Division One South
Grantham Town 3
Goole AFC 0
Grantham breezed past Goole to gather their second three-point haul of the week. The visitors put up little opposition as Town took command from the word go.
In the early stages of the game, Lee Potts tormented Goole. His runs down the left gave Luke Jeffs a hard time and led to early chances from his crosses. Good defending cleared one effort, Ben Saunders headed a second over the bar and goalkeeper Jevan Hodgson took the third cleanly.
A rare excursion to the other end of the pitch almost led to a breakthrough against the run of play. There was a spate of head tennis in midfield ending in a through ball from Glyn Cotton to Arron Martin. His touch was too heavy and Rob Murray was able to race off his line to gather the ball.
Grantham took the lead on 17 minutes. A long clearance from Sam Saunders caused confusion in the Goole defence. Hodgson called for the ball, but then hesitated and Ben Saunders closed him down and blocked his clearance. As the ball fell, Saunders spun and hit it into an empty net.
Nine minutes later, the task for Grantham changed. Sam Purcicoe robbed Simon Harrison and began to run the ball clear. Harrison took a wild swing from behind Purcicoe and took his feet from under him. Referee Mr Hopton showed him a red card with no hesitation. An ensuing argument on the benches needed all three officials to calm it down before the game could continue.
From then on, it was one-way traffic. Goole kept two up front, but either could not get the ball to their front runners, or saw it almost immediately taken away from then. A Martin Ball cross came off Jeffs and fell for Gio Carchedi, but his shot was deflected wide. From the corner, Grant Brindley’s header went off his shoulder and wide.
In the last ten minutes of the half, Potts hit a great pass for Purcicoe. In turn, he fed Paul Grimes who played a square ball for Rhys Lewis. Lewis made space and let fly from the edge of the penalty area, but his shot curled wide. Desperate Goole defending kept the score to one at half time. Grantham pinged the ball from wing to wing, Carchedi’s cross returned by Potts and although Ben Saunders won the header, Goole cleared the ball.
A quick free kick on 53 minutes almost opened Goole up. Potts’ cross fell to Grimes, but Tom Johnson got across to cover the danger. Grimes almost got through a few minutes later. Just when he seemed free to shoot, Scott Hellewell got back to deny him. Ben Saunders, Carchedi and Potts combined with Potts delivering a deep cross for Purcicoe. His effort was deflected wide.
It was all Grantham and the inevitable second goal came on 61 minutes. Carchedi curled a corner in towards the near post. Ben Saunders met it perfectly and steered his header into the top corner of the net.
Goole then enjoyed a five minute spell of pressure, but all they got from it was a header from Arron Martin which was easy for Murray to take. When Grantham broke out, Grimes fed Purcicoe and it took a desperate tackle from Johnson to block his shot.
There was no denying Grantham again and their third goal came on 71 minutes. A cross from Ball was punched away by Hodgson under pressure from Ben Saunders. It fell to Grimes on the edge of the Goole penalty area. He controlled the ball on his chest and volleyed it neatly into the top corner of the net.
The Gingerbreads still pushed for a fourth goal, but it proved elusive. Jeffs again headed away from Purcicoe, Ben Saunders had a header he couldn’t direct on target and Brindley also headed wide of the mark.
Tris Whitman had the best chance for Grantham to add a fourth goal as the game moved into injury time. The Goole defence dithered and Ben Saunders got a foot in to take the ball away. It came to Whitman who looked for an exposed corner of the net. His attempted lob went just past the post.
Grantham Town: Rob Murray, Sam Purcicoe, Lee Potts, Grant Brindley, Sam Saunders, Phil Watt, Rhys Lewis, Martin Ball, Jamie McGhee (Rob Norris, 61 mins), Ben Saunders, Gio Carchedi (Tris Whitman, 87 mins). Subs not used: Alistair Asher, Tom Maddison, Niall O’Rafferty.