Northern Premier League
Grantham Town 2
Farsley Celtic 2
Grantham Town had to settle for a share of the spoils, after the visitors played their way back into the game, and will be rueing having dropped two points after they threw away an early two-goal lead.
The game began in an end-to-end fashion but the Gingerbreads stunned the visitors in the fifth minute when Curtis Burrows fired in from his second attempt, his first having been repelled.
Jordan Hempenstall’s left foot volley just went off target on 10 minutes, but the Grantham number nine made no mistake five minutes later. Lee Shaw ran downfield, passed to Burrows who squared the ball to Hempenstall who slotted into the right corner.
With Town clearly in the ascendancy, chances came and went, with Farsley looking a shade brow-beaten under the pressure.
Shaw had his 22nd minute shot blocked, whilst Michael Hollingsworth’s header was just caught under the cross bar by Celtic goalkeeper Graeme McKibbin a minute later.
Grantham had an appeal for a penalty on 24 minutes after Hempenstall was pulled down in the box by the outstretched hand of the prone McKibbin, but referee Mr Watson was having none of it.
Defensive indecision led to the visitors pulling a goal back in the 26th minute when Farsley skipper Danny Ellis fired in ferociously from a ball squared across the box. Town keeper Kieran Preston reacted quickly and got a touch to the strike but was unable to prevent it going in the back of the net.
Preston had to be alert again on 31 minutes, saving an Ellis effort with his boot, but Grantham conceded a second time three minutes later in a goalmouth scramble, with Adam Clayton finding the target this time.
Farsley failed to build on their comeback, but continued to display the kind of fluid football of which they are clearly capable.
But the final chances of the half fell to the Gingerbreads, with Shaw’s cross-cum-shot failing to find a team-mate and Hempenstall’s overhead kick just missing the target.
Early second half action saw Stefan Galinski’s shot blocked by a Celtic defender, before Shaw missed an chance in the 55th minute, firing wide of the Farsley goal.
Preston was forced to make several vital saves, including stopping Ryan Watson’s low thumper in the 64th minute.
At the other end, McKibbin plucked the ball from the air to deny Andrew Wright with 15 minutes remaining, and Danny Meadows’ effort was easy enough for the Farsley stopper three minutes later.
The visitors had chances of their own, with substitute Cameron Murray curling just over the bar in the 80th minute and Clayton heading against the bar from a corner kick with just two minutes of normal time remaining.
Breathing a sigh of relief, the Gingerbreads had an opportunity to snatch the win a minute later, but they were unable to get a shot off in a frantic goalmouth scramble.
Both sides had a last hurrah in added time, with Watson driving wide for Celtic before Oliver Luto saw his wicked curling free kick headed off the goal line with seconds remaining on the clock.
Grantham Town: Preston, Potts, Luto, Osborne (Thompson 90), Galinski (c), Hollingsworth, Meadows, Wright, Hempenstall (Hakeem 73), Shaw, Burrows. Subs not used: McMenemy, Da Silva Bastos, Lewis. Att: 287.