Grantham Town upset form book with win over second-placed Seasiders

Harry Clifton (left) put in a strong performance for Grantham Town on Tuesday night. Photo: Toby Roberts

Harry Clifton (left) put in a strong performance for Grantham Town on Tuesday night. Photo: Toby Roberts

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Northern Premier League

Premier Division

Grantham Town 2

Whitby Town 0

Grantham Town upset the form book at The Meres on Tuesday night, sending the Seasiders back home with their tails between their legs.

The Gingerbreads were expecting a tough game against the second in the league side, with Whitby looking for an eighth win to take them to the top of the table.

It was competitive, but the home side dominated throughout and should have been a goal up after five minutes when they were awarded a penalty after Ellis Storey was tripped in the box. Danny Meadows took the spot kick but was unable to to beat Whitby keeper Shane Bland who stopped it at the foot of the post.

Grantham conceded a free kick 20 yards out three minutes later, but Jake Turner caught Dale Hopson’s effort over the wall.

Storey and Luke Shaw combined well on the left to create several promising moves for the Gingerbreads. The home side’s next best chance came on the quarter-hour mark when Ben Saunders headed Luke Shaw’s whipped in cross on to the roof of the net.

Probably Grantham’s biggest scare of the night came in the 22nd minute when Hopson’s stab from a scramble somehow stayed out of the net after hitting the post.

Luke Shaw and Harry Clifton were denied several times more by Bland and his defensive crew as the Gingerbreads continued to threaten the Whitby goal, with their final real attack of the first half causing a panicked Bland to tip the ball out of play from a dangerous Meadows long ball.

The resulting corner kick saw Rhys Lewis and Stefan Galinski challenging for a header in the box, but neither could make contact with Luke Shaw’s dangerous flag kick.

The Seasiders upped it a gear or two immediately after the break and put Grantham briefly on the back foot, but the home side finally got the reward for their efforts in the 54th minute when Saunders’ spectacular overhead kick sent Clifton’s cross into the back of the net.

The Gingerbreads definitely had their tails up now and continued to threaten, going close again three minutes later when Luke Shaw put in an incisive cross, only for Bland to intercept and deny Saunders his second at the far post.

Meadows had a chance to double Grantham’s advantage and make amends for his penalty miss in the 75th minute, but his sidefooted volley put Storey’s cross just over the bar.

A comparatively rare Whitby attack brought two double reaction saves from Turner two minutes later, whilst Seasiders substitute Michael Roberts drove his 81st minute effort into the side netting.

All Grantham’s hard work was rewarded a second time five minutes later.

Substitute Lee Shaw chased down the left and scrapped to win the ball off a Whitby defender. Evading the opposition’s best efforts to stop him, Shaw danced and cut back into a position where he could close in on goal, found the angle, and fired in past Bland.

Referee Mr Law added four more minutes to play, before the Gingerbreads could send a frozen-to-the-marrow Meres faithful crowd home with smiles on their faces.

Grantham Town: Turner, Wildin, Storey, Carr, Galinski (c), Meadows, Clifton, Lewis, Barcelos (Durkin, 86), Saunders (Lee Shaw 72), Shaw (Burrows, 79). Subs not used: Hollingsworth. Att: 189.