Northern Premier League
Grantham Town 2
Frickley Athletic 1
A last minute header gave Grantham Town victory after what had been a torrid, wind affected affair.
The match was far from a joyous spectacle for supporters, the scrappiest game seen at The Meres all season.
Frickley had a couple of early chances but both went to the safe hands of home keeper Dan Haystead as Grantham appeared slow out of the blocks.
Town’s first real opportunity came in the 13th minute after Paul Grimes was fouled outside the box, but Jack McGovern’s free kick was headed clear from the danger area.
Thirteen minutes later at the other end, visiting skipper Joe Wilcox tried an overhead kick from a penalty box scramble but his ambitious effort went over the bar.
Frickley continued to be far the busier team, giving Grantham no time on the ball whatsoever, and the visitors had another good chance in the 37th minute when Luke Sharry was allowed to run at goal and unleash a shot which forced a full-stretch dive from Haystead, although the ball went just wide of the post.
The Gingerbreads’ best goal scoring opportunity of the half came three minutes before the break. Grimes flicked forward to Jordan Hempenstall who beat Frickley keeper Ben Simpson to the ball, but his shot trickled just past the far post.
After the goalless first half, the Gingerbreads now had the wind at their backs after the break and began to get the upper hand.
Hempenstall was just unable to get a touch on Lee Potts’s 59th minute cross, and Grimes was just shy of connecting his head to a free kick three minutes later. Hempenstall had his shot cleared off the line by a Frickley defender on 64 minutes.
Grantham continued to dominate but a goal still eluded them as the gusting wind increasingly gave both sides problems.
Town substitute Greg Smith immediately made his presence known but then, against the run of play, Frickley’s Luke Hinsley broke away through a helpless Gingerbreads defence and fired in past Haystead in the 82nd minute.
Suddenly it was game on and Grantham replied four minutes later when skipper Paul Lister poked home to give Gingerbreads fans something to sing about.
Then Town were awarded a free kick to the left side of the penalty area in the 89th minute.
Lee Potts swung the ball in to the centre of the box where Michael Towey thundered in a header past Simpson, after which the Grantham number eight was swamped by his team-mates as celebrations began.
Grantham Town: Haystead, Purcicoe, Jacklin, Meikle, Lister, Lewis, McGovern (Walker, 85), Towey, Grimes, Hempenstall (Smith, 73), Potts. Subs not used: Hawes, King, Ridley. Att: 253