Five-goal Gingerbreads dispose of Ravens in style
Northern Premier League
Grantham Town 5
Coalville Town 1
Grantham Town turned on the style in the second half with four goals adding to Harry Clifton’s 45th minute opener at The Meres on Tuesday night.
A fast paced first half saw chances for both sides as played swung from end to end.
Coalville threatened first, with former Gingerbread Karl Demidh’s curling left-footed free kick forcing a solid catch from Jake Turner in the third minute. Four minutes later, Nathan Watson’s well-struck snap shot just curled away from the far post.
Grantham’s best early opportunity came in the 19th minute, with new striker Filipe Barcelos’s close range glancing header bringing a good reaction save from Ravens keeper Matt Coton at the foot of the post.
Barcelo had another chance to open his Gingerbreads account on his debut five minutes later, after he was gifted the ball in the box, but the Brazilian-born Italian somehow lifted the ball over the bar, under pressure from two defenders and Coton.
Grantham upped the pressure on the visitors as the half wore on, to slowly become the dominant force. Barcelos teamed up increasingly well with fellow front men Luke Shaw and Grant Ryan, but the opening goal finally came on the stroke of half time through Clifton.
Shaw got on the end of a long ball and ran down the left side before cutting back to Clifton who rifled in from the outside of the box.
Grantham almost doubled their advantage in added time after Shaw was fouled at the side of the penalty area. He got up and curled in a nice free kick that forced Coton to punch out for a corner kick.
Supporters were barely back in their seats before the Gingerbreads struck again after the break. Grantham caught Coalville napping with a quick move involving Shaw and Ryan, ending with Danny Meadows firing in off the far post.
The home side looked to have scored their third through Ryan in the 52nd minute, but Coton somehow trapped the ball with his legs following a good move again involving Shaw. Six minutes later, Barcelos struck the post on the end of another flowing attack.
Coalville still posed an occasional threat on the break, and the Gingerbreads did well not to let complacency become an issue. The Ravens went close in the 63rd minute from a Watson free kick, but Turner punched his goalbound strike out of danger.
Grantham went 3-0 up 10 minutes later in comical fashion. Under pressure, Coalville defender Dean Freeman headed back to Coton, but the Ravens keeper was only able to get a finger to the ball and it bounced on into the net.
The Gingerbreads extended their lead on 80 minutes, Clifton scoring his second after he got on the end of a Rhys Lewis ball and stroked home with his left foot.
With five minutes remaining, the visitors managed to pull a goal back. A lapse in concentration allowed former Gingerbread Massiah MacDonald to fire in through a gaggle of legs from 18 yards.
But Grantham were not done either and Barcelos was finally rewarded for his impressive debut when he belted in from a Michael Hollingsworth cross to seal victory in the 89th minute.
Grantham Town: Turner, Wildin, Storey, Carr, Galinski, Meadows, Clifton, Lewis (Hollingsworth, 80), Barcelos, Ryan (Saunders, 80), Shaw (Burrows, 73). Subs not used: Durkin. Att: 151.