Grantham Town overcome Stamford in the Cup

Grantham Town goal scorer Gio Carchedi (centre) is congratulated by team-mates Grant Brindley (left) and Lee Potts. Photo: 710B

Grantham Town goal scorer Gio Carchedi (centre) is congratulated by team-mates Grant Brindley (left) and Lee Potts. Photo: 710B

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FA Cup

Preliminary round

Grantham Town 1

Stamford 0

GRANTHAM Town progressed to the first qualifying round of the FA Cup with a single first half goal from Gio Carchedi.

Once again, Grantham had numerous chances throughout the encounter, while at the other end, the Daniels only had one shot on target in 90 minutes.

Both sides ended the game with 10 players after referee Mr Lawson had already sent Gingerbreads joint manager Wayne Hallcro to the stands midway through the first half for “shouting” at the man in black.

An indifferent opening few minutes was perked up when Town striker Tris Whitman was picked out by skipper Sam Saunders. Whitman took time to line up his shot from 20 yards but keeper Mario Ziccardi blocked his effort.

Left with an awkward catch, former Gingerbread Ziccardi was then forced to tip a long Rob Murray clearance over the bar in the fifth minute.

A Carchedi corner kick was whipped into the 6yd box but Rhys Lewis just could not stretch his neck any further. Whitman had a chance to put Grantham ahead in the 18th minute after he received a long ball and danced through the Stamford defence, but his final touch curled the ball well wide of the target. Two minutes later, Whitman’s header was blocked on the goal line.

The Gingerbreads went in front in the 23rd minute. Once again Whitman was involved, with his initial shot blocked by Ziccardi but the ball only went out as far as Carchedi who lobbed into the open goal with composure and poise.

Whitman was denied again by Ziccardi three minutes later and he then shot wide in the 29th minute. Ziccardi smothered the ball from Jamie McGhee’s feet after he latched on to a Whitman through ball on the half hour mark.

As the clock ran down to end the first half, Grantham went close through a Martin Ball Header at the post, and Ziccardi pulled off another vital save to deny Whitman once more. Town’s last chance of the half saw Ball rise to a Lee Potts free kick but the Grantham number eight could not get the vital touch.

The Gingerbreads continued to threaten the Stamford goal in the second half. Ziccardi punched a Potts corner kick from danger 10 minutes in, although Sam Purcicoe’s 58th minute effort was from too far out to trouble ‘Super Mario’.

Stamford were the first to go down to 10 men after Robbie Maddox was shown a straight red for elbowing Whitman over in an off the ball incident. To the surprise of Whitman and the home crowd, the Town number nine found himself red carded two minutes later after he had been wrestled to the ground by Michael Jacklin. Jacklin escaped punishment.

A 75th minute Stamford free kick had hearts a-flutter in front of the Grantham goal, but Murray managed to smother the ball in the melee.

McGhee and Purcicoe peppered a couple of shots at Ziccardi’s goal with 10 minutes remaining and Stamford had one final chance to level the affair in added time. Lewis carelessly gave the ball away in midfield. With the home defence in disarray, Sam Mullarkey fed substitute Dan Cotton but he slid his shot wide of the far post to the relief of the Meres faithful.

Grantham Town: Murray, Purcicoe, Potts, Brindley, S. Saunders, Watt, Lewis, Ball, Whitman, McGhee (Grimes, 86), Carchedi. Subs not used: Norris, O’Rafferty, Asher, Grimes, Maddison. Att: 240.