Grantham Town end pre-season with victory over Carlton

Greg Smith scored two of Grantham's three goals.
Greg Smith scored two of Grantham's three goals.
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Grantham Town 3

Carlton Town 1

Grantham Town completed their pre-season friendlies campaign with a satisfying but hard fought win over Carlton Town on Saturday.

Both sides had a goal scoring opportunity apiece in the opening minute as the game got off to a frenetic start.

Carlton pressed foward early on and went close through Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe in the fifth minute and Aaron Hooton two minutes later, who was denied by the feet of Gingerbreads keeper Jake Turner.

Paul Grimes curled his 10th minute free kick into the side netting of the Carlton goal while, at the other end, Ben Minshall fired his into the ground, making for an easy save.

Grantham skipper Phil Watt got his head to Michael Towey’s 17th minute free kick, but the ball floated just over the target.

Five minutes later, Towey threaded his way through the Carlton defence but his final touch lacked the power to beat visiting keeper Liam Mitchell.

Maksym Kowal forced a good save from Turner just after the half hour mark, and the home keeper was brought into action again to deny Hooton and Minshall minutes later.

The Gingerbreads went in front in the 39th minute when Grimes found space in the Carlton box and lobbed into the back of the net. Grimes injured himself in the process and was stretchered off the pitch.

Scott Matthews and Towey brought saves from Mitchell before referee Mr Sharrock blew for half time.

Again, both sides went on the attack early on at the start of the second half. Jordan Hempenstall pulled his effort side of the Carlton goal four minutes in, and team-mate Sam Purcicoe did the same a minute later.

At the other end, Rober Naji’s shot was too weak to trouble Turner, Ben Fairclough blasted over and Kowal sliced wide just after the hour.

Carlton levelled the scores in the 67th minute when Fairclough found space and fired in.

But the Gingerbreads were having none of it and regained the lead three minutes later. Greg Smith was hacked down in the box and Mr Sharrock had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Smith dusted himself down and rocketed in the penalty kick.

Grantham sealed victory in the 79th minute. Substitute George Zuerner put in a cross to Smith, whose drive almost burst the back of the Carlton net.

Grantham Town: Turner, Purcicoe, Matthews, Batchelor, Watt (c), Lister, Johnson, Towey, Grimes, Smith, Hempenstall. Subs: Dickens, Rawden, Walker, Zuerner, Haughton.