Grantham Town undone by classy finishing at Chorley

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Evo-Stik Northern Premier League

Premier Division

Chorley 2

Grantham Town 0

Two pieces of classy finishing did for the Gingerbreads early in the second half on Saturday. For most of the first forty five minutes, Grantham frustrated their hosts, but after Chorley took a two goal lead, Grantham could not find a way back into the game.

Ben Saunders created the first clear chance of the game after 6 minutes. He won a header for Paul Grimes to turn onto, but Grimes shot over the crossbar. Chorley played a patient game, trying to run the ball out from goalkeeper Andy Robertson, but Grantham closed them down quickly and upset their rhythm.

Grimes had another chance after a quarter of an hour when he turned two defenders before shooting, but again lifted the ball too high. In between, whenever Chorley threatened, Grant Brindley was there to deny Steve Foster a shot on goal.

Midway through the first half, Chorley changed their tactic and started playing early balls for Foster. He got away from the Grantham defence on 23 minutes, but Jimmy Lindley stood his ground well to deny the Chorley striker.

A mistake by Robertson almost gifted Grantham a goal on 32 minutes. He fumbled Ben Saunders’ header and had to recover quickly to grab the ball at the second attempt. Sam Purcicoe then nearly opened the scoring for the Gingerbreads. He won the ball in midfield and his run left him with just Robertson to beat. The Chorley goalkeeper did well to stop Purcicoe.

In the last couple of minutes of the first half, both sides created chances to take the lead. Brindley again covered well when Ciaran Kilheney nodded the ball on for Tom Ince. Grimes was off target again with a free kick before Ince turned Purcicoe and crossed for Kilheeney who turned his effort wide. The best chance of the half fell to Lee Potts just before half time. Jamie McGhee battled hard to win the ball and it ran on for Potts. He also hit his first time drive too high.

Two minutes after the break, Chorley were in front. Kilheeney and Foster both won their challenges to move the ball quickly on for Ince. From the edge of the area, he placed his shot low beyond Lindley. Ince again caused problems for Grantham a minute late. He got the better of the Gingerbreads defence and delivered a good cross that Brindley did well to clear from Foster.

Chorley had stepped up a gear and Grantham struggled to keep them out. The corner was not cleared well and Steve Flitcroft put the ball back into the box for Adam Roscoe. Lindley saved his header with a point blank reaction, but the rebound seemed certain to lead to a Chorley goal. Andy Russell and Foster got in each other’s way and the chance was lost.

There was no such mistake ten minutes into the second half. Ince and Kilheeney exchanged passes giving Kilheeney the space to fire past Lindley and double the home sides’ lead.

The chances continued to come for the home side. Sometimes of Grantham’s making. A miscued free kick from Martin Ball gave Chorley the chance to break with Grantham out of position. Purcicoe eventually got across to deny John Cunliffe. Ince and Kilheeney again opened up Grantham, but this time the striker dragged his shot wide of the mark to Lindley’s relief.

Lindley continued to be the busier keeper. When Matt Jansen’s cross was headed back into the danger zone by Adam Roscoe, Lindley made a good stop to deny Whitham. Ten minutes from time, Lindley was again well places to collect a shot from the same player from 25 yards out.

The Gingerbreads should have had a consolation goal in the last minute. Tony Battersby and Paul Grimes combined to pose questions of the Chorley defence. Grimes’ low cross was met by Michael Jacklin with the goal gaping, but the Grantham substitute slid in on the chance and put it wide of the target.

Grantham Town: 1.James Lindley, 2.Sam Purcicoe, 3.Lee Potts, 4.Grant Brindley, 5.Sam Saunders, 6.Phil Watt, 7.Jamie McGhee(14.Karl Demidh, 67 mins)), 8.Martin Ball (16.Michael Jacklin, 84 mins), 9.Paul Grimes, 10.Ben Saunders (12.Tony Battersby, 67 mins), 11.Emeka Nwadike. Sub not used: 15.Joe Briers.