FULL UPDATED REPORT: Grantham Town defeated in first game of season at Ashton United

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Northern Premier League

Premier Division

Ashton United 2

Grantham Town 1

Grantham Town were unlucky to come away from Ashton without a point in a game they dominated for long periods.

But Ashton began the game the stronger with Carlos Logan causing the Town defence problems early on. The home side won a couple of early free kicks in dangerous positions but they came to nothing. Grantham were unable to create anything going forward until Jamie McGhee put a 10th minute free kick narrowly wide.

Logan exchanged passes from a right wing corner and fired just wide of the near post, then Michael Towey put in a dangerous cross which just evaded everyone at the other end.

As half chances popped up at either end, United’s Matty Burke was well off target with a speculative effort on the volley from just outside the area. Kayde Coppin then made a great run on 20 minutes to the byline and saw his cross glanced across the goal by Joe O’Neill.

The home side took the lead on 26 minutes when winger Lee Rick went down in the box under a challenge from Deon Meikle, and Gary Gee gave Dan Haystead no chance from the spot.

Grantham came more into the game as the half wore on and Towey was inches away from connecting with a McGhee free kick. Greg Smith worked an opportunity which was blocked and McGhee’s 30 yard shot was superbly turned over by Paul Philips in the Ashton goal.

Town brought on Gary King for Nathan Watson at half time and laid siege to the Ashton goal as they pushed forward for the equaliser. Twice Adie Hawes got on to the end of crosses only to see his headers go narrowly wide. A good move from the Gingerbreads ended when the ball was laid back to Emeka Nwadike whose effort was too high. McGhee’s effort from 25 yards out brought a low save from Phillips.

The constant pressure from the Gingerbreads brought an equalising goal on 64 minutes. McGhee’s deep free kick found King on the penalty spot and he headed the ball on and over Philips.

A fine effort by Smith from the edge of the area was clawed away by the Ashton keeper. Then as play switched to the other end, Logan cut in from the left and saw his effort drift across the six yard area with, O’Neill just unable to apply the finishing touch

Sensing victory, Grantham continued to push forward but they were caught with the proverbial sucker punch just six minutes from the end. In one of Ashton’s few attacks of the half, Logan got his cross into the Grantham box and O’Neill headed firmly home at the near post.

The Gingerbreads kept pushing forward but could not find another goal that their possession deserved.

Grantham Town: Haystead, Purcicoe, Ridley, Meikle, Hawes, Watson (King, 45), Towey, Nwadike, McGhee, Smith (Graham, 73), Pilliero. Subs not used: Keane, Turner, Stanton. Att: 133.

+ The Gingerbreads’ first home game is against Worksop Town on Tuesday night. Kick-off at The Meres is 7.45pm.