Division One South
Grantham Town 4
Market Drayton Town 2
THE final scoreline did not truly reflect Grantham Town’s dominance throughout, particularly in the first half.
Despite only going into half time 1-0 up, the Gingerbreads completely ruled the roost during the first 45 minutes, limiting Market Drayton to just a couple of half-hearted free kicks.
After a brief lively opening, Grantham stamped their foot on the game in the fifth minute. Rob Norris put a good ball through to Lee Potts. A Market Drayton defender was soon on the Grantham number three’s case, but Potts managed to get a shot off that keeper Andrew Spooner should really have saved.
Market Drayton found themselves hemmed into their own half as the Gingerbreads peppered the visitors’ goal relentlessly. Spooner beat Gio Carchedi to Paul Grimes’ 12th minute squared ball and the Market Drayton stopper then punched Rob Norris’ free kick clear two minutes later.
Phil Watt tried his luck from the centre circle and was not far off the mark and Martin Ball also had a crack at goal.
Grantham had a succession of corner kicks as they completely controlled the match, looking composed and largely unchallenged in their efforts. Chances came and went with Carchedi, Grant Brindley and Norris all firing wide.
A second goal still appeared to be just around the corner, but the Gingerbreads could not find the back of the net. Carchedi scuffed a shot and on the half hour mark, Norris’ corner kick was headed out to Grimes but his shot was deflected wide for another flag kick.
Norris volleyed wide from inside the 18yd box and Grimes had a good shot stopped by the keeper, before Potts headed a Grimes cross over the bar in the 45th minute.
First-half injury time saw Grimes volley straight to the keeper from close range and Norris curled his effort wide of the post.
It was more the same after the break with Grantham having all of the ball. A slight dip in the Gingerbreads’ enthusiasm saw Market Drayton start to get into the game a little more but they still showed little threat.
Grantham’s first good chance of the second half came on the hour when Ball curled a good ball in to Grimes who directed his header just wide.
A minute later, Gingerbreads keeper Rob Murray was finally brought into action when he was alert to smother Sam Whitehurst’s cross from danger on the edge of the 6yd box. Market Drayton then had a 40yd free kick taken by Jamie Haynes but he curled it straight to Murray.
Grimes looked to have Grantham’s second goal for sure but he fired his bullet shot wide of the near post in the 63rd minute. Sam Purcicoe pulled his effort wide a minute later after a good build-up, and Lewis was unable to control his header following a good ball from Alistair Asher.
Market Drayton’s best chance came in the 68th minute when Harry Clayton squared to Whitehurst whose shot forced a save from Murray.
Grantham showed them how it should be done a minute later when Phil Watt headed Norris’ corner kick into the far bottom corner of the net.
Grimes’ 72nd minute cross found Lewis whose cross-shot was just out of reach for Norris to knock in. Norris returned the favour a minute later, squaring for Lewis but he scuffed his effort.
Grantham went 3-0 up in the 75th minute. Lewis’ ball found substitute Ben Saunders in the box. His header struck the post but Lewis was there to fire in from the rebound.
Market Drayton shocked the Gingerbreads with a goal two minutes later. Clayton crossed to Dan Mackintosh who had an easy finish with Grantham awaiting an offside decision that never came.
The visitors had the chance for a second goal in the 80th minute but Murray caught Mackintosh’s flick from Haynes’ long free kick.
Grantham sealed victory with a minute remaining. Ben Saunders ran clear with only Spooner to beat and placed his shot past the Market Drayton keeper with aplomb.
With the game in the bag, the Gingerbreads took their foot off the gas and conceded a second goal four minutes into added time. The Gingerbreads’ defence was unlocked easily and a deft cross found Tom Rogers who headed in past Murray.
Grantham Town: Murray, Purcicoe, Potts, Brindley, Asher, Watt, Lewis, Ball, Grimes, Carchedi, Norris. Subs not used: