goal was cancelled out by a great strike by Ryan Robbins, but Ben Fairclough showed great composure in front of goal to score the winner.

The game started very slowly and there were no real chances early on, with neither side getting any shots on goal. The Gingerbreads had the better of a very physical game with tackles going flying in, leading to bookings early on.

Jordan Hempenstall missed the target and Alex Simmons had an effort blocked as the Gingerbreads looked for the opening goal.

The first real chance fell to Stamford’s Richard Jones, 25 minutes into the first half, a header which was saved by Dan Haystead and cleared off the line.

The deadlock was finally broken 35 minutes into the first half when Rhys Lewis worked the ball to Michael Towey who played it on to Alex Simmons. Simmons had enough time to pick his spot and remain calm to slot the ball in the corner and give Grantham the lead.

The second half began slowly but burst into life five minutes in. Hempenstall got across the front of Richard Jones, but fired wide. And then Robbins equalised for Stamford with a sensational strike that gave Haystead no chance.

Jordan Smith turned Sam Purcicoe in midfield and put a lovely pass through for Robbins. The striker took an early shot and left Haystead flat footed.

Seven minutes after the goal, Robbins went through again and rolled a shot past Haystead. This time he hit the post.

But a minute later Grantham regained the lead through Fairclough who pounced when Jones hesitated and robbed the Stamford centre half before remaining calm in front of goal.

The Gingerbreads started controlling the game midway through the second half, but were unable to find the third goal. Solid defending by Stamford denied the Gingerbreads any chances to stretch Richard Knight, leading to a very tense finish.

The Gingerbreads almost paid the price in the 75th minute, but a heroic tackle by Deon Meikle saved the day for Grantham when he denied Nabil Sharrif.

Ten minutes from time, the Gingerbreads went close to a third goal but, in a scramble inside the Stamford penalty area, the ball would not drop for Watt although he had two stabs at it.

The final whistle went after nine minutes of added time with no other scares for Grantham Town to see them through to a third qualifying round road trip to North Ferriby United.

Grantham Town: Haystead, Purcicoe, Matthews, Meikle, Watt, Wilson, Lewis, Towey(Batchelor, 90), Simmons, Hempenstall (Smith, 90), Fairclough (Johnson, 81). Subs not used: Rawden, Turner, Dickens, McGovern. Att: 381