Lincs Senior Shield
Grantham Town 1
Grimsby Town 1
(Grantham won 3-2 on penalties)
Grantham Town gave a good account of themselves against a youthful Grimsby Town side, finally going through to the last four of the competition on penalties.
Both sides were extremely lively for the first hour of the game, with the home side generally the dominant force.
Lee Shaw impressed and had a couple of early chances to put Grantham in front, including his 13th minute effort which he tried to place, but Grimsby keeper Callum Bastock was equal to his attempt.
Seconds later, front man Ben Saunders had an opportunity in front of goal but could get no direction on his header from a Michael Emmott cross.
Emmott had a shot in the 19th minute but it was too easy for Bastock to block, after a good run down the right flank by Shaw.
Both sides had a couple more half-chances before the Gingerbreads went in front on 24 minutes. A dazzling array of one-twos and reverses bamboozled the Grimsby defence and ended with Saunders heading in at the far post.
Home keeper Jake Turner was called into action only on occasions as the visitors showed comparatively little going forward.
Several minutes before the break, Lawrence Gorman’s header from an Emmott corner kick was not far off whilst, at the other end, James Wroot found himself clean through but fired too early and sent the ball ballooning over the bar.
Saunders had a couple of good opportunities to extend Grantham’s lead soon after the break, but his attempts were matched by two excellent reaction saves by Bastock.
The Gingerbreads had several more chances through substitute Lee Beeson, who fired wide, Danny Meadows whose effort sailed wide, and Gio Carchedi, whose deflected rocket shot bounced straight into Bastock’s arms.
For all Grantham’s chances, it was Grimsby who scored next, equalising against the run of play on 64 minutes when Wroot caught them on the break and fired home.
The pace of the game slowed noticeably following the equaliser, but surely it was too early to start thinking about penalties?
In the final five minutes, the Gingerbreads were denied twice more by Bastock, whilst the home side had a let-off in the 89th minute when they were almost caught on the break again.
After referee Mr Drysdale allowed a couple of minutes of added time, the final whistle was blown and it all went down to a penalty shoot-out.
Beeson blasted in Grantham’s first after which Grimsby missed, Bastock saved and the visitors levelled through Callum Jennings. Meadows skied the Gingerbreads’ next attempt and Tom Sawyer put Grimsby 2-1 up.
Grantham keeper Turner was having none of it and stepped up to the penalty spot himself and almost ripped the net out with his tornado of a spot kick, all to the roars of the Meres faithful.
Back in between the sticks, Turner saved Grimsby’s next attempt. Skipper Ellis Humble put Grantham 3-2 up. Grimsby needed to score but Turner got a glove to Venney’s effort and tipped it on to and over the bar.
The Gingerbreads will meet Gainsborough Trinity in the semi-finals, date yet to be announced.
Grantham Town: Turner, Gorman, Storey, Hollingsworth, Humble, Kirby, Meadows, Carchedi, Shaw, Saunders, Emmott. Subs: McGowan, Beeson, Lewis, Farmer, Beckett.