Ted Drury & Dave Piggott Trophy
Grantham Town 4
Corby Town 1
GRANTHAM Town retained the annual friendly trophy with a confident display at The Meres on Thursday night.
The Gingerbreads upped their pre-season campaign in style and went into the break three goals to the good, with Corby showing little evidence of their Conference North credentials.
The opening period saw play concentrated in midfield in a fairly evenly balanced first quarter of an hour, with Grantham looking solid in all departments. Tris Whitman’s eighth-minute lob was not far off the mark and Corby responded with a Matt Rhead volley which also went close.
Grantham broke the initial deadlock in the 15th minute when Matt Glass’s speculative looking lob went in off the cross-bar.
The Gingerbreads continued to pressure, with Grant Brindley just failing to put any direction on his header from a Lee Potts corner kick, before Ben Saunders headed over three minutes later.
Corby were restricted to a couple of long range efforts that proved no trouble for Grantham keeper Rob Murray.
Grantham doubled their lead in the 33rd minute. Sam Purcicoe got on the end of a defly placed cross and tapped in past Corby keeper Andy Kemp who fumbled what should have been an easy save.
But Kemp did manage to punch Alistair Asher’s 25yd free kick to safety two minutes later, and Murray made a good save to stop Rhead’s thumping 39th minute effort at the other end.
Gingerbreads substitute Paul Grimes drew gasps from the crowd with his acrobatic 43rd-minute bicycle kick, which sailed wide, and the home supporters were rewarded a third time two minutes later when Purcicoe tapped in after Kemp fumbled Ben Saunders’ header.
Grimes had his 53rd minute shot tipped over the bar by Kemp and then, against the run of play, Corby pulled a goal back eight minutes later. Andy Hall’s free kick whipped in and was flicked on to substitute Jordan Smith who made no mistake from close range.
But the Gingerbreads replied swiftly with Purcicoe completing his hat trick from close range.
Grantham continued to play pleasing football with all the new additions to the squad fitting in seemlessly with last season’s familiar faces. Further goal scoring chances came from Grimes whose diving header was deflected wide and Ben Saunders who forced another two good saves from Kemp.
Murray made some good saves throughout to keep himself on his toes, although he was never under much pressure throughout. He was tested a final time in the 89th minute and was found to be more than equal to a tricky downward bouncing header.
Grantham Town: Murray, Purcicoe, Potts, Asher, Brindley, Ball, Lewis, S. Saunders, Whitman, B. Saunders, Glass. Substitutes: Grimes, McGhee, Helliwell, Norris, Maddison, O’Rafferty. Att: 108.