Grantham Town hold league leaders to a draw

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Northern Premier League

Premier Division

Paul Grimes set up Grantham Town's opener on Saturday.

Paul Grimes set up Grantham Town's opener on Saturday.

Grantham Town 1

Skelmersdale United 1

Grantham Town took a deserved share of the points with Skelmersdale who displayed little of their top-of-the-table credentials at a misty, murky Meres stadium.

United had a couple of half-chances in the opening minutes but these were soon forgotten when the Gingerbreads went in front after just six minutes.

Skelmersdale goalkeeper Martin Fearon carelessly fluffed a kick out to one of his defenders. Paul Grimes intercepted and crossed the ball to the far post where Marlon Grundy blasted in with aplomb.

Grantham held the lead until the 36th minute when Danny Mitchley was allowed too much space and slotted easily past Town keeper Dan Haystead.

Half time brought with it thicker fog and Haystead brought probably the biggest applause from the crowd since the opening goal, in recognition of an impressive double point blank range save with just five minutes of the second half played.

Rhys Lewis was brought down in the 18-yard box but Grantham’s 58th minute appeal for a penalty was waved away by referee Mr Hawkins.

The Gingerbreads continued to put in a battling performance although they produced less going forward and, sitting back, allowed Skelmersdale to come at them.

Probably United’s best chance of the second half saw Mitchley’s power drive charged down in the Grantham box.

Grantham’s defending was at times desperate but effective all the same, and Skelmersdale had no real answer and no true fire power, as the two sides battled it out until the final whistle.

Grantham Town: Haystead, Meadows, Kelly, Puricoe (c), Hellewell, Grundy, Lewis, Johnson, Grimes, Bilyk, Emmott. Subs: Worthington, Newman, Foster, Divver, Rhule. Att: 217.