Defeat sends Grantham Town closer to relegation zone

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Northern Premier League

Premier Division

Rushall Olympic 3

Grantham Town 1

The Gingerbreads were unable to break their sequence of games without a win at Rushall on Saturday.

The home side capitalised on poor defending towards the end of each half to make the difference to the scoreline and send Grantham closer to the bottom four.

The opening 10 minutes saw both sides test each other out. Ahmed Obeng and Matty Wood for the home side, then Ash Burbeary and Jamie Jackson for the Gingerbreads, all got into good positions, but none could make the most of their chances.

With the slope in their favour, Rushall began to dominate possession and pin Grantham back in their own half. Obeng beat two players before bringing a save from Dan Haystead. The Gingerbreads goalkeeper turned his effort wide for a corner.

Wood was involved in a number of incidents in a short space of time, starting when he delivered a good cross for Dele Adebola, but he headed wide. Wood was lucky to escape a booking when he clattered into Haystead as he chased a through-ball, but a minute later another foul brought a yellow card.

The home side went in front when a high ball cleared forward from the Rushall defence was headed on by Adebola. Obeng reacted quicker than the Grantham defence and took the ball round Haystead and slid it home.

The lead only lasted two minutes as the Gingerbreads forced a corner almost straight away. A poor defensive header only found Deon Meikle and he fired his shot past Chris Gemmell. The Gingerbreads then went close to taking the lead when Greg Smith curled a shot just past the angle of post and crossbar.

As Grantham thought they might get to half time level, a corner was only cleared to Carl Palmer 30 yards out from goal. He was given too much space to run and get his shot away and fired just inside Haystead’s right hand post.

Rushall forced the pace early in the second half. Palmer looked offside as he ran through, but missed the target. Adebola rolled a header past the Gingerbreads post and Obeng could only find Haystead with his shot. A fortunate rebound gave Obeng another chance on 56 minutes, but his chip was too high.

The introduction of Jamie McGhee gave Grantham more purpose and attacking threat. He immediately got away on the Grantham left. Kyle Dixon almost got to his cross first but Gemmell was quicker. The home side then failed to clear a McGhee cross and Michael Towey brought a good save from Gemmell.

Having weathered the Grantham pressure, Rushall mounted some counter attacks. Adebola and Palmer combined to find Wood in some space. He came inside and let fly, but Haystead was equal to his effort.

Rushall wrapped up the points five minutes from time. The Gingerbreads again only half-cleared the ball. Liam Spink had time to hit it back into the Grantham penalty area. Jack Andrews should have cleared the ball but as he hesitated, Palmer bustled in to force it into the net.

Grantham Town: Haystead, Ridley, Andrews, Meikle, Lister, Foster, Dixon (Lewis, 80), Towey, G. Smith, Jackson (Lavelle-Moore, 70), Burbeary (McGhee, 64). Subs not used: Nwadike, Rennalls. Att: 183.