Northern Premier League
Grantham Town 1
Blyth Spartans 7
Grantham Town were humiliated by FA Cup heroes Blyth Spartans and, despite a pinpoint free kick to bring them back to 2-1, the Gingerbreads never looked like scoring.
Following the Gingerbreads’ 4-2 win over second-placed Curzon Ashton last Saturday, Spartans must have thought they might be in for a real test today at The Meres – but it was far from that. Clearly buoyed by their cup run, a confident Blyth showed hints of danger early on but Grantham seemed able to cope with a battling defensive performance.
The deadlock was broken on the quarter hour mark when a Blyth corner kick was only cleared as far as Ryan Hutchinson who blasted low into the far corner.
Any advances forward by Town faltered due to inaccurate passing and they conceded a second time in the 27th minute when Daniel Maguire squared across the box where Joel Dixon fired in dead centre.
Grantham pulled a goal back with half an hour played when Paul Grimes executed a perfect free kick from the edge of the 18-yard box.
Town effectively lost the game when they conceded a goal both a minute before and after half time. They went 3-1 down when Nathan Buddle fired in off the bar in a scramble, and were unlucky to give the visitors a fourth after the break when the ball went in off Scott Hellewell.
And it was 5-1 on 50 minutes when the troublesome Maguire raced away, with Gingerbreads captain Sam Purcicoe trailing in his wake, and slotted home.
Town’s woes were increased when Ben Fairclough was red carded for a foul on Alex Nicholson two minutes later.
Maguire increased Spartans’ lead when he fired in on 71 minutes.
Referee Mr Guest prolonged Grantham’s agony with six minutes of added time and Blyth took advantage with Daniel Hawkins collecting fellow substitute Michael Richardson’s ball and slotting home with aplomb to the glee of the travelling Green Army fans and the despair of the home support.
Grantham Town: Haystead, Purcicoe, Emmott, Batchelor, Hellewell (Rawden, 73), Meadows, Lewis, Johnson (Miveld, 55), Grimes, Cockerline (Bilyk, 77), Fairclough. Subs not used: