SECOND half goals from Jamie McGhee and Matt Glass secured Grantham their third straight away win. The Gingerbreads grew stronger as the game went on and never looked in trouble against Evo-Stik Presidents’ Cup finalists Belper Town.
Division One South
Belper Town 0
Grantham Town 2
Belper goalkeeper Allessandro Barcherini made a great save after only four minutes to prevent Grantham taking an early lead. Jamie McGhee was released down the left flank. He picked out Ben Saunders on the edge of the Belper penalty area. Saunders seemed to take an age to set himself, allowing Barcherini to stop his effort. The loose ball fell to Matt Glass who should have hit the target but blazed over the crossbar.
The Grantham defence looked in control from early in the game. Rob Murray twice made simple saves from good positions and alert defending from Alistair Asher denied Ruben Wiggins-Thomas a shooting chance.
Chris Glarvey had an influence at both ends of the pitch. First he hit a speculative shot that looped just too high and landed on the top of the Belper goal. At the other end, he got a yellow card for his troubles when Charlie Weir beat him and Sam Purcicoe in the corner. Glarvey brought down the winger to earn his booking, but Belper could not capitalise from the free kick.
Asher again covered across the defence well before Sam Purcicoe went close with what would have been one of the strangest goals of the season. He closed down a Belper clearance and from 20 yards out, the ball ricocheted off his foot at such a pace that only the fact that it flew two yards wide saved Barcherini.
Weir again proved a handful for the Grantham defence 10 minutes before half time. He worked his way through the Grantham defence into a shooting position but fortunately for the Gingerbreads, dragged his shot wide.
Just as they did on Thursday night, Grantham came out of the blocks flying after the break. Just three minutes into the second half, a good ball out of defence picked out Ben Saunders in space on the halfway line. He ran at the left flank of the Belper defence and delivered a perfectly placed cross to the far post for Jamie McGhee to strike first time into the bottom corner of the net.
For a few minutes after the goal, Belper were stung into action. Murray dropped to his left to take a header from Weir and the home side forced a couple of corners as they searched for an immediate response. Grantham defended everything the home side could throw at them with growing confidence.
Three minutes after the hour mark, the game was won by Glass. McGhee held the ball up well on the edge of the Belper penalty area and laid it back for Glass. He fired a shot that beat Barcherini on its way into the bottom corner of the net.
A few minutes later, Glass almost added his second of the afternoon. He got in front of the Belper keeper to head a cross part him but saw his effort clip the crossbar and go out for a goalkick. Grantham substitute Rob Norris got on the end of a near post cross from McGhee 10 minutes from the end but couldn’t beat Barcherini.
The Gingerbreads controlled the rest of the game without threatening the opposition goal or being threatened themselves. Belper had a lot of possession up to the edge of the Grantham penalty area but could not get past a resolute rearguard that recorded its fifth clean sheet in seven games.
Grantham Town: Murray, Purcicoe, Potts, Asher, Sucharewycz, Watt, Glarvey, S. Saunders, McGhee (Carchedi, 85), B. Saunders (Dyson, 88), Glass (Norris, 73). Subs not used: Hallcro, Rhule. Att: 170