GRANTHAM Town were made to work hard for a share of the points with near bottom of the league side Shepshed.
Division One South
Grantham Town 2
Shepshed Dynamo 2
The Gingerbreads came from behind twice to level, with goals from Rhys Lewis and Ben Saunders, and had numerous chances to snatch victory in an exciting final period of play.
Both sides struggled to find real cohesion in a frantic start. Town’s Matt Glass had the first shot on goal in the sixth minute but he rushed his effort and lashed over wildly.
A minute later Shepshed were in front. A ball from former Gingerbread Rob Lund was picked up by Aidan Brady who fired under keeper Rob Murray.
But Grantham replied within the minute. Sam Purcicoe lofted in a cross from which Lewis headed confidently past helpless keeper Gavin Saxby.
Sam Saunders had a chance to put Town in front in the 11th minute when he latched on to a loose ball, but his left foot thumper veered wide of the target.
Just three minutes elapsed before Dyamo had their noses in front a second time after Grantham conceded a free kick. Taken by Rob Norris, fellow ex-Gingerbread Billy Stubbs headed past Murray and into the net.
Lewis could have put Grantham back on level terms in the 25th minute but headed wide and two minutes later Town keeper Murray safely snaffled Norris’s dangerous 30yd rising free kick.
Neither side had any clear-cut goal scoring opportunities in the final 20 minutes of the half, the closest being a Norris strike through a gaggle of legs which Murray was down to quickly at the post.
The second half continued at apace with Shepshed not allowing Grantham time to gain full composure in the early exchanges.
Town fans’ hearts were in mouths in the 57th minute when a blatant offside was missed by the match officials, but gasps were turned to jeers when Dean Oliver missed the open goal – as the referee’s assistant flagged for a non-existent offside.
At the other end, Murray had to be alert to pull off a superb one-handed save from Norris’s 59th minute close range effort.
Lee Potts put his 65th minute free kick over the bar but three minutes later he created the Gingerbreads a second equaliser, crossing for skipper Ben Saunders to nod into the Shepshed goal.
Grantham’s search for the winner was on. Dynamo keeper Saxby beat Gio Carchedi to Ben Saunders’ ball in on 68 minutes, and substitute Jamie McGhee’s quick turn and strike a minute later went agonisingly close.
Matt Millns played a significant part in the final minutes of the game. His teasing 74th minute ball had Saxby flailing wildly but no Grantham players were there to tap in at the far post. Millns’ 84th header struck the crossbar and five minutes later his reflex header off the goal-line saved Town at the other end of the pitch.
Carchedi’s 90th minute volley was tipped over by Dynamo keeper Saxby and Lewis came to Town’s rescue in injury time when he cleared Stubbs’ effort off the line to ensure a share of the spoils.
Grantham Town: Murray, Purcicoe, Potts, Asher (Sucharewycz, 81), Millns, Watt, Lewis, S. Saunders, Glass (McGhee, 61), B. Saunders, Carchedi. Subs not used: Glarvey, Hallcro, Rhule. Att: 171.