Grantham Town unlucky to lose to league leaders Skelmersdale

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Northern Premier League

Premier Division

On loan from Boston United, Ben Fairclough scored in his Grantham Town debut. Photo: 811D

On loan from Boston United, Ben Fairclough scored in his Grantham Town debut. Photo: 811D

Grantham Town 1

Skelmersdale United 2

Grantham Town put in a generally good performance and were unlucky to lose after dominating for the most part against the league leaders.

The visitors displayed little to explain their top of the table position, particular in the first half when they faced the wind.

On-loan striker Ben Fairclough showed his potential early on for the Gingerbreads, running down the left flank and slotting in a super cross, but there were no team-mates in the box to get on the end of it. Another on-loan player, Sam Andrews, forced a good diving save from Ryan McMahon on 13 minutes.

Michael Towey, Jamie McGhee and Fairclough had further chances to put Town in front and, at the other end, Ahmadi Porya fired on target but Grantham keeper Jake Turner smothered the ball to the ground.

The final opportunity of the first half saw Gary King’s left foot effort go wide of the Skelmersdale goal.

The second half was an even pacier affair and the Gingerbreads still looked the superior side.

An early move saw McGhee put in an excellent cross into the United penalty area. Fairclough jumped as high as he could but was unable to connect.

The visitors threatened on 57 minutes when Matty Hughes crossed to Porya at the far post, but Turner was there to pluck the ball from the Skelmersdale striker’s head. A minute later, Kenny Strickland brought a good diving save from Turner from a 20-yard free kick.

Town were finally rewarded for their efforts on the hour mark when Ben Fairclough found the back of the net from a goalmouth scramble.

A controversial penalty decision was awarded to United five minutes later when Kern Miller was adjudged to have brought down Adam Morning in the box. Strickland fired in from the spot to level the scores.

Grantham were caught on the hop in the 75th minute when the always troublesome Hughes scored from a quickly developed move.

Skelmersdale now had their tails up but the Gingerbreads had the chance to equalise when McGhee was brought down in the penalty area with seven minutes remaining. He dusted himself down to take the spot kick but blasted his effort high and wide.

The game petered out somewhat in the dying minutes, with Grantham substitute Romaine Graham having a late chance, but his shot went wide of the target.

Grantham Town: Turner, Purcicoe, Andrews, Meikle, Miller, Lewis (c), King, Towey (Hawes, 85), G. Smith (Graham, 70), Fairclough, McGhee. Subs not used: Nwadike, Sucharewycz, Robinson.

Att: 206