Grantham Town clinch slender victory in final friendly fixture at Basford

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Friendly - Basford United 1 Grantham Town 2

GRANTHAM Town recorded a slender win in a game they controlled for long periods. Basford gave the Gingerbreads the sort of workout Wayne Hallcro and Jimmy albans wanted before the start of competitive football at Gainsborough on Saturday.

The Gingerbreads were on top from the start of the game. Basford were pinned back in their own half for long spells and it was no surprise when Gio Carchedi put the Gingerbreads in front.

A couple of chances had whistled past the post before Carchedi was played through on 23 minutes. He executed a calm finish, putting the ball past Curtis MacDonald in the Basford goal with ease.

Lee Potts was causing problems for Basford on the Grantham left as the Gingerbreads looked like stretching their lead. Potts and Tony Battersby combined to set up Jamie McGhee, but good work from MacDonald kept him out.

Damien Magee, Sam Purcicoe and McGhee then tried their luck on the opposite side. McGhee’s deep cross came to Potts who made space to shoot, but missed the target. Emeka Nwadike had a shot cleared off the line by Martin Lench as Grantham seemed set to cruise to half time.

Jimmy Lindley had made a good double save from Craig Westcarr, but could not keep Grantham in front at the break. A disputed goal right on the stroke of half time sent the sides in level. Courtney Hastings ran on unchallenged from a Basford free kick with Grantham looking for an offside flag. Hastings gave Lindley no chance and equalised.

After the break, Westcarr and Tommy Kemp found some space behind the Grantham defence and made the Gingerbreads work hard to stay level. As the half wore on, Grantham restricted the opposition to long balls and began to create chances themselves. Battersby played a neat ball on for Carchedi, but MacDonald did well to deny both Carchedi and Battersby on the follow-up.

Phil Watt rescued the situation on 65 minutes when a long ball over the top nearly caught Grantham napping. Moore chased the ball deep into the Grantham half and found Westcarr. He took the ball round Lindley, but the Gingerbreads goalkeeper had held him up long enough for Watt to get back and clear his lines.

The introduction of Karl Demidh and Connor Higginson turned the screw on Basford. Inspired goalkeeping from MacDonald kept the home side level after he needed help to keep Higginson out on 71 minutes. Higginson played a delightful pass to Demidh who showed quick feet to create an opening. MacDonald did well to deny him.

The Basford keeper could do nothing about the Gingerbreads’ winning goal on 77 minutes. It started from a poor goal kick by MacDonald. Higginson picked up the ball quickly but MacDonald seemed to reprieve himself with another good save. Demidh, however, was in the right place to gather the ball and lash it into the back of the net.

The home side should have equalised for the second time in the 79th minute. Basford were awarded a penalty when Willis Francis went tumbling inside the box. Westcarr stepped up but skied his kick over the crossbar. Higginson almost rubbed salt in the wound when he got space in the Basford penalty area but curled his shot off the crossbar.

Grantham Town: Lindley, Purcicoe (Briers, 83), Potts (Robinson, 66), Jacklin, S. Saunders, Watt, Magee, Nwadike, McGhee (Higginson, 66), Battersby (Lewis, 66), Carchedi (Demidh, 66).