Grantham Town keep play-off hopes alive at Quorn

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GRANTHAM kept their play-off hopes alive thanks to a second half goal from Jamie McGhee. At times nervy in the second half, the Gingerbreads nevertheless were comfortably in control of the game and deserved their winner.

Evo-Stik League

Division One South

Quorn 1

Grantham Town 2

The Gingerbreads made a nervy start to the game, Quorn having the best moments in the opening 10 minutes without troubling Rob Murray in the Town goal. Sam Saunders did well to block a good run from Tom Byrne, while strike partner Kris Nurse shot wide.

After 17 minutes, Grantham turned up the heat and nearly took the lead. Ben Saunders won the ball on the edge of the penalty area. Matt Glass challenged with Quorn goalkeeper Matthew Nurse who turned his effort away. Rhys Lewis slid in on the loose ball but could only turn it over the crossbar.

Glass over-played a good through-ball a couple of minutes later before Ben Saunders caused problems from a Rob Norris corner. His powerful header from the far post was hacked off the line by Shawn Richards.

Quorn showed they were not there to make up the numbers with a good chance of their own on 23 minutes. Sam Wood was able to bring the ball forward into space and hit a low shot that came off Murray’s hands, but he grabbed it at the second attempt.

A minute later the Grantham goalkeeper was beaten when Kris Nurse got a flick on to a long throw from Ashley Robinson. He steered the ball into the corner of the Grantham net to put his side in front.

The lead didn’t last long for Quorn. Only a further 60 seconds had elapsed before Grantham struck back. Lewis ran on to Ben Saunders’ header only to be tripped inside the penalty area. Mr Thornhill had no hesitation awarding the penalty and Lee Potts comprehensively beat Matthew Nurse to level scores.

Grantham claimed another penalty only three minutes later. Potts crossed from inside the Quorn penalty area and Ben Saunders again laid the ball off well. Norris seemed to be pushed by Ashley Robinson as he shaped to shoot, but this time Mr Thornhill waved away Grantham’s appeals.

Ben Saunders was a constant problem for the Quorn defence and on 33 minutes he sent Glass clear of the home defence. Quorn goalkeeper Matthew Nurse was quickly out of his penalty area and beat Glass to the ball. Five minutes before half time, Saunders laid the ball back for Chris Glarvey. Glarvey’s effort was only half cleared by Chris Gray, but Norris volleyed the loose ball just wide.

Glarvey had another effort on the stroke of half time. He won the ball from Matthew Nurse and from 40 yards out, struck a volley that flew a couple of yards over the bar with the home side’s goalkeeper off his line.

The first 10 minutes of the second half saw Quorn go closer to breaking the deadlock. After a good strike by Lewis was well saved by Matthew Nurse, the home side threatened the Grantham goal. Sam Saunders, Alistair Asher, then Potts all ensured that Murray remained untroubled in his goal.

Gradually Grantham got on top of the game and began to pin Quorn back in their own half. Glass had two good chances just after the hour. First he beat Gray, but his shot lacked the power to trouble Matthew Nurse. A minute later, a clever pass from Norris left Glass with only Nurse to beat, but he hit his shot straight at the Quorn goalkeeper.

A double substitution with 20 minutes left gave Grantham an extra spark. After Phil Watt broke up a Quorn break, Grantham applied pressure without getting the breaks. Ben Saunders took a pass back from Gio Carchedi, beat his defender and shot past Matthew Nurse only to see the ball hit the outside of the post and roll wide.

The winner came a minute later. Quorn didn’t clear their lines well and from a wide position Jamie McGhee lofted the ball towards the far post. His effort looped over Matthew Nurse into the far corner of the net.

The home side tried to get back into the game but Grantham defended well. Other than a free kick driven across the Grantham penalty area 10 minutes from time, they failed to put pressure on the Gingerbreads defence, keeping them at arms length to ensure the win.

Grantham Town: Murray, S. Purcicoe, Potts, Asher, S. Saunders, Watt, Lewis, Glarvey, Glass (McGhee, 68), B. Saunders (Dyson, 90), Norris (Carchedi, 68). Subs not used: Beardsley, Hallcro.

Att: 173.