FULL REPORT: Grantham Town defeated despite strong performance

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Northern Premier League

Premier Division

Chorley 3

Grantham Town 1

For an hour against a title-chasing Chorley side, the Gingerbreads more than held their own at Victory Park.

In the end, the home side were too strong for Grantham late in the game and the Gingerbreads’ brave effort was not enough to avoid defeat.

Chorley came out of the blocks quickly, forcing a series of early corners, but despite good delivery from Adam Mather and long throws from Mark Ross, the home side did not create clear chances as the Gingerbreads defence put in some solid work.

Grantham battled hard all round the pitch and having dealt with the early threat, began to create problems of their own for the home side. After 15 minutes, Ash Burbeary delivered a good free kick into the Chorley penalty area. Deon Meikle had a free header but missed the target. Two minutes later, at the other end, Darren Stephenson and James Dean set up Josh Hine with the chance to hit a first time shot, but his volley was poorly executed.

The Gingerbreads took the lead from the penalty spot after 19 minutes. After a Grantham corner, Chorley did not clear the ball and Rhys Lewis lifted it back into the danger zone. The ball hit a Chorley arm and referee Mr Hilton pointed straight to the spot. Burbeary confidently sent Sam Ashton the wrong way.

The obvious threat the home side carried continued to be dealt with well by the Grantham defence. Andy Teague hit a deep cross for Dean, only to find Jamie McGhee defending well to deny the striker. A great save from Dan Haystead kept Grantham in front after 29 minutes.

Chorley continued to get the ball forward quickly and equalised 10 minutes before half time. A poor defensive header from Lee Ridley was returned back into the Grantham penalty area by Hine. The ball fell nicely for Dean and he prodded home past Haystead.

The home side started the second half brightly and put a lot of pressure on the Grantham goal.

The game began to turn just after the hour. Lewis lost a midfield battle with Dean. The Chorley striker quickly lobbed the ball on for Hine beyond the Grantham defence. From 30 yards out, Hine lifted a shot over Haystead into the net to put his side in front.

A quick free kick by Dean almost undid Grantham again on 69 minutes. Hine got on to the ball but Paul Lister covered back well to snuff out the danger. Dean set up Whitham with a good shooting chance. He tried to float his shot past Haystead but the Grantham goalkeeper made another good save.

But Haystead had no answer on 71 minutes when Whitham eventually beat him. Some loose defending from Grantham allowed Jake Cottrell to deliver a cross that found Whitham at the far post and he fired past Haystead.

The game was won at that point and Chorley took their foot off the gas a little, although Haystead still had to make another save in the last minute, standing up well to deny Adam Roscoe.

Grantham Town: Haystead, McGhee, Ridley, Meikle, Lister, Lewis, Dixon, Towey, G. Smith (King, 75), Jackson, Burbeary (K. Smith, 75). Subs not used: Hawes, Meakin. Att: 813.