Grantham Town go out of Lincs competition after defeat at Gainsborough

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Lincolnshire County Shield

Semi-final

Gainsborough Trinity 3

Grantham Town 0

GRANTHAM Town’s defence of the Lincolnshire County Shield came to an end at The Northolme. Grantham were outclassed for most of the game by a Gainsborough side that was able to knock the ball around at will and had the game wrapped up after an hour.

Trinity showed their attacking intent from the off. Two early balls over the top of the Grantham defence for Paul Connor were only beaten by Grantham goalkeeper Jimmy Lindley and an offside flag. Although Grantham buzzed around the home side’s penalty area at their first corner, Gainsborough blocked Paul Grimes’s effort as he hit the shot.

Lindley was called on again after 11 minutes. Luke Waterfall rose highest at the far post from a Gainsborough corner. His powerful header was expertly turned over the crossbar by Lindley.

Neat football from the home side opened Grantham up a few minutes later. Dom Roma found Connor who slipped the ball inside for strike partner Shane Clarke. Lindley reacted well to smother the ball before Clarke could get a shot off.

The Grantham keeper was felt by the home crowd to be lucky to stay on the field after 16 minutes. Connor again got behind the Grantham defence with just Lindley to beat. The Grantham goalkeeper was outside his penalty area when Connor flicked the ball past him. Lindley stuck out an arm in reaction and stopped the shot.

Referee Mr Drysdale gave the free kick but only showed Lindley a yellow card. Terry Hawkridge hit the target with his free kick but Lindley did enough for Grantham to clear their lines.

The Trinity trio of Roma, Hawkridge and Ryan Williams began to pull Grantham around at will. A darting run from Williams opened up space for him to cross, only for Lindley to beat Connor to the ball. Waterfall got free at the far post again from another corner but could not make the most of the chance.

The opening goal came after 29 minutes. Unsurprisingly Roma, Williams and Hawkridge were involved. Roma’s cross found Williams whose shot was blocked by Phil Watt. Hawkridge gathered the loose ball and jinked himself some space on the edge of the Grantham penalty area and fired a low shot into the corner of the net.

Ten minutes from half time, Grantham had a chance to get back on level terms. Ben Saunders and Rhys Lewis both won their headers on the edge of the Trinity penalty area. The ball dropped nicely for Sam Purcicoe but he hit his volley across the face of the goal and wide.

Both sides had chances to add to the scoreline before the break but failed to take them. Hawkridge was in a good position when he picked up a loose ball but curled his shot wide of the mark. Ben Saunders had two bites at the cherry at the other end but could not get in a good strike.

The second half soon settled into the same pattern. Hawkridge beat Purcicoe but his cross was cleared by Watt. Lee Ridley made a foray down the other flank, beating Lee Potts, but a foul by Williams spurned the chance.

Hawkridge started the move that led to the second goal on 55 minutes. He sprayed a pass wide to Ridley. At the far post, Connor beat his man to the ball and placed a firm header past Lindley.

Hawkridge opened up Grantham again two minutes later. This time his cross for Ridley was foiled by an offside flag.

Substitutions changed the game as Gainsborough took off the three players who had been so instrumental in causing Grantham problems. Craig Nelthorpe brought a save from Lindley minutes after he was brought on.

The Gingerbreads made their own changes, Jamie McGhee giving the formation a more attacking look, and he began to make things happen on the right hand side. His cross found Ben Saunders, but Saunders’ header did not trouble Jan Budtz in the Gainsborough goal.

McGhee then fired over the top after a Grantham corner was not cleared well by the Gainsborough defence.

As Grantham pushed forward to try and get back in the game, Gainsborough exposed the space behind the Gingerbreads defence. Jamie Yates went on a run from the halfway line that ended with his shot rolling just past the post.

Darryn Stamp sealed the win for Gainsborough five minutes from time. Jonathan D’Laryea slid the ball through for Stamp who slipped his shot past Lindley.

Grantham Town: Lindley, Purcicoe, Potts, Jacklin, S. Saunders, Watt, Nwadike (McGhee, 61), Ball, Grimes (Demidh, 75), B. Saunders (Tony Battersby, 78), Lewis. Subs not used: Brindley, Magee. Att: 231.