Evo-Stik Northern Premier League
Division One South
Market Drayton Town 1
Grantham Town 5
TWO goals in the opening five minutes rocked in-form Market Drayton and they were never able to recover against a strong Grantham side who took their winning streak to 10 games on the bounce.
After only two minutes, a deep cross was played back in by Ben Saunders. Paul Grimes tried to hit it goalward but the ball fell to Rhys Lewis who drove it past Andy Pryce. Two minutes later, the score was doubled. A Grimes free kick dropped at the far post where Lee Potts hit a shot and Jamie McGhee turned it into the net.
Grantham should have had the chance to add to their lead on 13 minutes. Martin Ball won the ball on the left for the Gingerbreads. His low cross was handled by a Market Drayton defender while on the floor, but referee Mr Perry did not see the offence and waved play on.
The home side began to play more football in the Grantham half but their crosses and free kicks led to nothing as the Grantham defence held firm. Rob Murray had to punch a deep cross from Dorryl Proffitt off the head of Luke Reynolds but other than that, he was hardly in the action.
Midway through the first half, Grantham began to get back in charge of the game. Potts and McGhee combined and at the near post, Ben Saunders headed over while under pressure from Pryce. Saunders was beaten to a Grant Brindley pass by Andy Hartlebury and Ball’s pass was just too long for Grimes.
The Gingerbreads’ third goal came on 36 minutes. Phil Watt cleared his lines down the Grantham left. Potts picked the ball up and squared it for McGhee to fire in from 18 yards out. McGhee was going for his hat trick on 39 minutes. Ben Saunders laid the ball square to the Grantham striker but this time Pryce saved well.
Right on the stroke of half time, Market Drayton got a lifeline into the game. Stuart Ellis took a quick throw to Chris Peel. As he burst into the Grantham penalty area, Ben Saunders bundled him over from behind. Mr Perry immediately pointed to the spot. Tom Rogers gave Murray no chance from 12 yards out.
Pryce saved again from a Ben Saunders header two minutes into the second half before the home side came at Grantham to try and get back into the game. Ellis gave Purcicoe some problems and crossed for Rogers. His overhead kick took a deflection and went just wide of the upright. A minute later Ellis beat Purcicoe again and delivered a low cross that had Grantham stretching to clear.
The Gingerbreads weathered the storm and came back with pressure of their own. The Market Drayton goal seemed to bear a charmed life just before the hour. Grimes started things off with a sublime chip after Ben Saunders put him through. Pryce was beaten all ends up, but Grimes’s effort came back off the post.
Matt Johnson then cleared a Grimes shot off the line with the home goalkeeper beaten again. Finally McGhee had a shot blocked and from the rebound, Potts saw his effort well saved by Pryce.
Ben Saunders twice hit shots just wide before Grantham eventually got the goal that their pressure deserved. Potts slipped the ball to Gio Carchedi who turned his defender and drove a low shot into the bottom corner of the net.
Pryce again made a good save to keep Grimes off the scoresheet on 70 minutes. As the clock ran down, it was Tris Whitman’s turn to terrorise the home defence. Paul McMullen cleared one effort off the line, and then was in the right place again after Whitman and Lewis opened up the home defence once more.
After Reynolds dipped a shot over the Grantham crossbar, Whitman got his reward in injury time. Tom Maddison played a lovely pass for Whitman. He controlled the ball then fired it high into the net past Pryce.
Grantham Town: Murray, Purcicoe, Potts, Brindley, S. Saunders, Watt, Lewis, Ball, Grimes (Whitman, 76), B. Saunders (Carchedi, 64), McGhee (Maddison (72). Subs not used: Battersby, Melton. Att:127.