HOCKEY: Grantham lose final friendly

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Grantham 1

West Bridgford 3

GRANTHAM’S goal came from Mark Gray after a well-worked short corner and although David Nix had a goal disallowed which would have made the score 2-2, the home side were unable to take the sort of opportunities that West Bridford fashioned out.

Grantham made a bright start with Oli Phillips, Sam MacAllister and Mark Gray dominating the midfield battle. A couple of excellent chances were not converted and when MacAllister was forced to leave the field of play with a head wound, much of Grantham’s composure went with him.

A quick break from West Bridgford overwhelmed the Grantham defence, leaving goalkeeper Simon Chambers helpless.

He had previously made a couple of excellent saves to keep the scores level and Mark Richardson put in an incredible shift in front of him.

Phillips and Benjie Groom created excellent chances for themselves but found the West Bridgford goalkeeper in good form.

Grantham pushed hard after the break but West Bridgford doubled their lead when a shot deflected off a Grantham boot, counting as an own goal against Graham Johnson.

The hard work that Grantham have been putting in developing several short corner options then began to show as a series of infringements led to shots on goal and finally a combination that worked as Gray swept home from a narrow angle. Soon after, Nix thought he had scored when his shot bounced past the goalkeeper but the effort was ruled out.

As Grantham pushed forward to try to salvage something from the game, West Bridgford added a third goal to effectively put the match beyond the home side.

Grantham: Chambers, Kerr, M. Richardson, Pennington, Johnson, Phillips (c), MacAllister, Gray, Pirwani, Nix, Willey, Groom, A. Richardson

l There was also a 9-1 defeat for Grantham ladies as they opened their league campaign away at Horncastle.

l A brace of goals from Ben Willey helped the men’s seconds win their friendly against West Bridgford by five goals to one.