Evo-Stik Northern Premier League
Grantham Town 3
Kendal Town 4
A potential relegation decider saw Grantham Town lose to third from bottom Kendal after leading twice in the first half.
A humdinger of an opening 20 minutes saw the Gingerbreads have the best possible start with a goal after just 45 seconds. Danny Elliott’s ball over the Kendal defence found Sam MacVicar who slotted home past visiting keeper Damian Clifton.
Kendal were straight back in the game on three minutes when referee Mr Fox adjudged Grantham keeper James Martin to have fouled Maison McGeechan in the box. Like Lazarus, McGeechan sprang back to life and promptly fired the spot kick past Martin to level the scores.
The Gingerbreads nudged ahead a second time with a quarter of an hour played. Nathan Watson made an incisive run and put the ball over for Kallum Smith to head in with aplomb.
The visitors equalised again three minutes later when Mike Rushton’s long cross-cum-shot was tapped in by Zach Clark at the far post. Kendal took the lead a minute afterwards with a McGeechan header from a corner kick.
Grantham had a chance to level once more in the 25th minute, with MacVicar forcing Clifton to tip his beautifully curled effort over the bar. A minute later, Adie Hawes went close with his header going just wide of the far post.
Watson drove a shot over the bar seconds later and Karl Demidh’s ball across the face of goal in the 34th minute needed the slightest of touches, but Smith was unable to make contact. The Gingerbreads had one final opportunity before the half time whistle, but Danny Elliott’s cross-cum-shot curled wide of the mark.
The home side looked to have got the equaliser a minute into the second half, but somehow skipper Emeka Nwadike managed to head over the open goal from two yards out.
Kendal increased their advantage on 54 minutes. A defensive error saw Deon Meikle chest the ball to his keeper, but Martin fumbled and Rushton was there to tap home.
Martin made amends to a certain extent two minutes later when he rushed out to thwart Rushton’s advance on goal with a good tackle.
Home substitute Jamie McGhee forced a good diving catch from Clifton just before the hour. Two minutes later, the Gingerbreads pulled a goal back when Watson put a good ball through to McGhee who fired in with a single touch into the far corner.
Grantham had the ball in the net a fourth time on 70 minutes, but Mr Fox ruled it out for a foul against the home side in the area.
Watson made another good run to set up MacVicar in the 77th minute, but the number 10’s shot was too soft and when straight to the Kendal keeper.
A minute later, Callum Hoctor was put off his stride by Grantham’s Alistair Asher, forcing him to shoot wide, and the Gingerbreads were denied again on 84 minutes when Hawes’s header was headed off the line by a Kendal defender.
Grantham had several more opportunities to take a share of the points, but it was not to be. Smith dragged his 86th minute effort into the side netting, McGhee’s 25-yard free kick was saved at the near post one minute into time added on, and Watson’s 93rd minute free kick forced a desperate punch out by Clifton in the goalmouth melée.
Grantham Town: Martin, Asher, Meikle, Hannigan, Hawes, Elliott (Lewis, 66), Watson, Nwadike (c), Demidh (McGhee, 47), MacVicar, Smith (Troke, 89). Subs not used: Maddox. Att: 187.