HOCKEY: Grantham triumph in first game of season at Wisbech

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East League Division 5NW

Wisbech 4th 0

Grantham 1

GRANTHAM

GRANTHAM dug deep and were rewarded for a sterling effort as they got their league campaign off to a winning start.

Mark Gray scored the only goal with 15 minutes of a tight, hard-fought match remaining and Grantham were strong enough to hold on and get off the mark at the first opportunity. Grantham started the game well, moving the ball sharply around the back three of Rob Buxton, John Pennington and David Braunton to give midfield trio Gray, Benjie Groom and Sam MacAllister time and space.

Wisbech were well drilled themselves and Grantham had their work cut out in the early stages. At the other end, Wisbech’s experienced forward line began to put Grantham under pressure, and the visitors survived a huge scare when a shot struck into the top corner was ruled out for dangerous play.

It proved to be a wake-up call and one that was heeded as Grantham pressed forward with more discipline and although three short corners were won towards the end of the half, they were not converted.

With the scores level at half time, neither side could feel hard done by but it was Grantham who came out the stronger, Groom, Phillips and Gray all fashioning shooting chances only to find the defence on top form.

When Wisbech themselves enjoyed a spell of pressure, it took an excellent piece of last-ditch defending from Halliday to prevent them taking the lead. .

Grantham goalkeeper Will Leadenham had a relatively quiet afternoon.

Grantham’s goal finally came when Gray slotted home after a short corner was worked back to him and his shot across the goalkeeper broke the deadlock.

Although no further end product materialised it took the sting out of Wisbech and a few niggly fouls crept in towards the end as both teams continued to battle hard

Buxton was named as the Harrison Green man of the match for his efforts in breaking up play and distributing from left-back.

Grantham: Leadenham, Buxton, Pennington, Braunton, Phillips (c), Groom, MacAllister, Gray, Willey, Hill, Halliday.