Evo-Stik Northern Premier League
Grantham Town 1
Grantham Town virtually guaranteed their survival in the Premier Division with a slender victory over Marine at The Meres on Saturday.
Grantham generally dominated against Marine in another wind-affected match and had the visitors on the back foot from the opening whistle.
Greg Smith hit the bar in the sixth minute after a Nathan Watson free kick and five minutes later, Rhys Lewis ran through midfield and let loose a drive that rose over the Marine bar.
The visitors had a potentially dangerous free kick in the 16th minute but Sean Doherty’s 25-yard effort curled straight to Grantham stopper Jake Turner.
Three minutes later, Greg Smith won a corner kick. Lewis got a head to Watson’s flag kick but it lacked direction.
Marine had a couple of chances, with Stephen Johnson’s wild volley flying well over the target and a deftly placed shot from Liam Rice curling over the bar in the 27th minute. The visitors’ skipper was not far off four minutes later when he pirouetted in the penalty area and volleyed just over.
Town went close in the 33rd minute when Greg Smith’s close range shot was blocked by Williams, the loose ball being cleared off the line by a defender.
Marine had perhaps the chance of the half when Johnson found himself through one-on-one with Turner but fired over the Grantham goal.
Lewis fired on target for the Gingerbreads in the 36th minute but his strike was blocked and at the other end, Doherty broke down the left and fired across the face of the goal, the ball going just wide of the far post.
The final attacks of the first half saw Marine’s Matty Devine go close with a floater in the wind and a hopeful pop from distance by Will Jones that forced a good one-handed diving save from Turner.
Grantham had the advantage of the tailwind after the break and had a good chance to go ahead on the hour mark. Demidh forced a corner kick which was headed on target by Adie Hawes but cleared off the line for another corner. Watson’s flag kick was met by Greg Smith whose header went wide.
Town finally got their reward eight minutes later when substitute Jamie Jamie’s flick-on into the 18-yard box was glanced over keeper Williams and into the back of the net by Lewis’s header.
Lewis almost doubled the Gingberbreads’ lead two minutes later with another glancing header, but Williams did well to tip the ball over the bar with his fingertips.
Grantham’s last real attack of the game came in the 77th minute when Jordan Smith got on the end of Deon Meikle’s free kick, but the number 11 fired wide of the near post.
The final 10 minutes saw Marine up the pressure as they sought an equaliser. A 40-yard free kick was met by Jonathan Goulding’s header which struck the bar and substitute Daniel Grannon’s 86th minute left foot volley flew towards the target but was caught comfortably by Turner to secure all three points for the Gingerbreads.
Grantham Town: Turner, Purcicoe, Ridley, Meikle, Hawes, Lewis, Watson (K. Smith, 74), Nwadike (c), Demidh (McGhee, 63), G. Smith, J. Smith. Subs not used: Elliot, Carchedi, Asher. Att: 228.