Evo-Stik Northern Premier League
Division One South
Grantham Town 2
Sheffield FC 0
GRANTHAM Town resumed their march towards the championship title with a tidy win over in-form Sheffield to take them eight points clear at the top of the table.
A solid, workman-like performance by the Gingerbreads took until the second half before they found the net, but from then on there was only really one team in it.
Grantham’s first shot on goal saw Paul Grimes try a pot shot in the second minute, but his left footed effort curled wide of the near post. Sheffield keeper Josh Mimms had to bat away Chris Glarvey’s in-swinging free kick two minutes later.
Sheffield’s pacy front men looked like they could pose a threat early on, but Grantham’s defenders were always quick to snuff out any danger.
The visitors had a shot in the 10th minute but Matt Roney’s weak effort was easy for Town keeper Rob Murray to smother to the ground. Two minutes later, Murray was forced to tip Steve Woolley’s free kick over the bar.
Sheffield defender Martin Foster went close to putting the ball in his own net from a 19th minute Grantham corner kick, and a minute later Lee Potts had a chance to put Town his side in front but lobbed over from 25 yards.
Sheffield continued to display some good build-up play but with no end result.
Potts’s 24th minute free kick beat Mimms but just sailed wide of the far post. Grantham then had three corner kicks in succession. The Sheffield 18yd box resembled a pinball machine but Town could not quite squeeze the ball into the net.
Potts turned quickly and fired a volley over the Sheffield bar on the half hour mark. Nine minutes later, Sam Saunders put in a good curling cross but substitute Jamie McGhee’s header went off target.
The second half flowed seamlessly from the first, with Grantham generally dominating the balance of play. Early chances for the Gingerbreads came from a Grimes half-volley on 47 minutes and Potts had his 55th minute free kick headed clear.
Grantham finally went ahead in the 64th minute. Sheffield’s defence was opened up easily when Grimes broke free of his man on the left and put a cross-field ball over to McGhee. McGhee shot across the face of goal and the ball went under the diving Mimms and in at the far post.
Sheffield went close to replaying two minutes later. Substitute Connor Higginson’s shot forced Murray to palm away the danger. The ball fell to Higginson again but this time he curled his effort over the bar.
Grantham began to really start bossing the game, becoming more physical and confident, and a second goal was not far off.
It came in the 72nd minute when Potts’s squared ball found Grimes in the thick of the action on the edge of the 6yd box. Grimes calmly flicked the ball up and volleyed in from a bicycle kick to the roar of the home crowd.
Sheffield substitute Dan Williams looked like he might have the ball in the Grantham net in the 76th minute, but Murray confidently left his shot and watched it roll past his post.
McGhee caused havoc in the Sheffield half in the 83rd minute but was finally dispossessed by Matt Varley as he home in on goal.
Grimes had his 90th minute volley batted away by Mimms. Grimes headed back but this time the Sheffield stopper caught the ball.
The visitors had a couple of last gasp chances but Murray denied James Knowles a sniff when he caught from an awkward bounce, and Foster fired his 94th minute 25-yarder wide of the mark.
Grantham Town: Murray, Purcicoe, Potts, Brindley (Battersby, 66), S. Saunders, Watt, Glarvey (Jacklin, 57), Magee, Glarvey, Magee, Grimes, B. Saunders (McGhee, 33), Carchedi. Subs not used: Cann. Att: 303.