Northern Premier League
Grantham Town 3
Grantham Town recorded their fourth successive victory at The Meres on Tuesday night to move themselves up to sixth in the league.
The Gingerbreads defeated second-placed Buxton on an unseasonably mild evening and were on top from the intial kick-off.
Michael Towey and Deon Meikle developed a couple of chances from the opening skirmishes whilst, at the other end, Buxton had a hopeful attempt from Craig King and a header that came off the bar.
Grantham had a promising counter-attack halted by an offside flag but went in front after 16 minutes.
Meikle played a good ball in to Rhys Lewis from which Buxton conceded a corner. The flag kick was taken short to Alex Simmons who put the ball square across the face of goal where Lewis headed into the top of the net.
Town had a header come off the top of the Buxton crossbar five minutes later, whilst Buxton offered the occasional counter-attack which was dealt with ease by the Grantham defence, with the Gingerbreads’ attack remaining alert.
With 28 minutes played, Grantham doubled their lead out of the blue when Simmons’s cross-cum-shot across the face of goal flew into the target.
The visitors had an opportunity to pull one back three minutes later, but Mark Reed headed over the target from Jamie Green’s 20-yard free kick.
Town survived a couple of defensive slip-ups as Buxton upped their game, but the overall pace of the match was at times to the detriment of both sides.
Buxton were awarded another free kick with five minutes of the first half remaining, but Green’s attempt from 30 yards headed for the stars.
The Gingerbreads’ last chance of the half came in the 45th minute when Ben Fairclough broke down the left and tried his luck, but keeper Arron Jameson palmed the ball away.
With Buxton hitting the stanchion and Grantham the bar early on, the crowed must have suspected they were in for another frenetic 45 minutes after the second half kicked off.
Grantham keeper Dan Haystead gathered the ball from danger following a 51st minute free kick and three minutes later, at the other end, Jameson was on hand to smother it from Lewis’s feet on the edge of the six-yard box. Buxton substitute Liam Hardy’s 56th minute corner kick caused Haystead to gather the ball safely in a nervous goalmouth scramble.
Buxton probably realised it was not their night when Town scored a third time two minutes later. Jordan Hempenstall found himself in space on the outside of the penalty area where he half-volleyed a deep ball in hopefully with the outside of his boot and it sailed over the keeper and dropped into the net.
The Gingerbreads could have had a fourth a minute later when Simmons ran clear but, hampered by a lone defender, he dragged his effort just wide.
With an hour played, the game continued apace with both sides unrelenting in their battling performances.
Grantham had further chances through Danny Meadows and Meikle, and another purposeful attack stifled by the linesman’s flag.
With Town in such dominant form, it came of some surprise when Buxton pulled a goal back in the 86th minute, with Hardy forcing his way throught the Gingerbreads defence and firing in past Haystead.
Grantham were not done and attacked up till the final whistle, the best chance coming after Simmons put a teasing ball across the face of goal out to Meadows who thumped it back in but only took the wind out of a Buxton defender.
Grantham Town: Haystead, Purcicoe, Meikle, Batchelor, Watt (c), Meadows (McGovern, 90), Lewis, Towey, Simmons, Hempenstall, Fairclough (Johnson, 81). Subs not used: Marshall, Hallcro, Turner. Att: 222.