FULL REPORT: Grantham Town defeated at Matlock

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Northern Premier League

Premier Division

Matlock Town 4

Grantham Town 1

The Gingerbreads were on the wrong end of things at Matlock but could have had the game in their control in the first half.

Both sides started at 100 miles an hour. No-one had time to settle on the ball and flowing football was at a premium. The home side had two early corners before Grantham began to get on top of the game.

Paul Grimes laid a good ball off for Jack McGovern who hit a low drive, forcing Matlock goalkeeper Jon Kennedy into a diving save to his left. Dan Haystead also had to make an early stop when Micky Harcourt crossed for Danny Holland. Haystead moved late to stop Holland’s header, but also blocked the follow-up.

Midway through the first half, Grantham got on top. Grimes almost got in twice before Matlock rode their luck twice in a few minutes. McGovern spread play to Lee Potts and, from his cross, Michael Towey was just denied as the home side scrambled the ball away for a corner. A good deep delivery saw Greg Smith head back into the six-yard box for Grimes. His volley was somehow cleared off the line.

The Gingerbreads continued to dominate with Grimes heading just wide before the game turned ahead of half time. Matlock won a penalty on 33 minutes. Holland was caught by Deon Meikle as the Grantham defender was just beaten to the ball by the Matlock striker. Holland made no mistake from the spot.

Five minutes before half time, Grantham failed to properly clear the ball and Matlock forced a corner. Holland met the flag kick with a header that was too powerful for Haystead, sending the home side in two goals to the good at the break.

The Gingerbreads were fired up for the second half and forced early corners. Grimes again went close, but Grantham still could not get the ball in the back of the net. Meikle hit a low drive that Kennedy comfortably took at the second try, before Matlock took the wind out of the Gingerbreads’ sails.

Twenty minutes into the second half, Grantham failed to clear their lines well and Matlock played the ball back in for Shaun Tuton. He worked a shooting space and fired past Haystead.

The Gingerbreads were handed a lifeline with 20 minutes left. McGovern played a good ball into the Matlock penalty area. Grimes struck a shot that was going wide until Oscar Radford stuck out a hand to gift Grantham a penalty. Grimes made no mistake from 12 yards.

Any hope Grantham had of mounting a late comeback lasted only two minutes. A low cross from Darryl Thomas was pushed out by Haystead. Holland reacted quickest to fire into the net again.

The home side could have added more goals late on as Thomas and Alex Bradshaw both had chances, but neither found the mark.

Grantham Town: Haystead, Purcicoe, Ridley, Meikle, Lister, Lewis (King, 72), McGovern, Towey, Grimes, G. Smith (Walker, 72), Potts (K. Smith, 44). Subs not used: Lacey, Hawes. Att: 292.