Grantham Town get off to flying start in victory at Stourbridge

An open training day will be held for Sleaford Town Junior FC on Saturday, October 22
An open training day will be held for Sleaford Town Junior FC on Saturday, October 22

Northern Premier League

Premier Division

Stourbridge 1

Grantham Town 2

Grantham Town got off to a flying start at Stourbridge on Saturday when striker Paul Grimes spotted home goalkeeper Dean Coleman off his line and cheekily lobbed a dipper in under the crossbar from the best part of 40 yards.

Stourbridge attempted a quick reply but Gingerbreads keeper Dan Haystead was equal to Luke Benbow’s low strike.

Grantham had early opportunities to add to their single goal, with Michael Emmott denied by Coleman, and Grimes heading wide of the target.

At the other end, Jordan Fitzpatrick found some space but wasted his chance by firing past the goalmouth.

Rhys Lewis had Coleman in trouble in the 22nd minute but he headed over the bar with the home keeper beaten. Coleman smothered the ball from Lewis’s feet minutes later after he initially made a mess of catching a cross.

With half time approaching, the Gingerbreads conceded an equaliser on 40 minutes. Chris Knight raced away down the left flank and cut in a cross which was headed into the back of the net by Stourbridge substitute Brian Smikle.

Haystead came to Grantham’s rescue a couple of minutes later, punching a Knight cross to deny Reece Hales any chance of a sniff at goal.

The home side continued to pressure Grantham after the break. Fitzpatrick’s 47th minute shot went wide and Tyrone Williams struck a volley off target from a Drew Canavan corner kick. Canavan’s own 20-yard strike flew over the crossbar.

The Gingerbreads put themselves back in the driving seat on 54 minutes. The visitors were awarded a free kick outside the 18-yard box, delivered by Danny Meadows and headed into the bottom corner by Ben Saunders.

The match pretty much ended as a competitive contest from there on, with neither Coleman or Haystead particularly called upon to extend themselves too much.

However, Haystead did deny Fitzpatrick in the 68th minute, saving with his feet at the post, and he was also equal to Canavan’s free kick with 10 minutes remaining.

The Grantham stopper was called into action just one more time a minute later. Haystead struggled with Hales’s bobbling close range effort and sent it the way of home scorer Smikle, but this time the keeper won the tussle to give his side a well earned victory.

Grantham Town: Haystead, Purcicoe, Rawden, Johnson, Hellewell, Miveld, Meadows, Lewis, Grimes, Saunders (Cockerline, 84), Emmott. Subs not used: Bilyk, Divver.

Att: 367.