GRANTHAM Town resumed league action following the enforced lay-off with a comfortable victory.
Evo-Stik Northern Premier League
Division One South
Grantham Town 3
Kidsgrove Athletic 0
The win took the Gingerbreads to the top of the table, with Carlton Town losing 33-2 at Brigg Town.
Grantham looked pretty sharp from the whistle and had their first real goal scoring chance in the fourth minute. Sam Saunders launched a good cross-field ball to Lee Potts who fired in a cross that Jamie McGhee headed just wide.
Kidsgrove’s first opportunity came in the 12th minute after Paul Taylor was fouled 25 yards out. Andy Kinsey struck the free kick but dragged it well wide of the mark.
Three minutes later, McGhee went close for the Gingerbreads with another header from a Potts cross, but could not direct the ball downwards. McGhee then dived acrobatically to meet Damien Magee’s curling cross, but failed to make contact.
Kidsgrove were awarded another free kick in the 17th minute after Karl Charlton was brought down at the side of the penalty area. Ross Davidson took the kick but fired straight to Town keeper Rob Murray. Murray punched a dangerous looking Danny Smith cross to safety in the 24th minute.
Town had an excellent chance on the half hour mark but neither Paul Grimes or Sam Purcicoe could get the vital touch to a Ben Saunders cross. Two minutes later, Kidsgrove’s Kinsey looked to be clear through but the linesman’s flag came to Grantham’s rescue.
A McGhee strike skimmed the side netting in the 36th minute and seconds later his volley struck the crossbar. Ben Saunders was denied by Kidsgrove keeper Steve Hodgson who plucked the ball from the air before the Town skipper could get his head to Grimes’s cross.
The Gingerbreads were finally rewarded for their tenacity with a minute of the half remaining. A Potts through-ball provided an easy finish for McGhee to slot past Hodgson.
Grantham continued the assault immediately after the break, although a second goal took a while to come.
Potts and McGhee remained a potent partnership and threatened the Kidsgrove goal early in the half. Grimes forced a save from Hodgson and McGhee headed over from a Potts corner kick in the 51st minute.
Kidsgrove thought they had an equaliser just before the hour mark. Murray fumbled the ball into his own net but referee Mr Naylor blew for an infringement on Town’s keeper.
Grantham continued to put together some good build-up play but there seemed to be chance of a finish on the horizon.
Purcicoe cleared cleared the ball following another Murray fumble and Grantham doubled their lead in the 71st minute. Martin Ball fired in after a persistent Potts had worked his way through the Kidsgrove midfield and defence.
Murray found himself confounded again in the 75th minute, with Purcicoe clearing off the line this time. But seconds later Ball added Grantham’s third when he got on the end of Grimes’s deft touch past the Kidsgrove keeper.
Kidsgrove should have pulled a goal back with four minutes remaining. With Murray beaten, Dave Walker could not quite reach a dangerous looking cross-cum-shot. A minute later, Walker got a header in off a Liam Shotton cross but it sailed wide of the Grantham goal.
Purcicoe cleared off the line a second time deep into injury time to ensure Grantham’s clean sheet.
Grantham Town: Murry, Purcicoe, Potts (Cann, 83), Brindley, S. Saunders, Watt, Magee (Glarvey, 74), Ball, Grimes, B. Saunders (Battersby, 78), McGhee. Subs not used: Carchedi, Jacklin. Att: 223.