Division One South
Grantham Town 1
LEE Potts was the calmest person in the ground as he slotted home an injury time penalty to earn Grantham all three points. The Gingerbreads just shaded a tough contest with a solid performance.
Town played into a stiff breeze in the first half, but a strong performance snuffed out any serious threat from the home side in a scrappy game. A free kick from Lee Potts after eight minutes caused a moment of panic in the home defence before they cleared their lines.
Grantham adapted best to the conditions and put pressure on the Romulus back line. Ben Saunders’ shot was taken by the wind to Sam Purcicoe who volleyed wide, then another free kick troubled the home defence. Chris Glarvey’s 25yd effort was fumbled by home goalkeeper Niall Cooper, but he recovered and grabbed the loose ball.
Cooper was just in the right position to deny Jamie McGhee on 28 minutes. Matt Millns got a header on another dead ball delivery and nodded it to McGhee. His header was behind Cooper, but he reacted quickly to clutch the ball.
McGhee went close again as half time approached. A wicked dipping shot was turned round the post by Cooper and from the corner, McGhee shot over the crossbar.
Three minutes after the break, Romulus showed they had upped their game. A well-weighted through-ball drew Rob Murray off his line. Alistair Asher was in the right place to cover and clear from inside the Grantham 6yd yard box.
Cooper had to be carried from the pitch after a challenge by McGhee that earned the Grantham player a yellow card and the Gingerbreads tried to put early pressure on Cooper’s replacement, Lewis Exall. Sam Saunders’ far post cross, two minutes after the substitute keeper came on, found Sam Purcicoe in space. Unfortunately for Grantham, he missed his kick.
Potts fired wide a few minutes later when he gathered in a loose ball then struck an effort from 25 yards out. On 66 minutes, good play from Ben Saunders, Purcicoe, Glarvey and Rhys Lewis set up McGhee, but he shot just wide of the mark.
Lewis was inches away from connecting with a free kick with 10 minutes to go, then the home side started to push for a winner. Murray made a good save from Gavin Day and his defence cleared up denying Peter Faulds a shooting chance. Three minutes from time, Marvin Johnson went on a mazy run, beating three challenges before crossing the ball. Fortunately for Grantham, it was behind Faulds and the Gingerbreads cleared the ball again.
Referee Mr Leach indicated five minutes of stoppage time and Grantham took full advantage. Gio Carchedi and Ben Saunders combined to give Sam Saunders a shooting chance, but his effort was blocked. Then a Potts cross found Carchedi in space, but he mishit his volley.
With three minutes of the stoppage time gone, Carchedi went for a header at the near post. A high boot from Romulus captain Phil Male saw Mr Leach point to the spot. Potts calmly waited while Carchedi received treatment, then drove his penalty kick low past Exall to win the game.
Grantham Town: Murray, Purcicoe, Potts, Asher, Millns, Watt, Glarvey, S. Saunders, McGhee (Carchedi, 83), B. Saunders, Lewis. Subs not used: Glass, O’Rafferty, Kirton, Hallcro. Att: 137.