Grantham Town’s joy and pain

An open training day will be held for Sleaford Town Junior FC on Saturday, October 22
An open training day will be held for Sleaford Town Junior FC on Saturday, October 22
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Grantham Town joint manager Jimmy Albans experienced delight and disappointment in the space of five days as his side secured their first home win of the season and then slumped to a miserable 5-1 defeat.

Newly promoted Belper Town, who were unbeaten in their first four games of the season, were the visitors on Saturday, and were duly dispatched with the only goal of the game on 36 minutes.

Albans was ecstatic with the result after a game of few clear cut chances, but in which Grantham looked the better side throughout and fully deserved the win,

But Grantham had little to offer on Tuesday at Buxton.

They went 1-0 down to a penalty conceded when the home side’s striker Liam Hardy was held in the box and he converted for the spot.

Greg Young made it 2-0 after just 13 minutes and the Derbyshire side looked comfortably in control.

But Grantham pulled one back when Greg Smith headed home in their only real attack up to that point and they kept it that way up to half time.

However, just before the hour mark, Hardy made it 3-1 and then Mark Reed got on the scoresheet minutes after coming on to make it 4-1.

Hardy then sealed the result by completing his hat-trick.

It was a different story on Saturday when Town’s defence kept a clean sheet.

The game started at a high tempo and Belper had two chances before The Gingerbreads almost scored on 27 minutes, but Ben Fairclough missed the cross which was followed up by hard shot, forcing James Martin to make a great save.

Belper’s Steve Warne got a header to a corner after 22 minutes, but put his effort over the top and the visitors went close again on 33 minutes, but Evan Garnett screwed his shot across goal.

Grantham took the lead when Alex Simmons played in a great ball and Michael Towey got there before the defender, cut inside and found the net.

The start of the second half was also played at a blistering pace and Rob Stevenson might have increased Town’s lead, but headed over.

Great defending limited Belper’s chances, although they could have equalised 33 minutes into the half but Jon Froggatt put the ball wide.

Grantham should have put the game to bed in added time but a one-on-one chance was hit wide by Greg Smith.

And at the death, Connor Johnson and Laurie Wilson managed to miss another great chance when the Gingerbreads stretched the visitors on the break.

Grantham: Jake Turner, Liam Dickens, Scott Matthews, Deon Meikle, Phil Watt, Laurie Wilson, Jack McGovern, Michael Towey, Alex Simmons (Jordan Hempenstall, 73), Greg Smith, Ben Fairclough (Connor Johnston, 85). Subs not used: Tom Batchelor, Rhys Lewis.