Evo-Stik League Northern Premier League
Division One South
Grantham Town 1
Hucknall Town 1
GRANTHAM Town shared the points with Hucknall in a disappointing encounter that only really caught fire when the Gingerbreads equalised midway through the second half.
Grantham did have the first chance to go ahead on three minutes when skipper Sam Saunders whipped in a good cross but no team-mates could get the slightest of touches needed. The Gingerbreads conceded a free kick at the other end two minutes later, but Hucknall’s 30yd effort was driven straight into the Grantham wall.
Play continued to swing from end to end and Lee Potts was just cut out from taking a shot after he encroached on to the edge of the Hucknall 6yd box.
Grantham went behind in embarrassing fashion after a defensive error allowed Jared Holmes to take advantage of the confusion and blast past Rob Murray on the quarter hour mark.
The home side almost replied three minutes later but Tris Whitman’s backward header went over the bar.
Hucknall looked the stronger and faster side and made Grantham look disjointed at times, forcing them to close down the danger from Matthieu Isamene. Jamie McGhee took a useful looking free kick but it curled straight to Hucknall keeper James Lindley.
Murray punched a James Jepson free kick clear from danger at the other end and play swung to the other end where Rhys Lewis slid in but skied his stab at goal over the Hucknall bar.
Grantham did stitch together some neat inter-play down the left flank at times but the end result was always lacking.
Hucknall could have doubled their lead going into half time but missed an open goal.
The visitors continued to dominate after the break, with Grant Ryan trying his luck from 25 yards, striking well but missing the target.
A flurry of activity in the Hucknall 18yd box gave Grantham fans a glimmer of hope, with McGhee striking the bar to lift the atmosphere.
Nathan Watson’s ambitious 57th minute 40yd free kick landed not far over the Grantham goal. Ben Saunders’ 64th minute backward header was easy for Lindley but the Hucknall keeper was beaten five minutes later when substitute Paul Grimes unleashed a fizzing shot into the top left of the net to bring the home crowd to their feet.
A rejuvenenated Grantham looked a different side for the remaining 20 minutes. Murray punched a corner kick clear which was picked up by Grimes who raced down the right wing. Unfortunately the end result was a poor chip over the bar from Potts.
With Hucknall still full of running, Murray had to stay on his toes at the other end, but Grantham had the best of the late goal scoring opportunites as they earnestly sought the winner.
Ben Saunders jumped too early and failed to make contact for what would have been a certain goal in the 87th minute, and he was in the frame again two minutes later but his on-target header lacked the power to trouble Lindley.
The Gingerbreads final chanced to snatch glory saw substitute Rob Norris scuff his volley in front of goal in the dying seconds of added time.
Grantham Town: Murray, Purcicoe, Potts, Brindley, S. Saunders, Watt, Lewis, Ball, Whitman, McGhee, Carchedi. Subs: Norris, B. Saunders, Asher, Grimes, Maddison. Att: 173.