No reward for Grantham Town yet again

Grantham Town's Jamie McGhee (centre) sees his options closed down by AFC Fylde's last lines of defence. Photo:  051D
Grantham Town's Jamie McGhee (centre) sees his options closed down by AFC Fylde's last lines of defence. Photo: 051D

Evo-Stik Northern Premier League

Premier Division

Grantham Town 1

AFC Fylde 2

Grantham Town lost to higher placed opposition but gave a fair account of themselves and, once again, probably deserved at least a point from the game.

But it was all AFC Fylde going forward in the opening quarter of an hour. Michael Barnes’s second minute shot was headed over by Adie Hawes for a corner kick, and the Grantham number five did the same again four minutes later to clear Sean Cooke’s free kick.

The visitors continued their assault with Adam Sumner forcing a nervy catch from Town keeper Jake Turner. Turner was well placed to save Adam Farrell’s low, curling free kick on 15 minutes, and also did well to smother the ball after Barnes’s shot was touched on.

Grantham finally conceded in the 23rd minute. Sean Cooke put a fine ball through to Farrell who ran to the near post and managed to fire in past Turner from the tightest of angles.

Barnes fired just wide of the Grantham goal after half an hour and Farrell missed out on doubling his and Fylde’s tally when he somehow managed to head over from close range just before half time.

The Gingerbreads had the advantage of the wind at their backs in the second half and equalised within five minutes when a glancing header by Greg Smith sent Hawes’s throw-in into the back of the Fylde net.

Four minutes later, Jamie McGhee’s low drive forced a save from visiting keeper Ben Hinchcliffe. At the other end, Turner rose well to pluck Barnes’s curling cross-cum-shot from the air.

Grantham missed a perfect opportunity to go in front on 62 minutes when McGhee fired a sitter over the bar from close range.

Fylde went back in front three minutes later with skipper Bradley Barnes heading in Joe Booth’s cross with aplomb.

A 69th minute goalmouth scramble after a Grantham corner kick looked likely to produce a second equaliser, but the visitors managed to clear the danger

New signing Jordan Smith’s 77th minute effort was a bit on the wild side as Town looked to close the deficit. Fylde keeper Hinchcliffe did well to pluck Sam Purcicoe’s searching cross from danger two minutes later.

The visitors missed a good chance to extend their lead in the 81st minute when substitute James Dean headed wide with a virtually open goal in front of him. Dean embarrassed himself further when he fired wide another easy chance two minutes later.

With four minutes remaining, Grantham had another equalising opportunity but sub Nathan Watson knocked Greg Smith’s cross over from close range. At the other end, Harry Winter forced another nervy stop from Turner on the stroke of full time.

The Gingerbreads continued to chase a share of the points in added time. Rhys Lewis tried his luck from distance but his shot rose over the Fylde bar, and a dramatic volley from Purcicoe drifted wildly in the wind but Hinchcliffe managed to pluck the ball to safety any deny the Gingerbreads any reward for their efforts.

Grantham Town: Turner, Purcicoe, Ridley, Meikle (Hannigan, 43), Hawes, Lewis, Carchedi (Watson, 77), Nwadike (c), J. Smith, G. Smith, McGhee (Elliot, 63). Subs not used: MacVicar, K. Smith. Att: 198.