Grantham Town begin 2013 with New Year’s Day victory over Eastwood

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The new year brought a renewed optimism to The Meres with the Gingerbreads recording a 4-0 win over bottom placed Eastwood Town.

Although a fast paced-game throughout, the opening 10 minutes were pretty uneventful. The closest the visitors went to scoring was wasted with an over-struck corner kick in the ninth minute. Jamie McGhee’s 13th minute shot was deflected on to the outside of the Eastwood stantion. Deon Meikle got a header to the resulting corner kick but it lacked direction.

Both sides had a couple of free kicks apiece, but neither made any real use of them. Grantham’s Rhys Lewis had a tasty backwards header but it went straight to former Gingerbreads keeper Richard Stainsby. Lewis went close again on the half hour mark but dragged his effort wide.

But Grantham went in front three minutes later. Sam Saunders set up McGhee who unleashed a shot to the left of a static Stainsby.

Alistair Asher had a shot a minute later and the Gingerbreads doubled their lead in the 35th minute. Skipper Ben Saunders was the scorer after he latched on to his brother Sam’s initial shot that rebounded off the post.

Grantham went 3-0 up five minutes before half time with Ben Saunders bagging his second goal with a deft lob over a now quite irate Stainsby.

The game continued apace after the break and Grantham keeper James Martin was brought into action in the second minute of the half, expertly getting a hand to Lavell White’s cross-cum-shot. The visitors had another chance to reply in the 52nd minute but there was no Eastwood player near enough to get a touch to Josh Raven’s squared ball across the face of goal.

The Gingerbreads were not far off themselves five minutes later. Lewis’s shot just trickled past the far post, still in play, but McGhee was not quite close enough to knock it into an empty net.

Another opportunity for the home side came in the 68th minute. Alex Troke put a good ball through to debutant Sam MacVicar, but he placed his shot just wide of the far post with just the keeper to beat.

Troke and MacVicar combined again four minutes later, with Stainsby this time racing out of his box to clear the ball from substitute MacVicar’s feet.

Grantham keeper Martin impressed again in the 77th minute when he rose confidently in a crowded six-yard box to pluck Paolo Piliero’s corner kick from the air.

The Gingerbreads extended their lead a minute later. MacVicar squared across the face of the Eastwood goal to give Sam Saunders a simple tap-in.

Seventy-fifth minute substitute Jermaine Hollis went close in the first minute of added time. After tussling with Eastwood defenders, he just put his shot wide of the far post.

Grantham Town: Martin, Asher, Magee, Meikle, Watt, Troke, Lewis, S. Saunders, Demidh, B. Saunders, McGhee. Subs: MacVicar, Brindley, Purcicoe, Hollis, Nwadike. Att: 262.