GRANTHAM Town and York City fought out an entertaining 1--1 draw in front of an enthusiastic crowd at The Meres on Saturday.
Both sides had chances throughout the game and although Football League side York played possession football at times, with Grantham just watching, a draw was a fair result.
In an enterprising opening from Grantham, playing in an unfamiliar 4-4-2 formation, Lee Potts took on his full back and delivered a great cross for Gio Carchedi, but his header was kept out by Michael Ingham in the York goal.
Both sides played some strong football early on looking for the breakthrough. A number of robust challenges went in as neither side treated the game as a friendly. Half chances came at both ends but neither side took advantage.
Potts created another good chance for Grantham just after the half hour mark. His cross was met by Karl Demidh, but he hit the crossbar with Ingham beaten. When the ball was put back into the danger zone, Demidh was involved again, this time the ball was squeezed out to Jamie McGhee who beat Ingham but also hit the woodwork.
York could have taken the lead 10 minutes before half time. Matty Blair got away from Paul Grimes on the Grantham left. His cross was initially missed inside the Grantham penalty area but fell to Jason Walker. His shot struck Grant Brindley on the arm and referee Mr Smith pointed straight to the spot. Walker took the penalty only to see Jimmy Lindley make a good save from the spot-kick and Walker’s follow-up.
Lindley was in action again as half time approached and York looked for an interval lead. A couple of corners and a long throw caused consternation for the Grantham defence. From the throw, Blair’s header was tipped over the bar by Lindley.
The visitors made a number of half time substitutions but it did not change the game as both sides came out and exchanged chances in the first 10 minutes of the second half.
Ashley Chambers outpaced Grimes and pulled a cross back for Jamie Reed. He miskicked and Sam Purcicoe cleared the danger.
At the other end, McGhee and Demidh combined with Potts to open up the York defence. Potts’s shot was turned on to the post by Paul Musslewhite, but offside had already been flagged.
Musslewhite was busy again, turning away a shot from Carchedi on 57 minutes after good work by Demidh and Grimes had made the opportunity. York broke the deadlock five minutes later. Grantham thought they had cleared the danger but Patrick McLaughlin lined up a shot from 30 yards out and rifled his effort past Lindley into the top corner of the net.
That goal could have opened the floodgates as York began to stroke the ball about comfortably, but solid defending from Grantham kept the visitors at bay and it was Grantham who threatened more, equalising on 76 minutes.
The York defence failed to deal well with a good cross and the ball fell to Demidh on the edge of the penalty area. He struck a sweet shot that gave Musslewhite no chance.
The York keeper kept scores level eight minutes from time when Carchedi won the ball and played it on for Tony Battersby. His low shot was saved by the York stopper.
The visitors’ last chance came when Chambers got away from the Grantham defence again and crossed for Dominic Knowles. Grantham kept their goal intact with more good defending to ensure the George and Marge Freeston Trophy was shared between the two sides.
Grantham Town Lindley, Purcicoe, Grimes, Brindley, Phil Watt, Robinson (Battersby, 71), McGhee (Briers 80), Nwadike, Demidh, Carchedi (Richards, 83), Potts. Subs not used: Higginson. Att: 232.