Northern Premier League
Grantham Town 3
Worksop Town 1
Grantham Town recorded their first win of the season in a battling performance at The Meres on Tuesday night.
Despite Worksop’s speed, agility and general dominance in the first half, the Gingerbreads took the lead but conceded before the break. In an improved second 45 minutes, Grantham went back in front and effectively sealed victory with a third goal.
It was all go from the first whistle with chances at both ends. Paolo Pillerio’s second minute free kick was headed clear by a Worksop defender and seconds later at the other end, Grantham keeper Dan Haystead rose to catch a Josh Davies free kick.
Jamie McGhee’s speculative fifth minute shot went wide of the Worksop near post, whilst towering Tom Denton forced another good reaction save from Haystead. Two minutes later, Greg Smith’s 30-yard effort gave Ben Hallam something to do between the visitors’ posts.
Sam Purcicoe headed clear to keep the scores level after Leon Mettam lobbed the Grantham keeper on 10 minutes. Smith headed Davies’ corner kick clear of the danger area a minute later to relieve pressure from Worksop.
The third of three successive corner kicks at the other end saw Smith almost make contact with McGhee’s flag kick, but Hallam plucked the ball from the top of his head at the far post.
Haystead made an excellent save for Grantham in the 17th minute, punching Mettam’s shot over the bar after good build-up play from Jack Muldoon and former Gingerbread Conor Higginson.
Grantham had a promising move ruled out for offside in the 26th minute as they continued to tough it out, and took the lead two minutes later. McGhee fired in a corner kick and Deon Meikle rose high at the near post and nodded into the net.
Worksop took the goal in their stride, with Davies causing Haystead to gather safely at the post from his 25-yard grass-cutter in the 34th minute. The visitors levelled five minutes later when the always dangerous looking and unmarked Denton nodded in a virtually unmissable header from a Mettam cross.
The pace of the game was as unrelenting after the break, the first chance coming from Mettam who fired wide when one-on-one with the advancing Haystead.
The Gingerbreads battled on and an Adie Hawes header from a Gary King corner kick was cleared off the line in the 62nd minute. Grantham got their reward two minutes later when substitute Romaine Graham slotted in sublimely after he was set up well by Smith.
Graham went close again in the 67th minute, lofting his effort just over the Worksop bar after good work by Wing on the left flank. Smith shot wide a minute later and Grantham skipper Emeka Nwadike’s was unlucky that his 70th minute drive took a cruel deflection off Worksop’s number six Laurence Gaughan.
The travelling Worksop fans were quietened in the 72nd minute when the Gingerbreads scored a third time. Grantham were awarded a free kick from near the halfway line. Purcicoe’s drive was headed in deftly by Meikle to send the Meres faithful into rapture.
A Smith header in the 78th minute forced a good save from the Worksop stopper and Haystead was back in action seconds later at the other end, saving well with his feet.
With 10 minutes remaining, play was wide open with Grantham chasing a final killer blow, and the visitors racing around in an attempt to restore at least some pride. The Gingerbreads battled away on every inch of the pitch to deny Worksop another sniff, substitute Mitch Husbands going closest on 90 minutes but he fired over the Grantham net.
Grantham Town: Haystead, Purcicoe, Ridley, Meikle, Hawes, Pillerio (Keane, 56), Towey, Nwadike, McGhee (Graham, 15), Smith, King (Watson, 84). Subs not used: Stanton, Turner. Att: 268.