Northern Premier League
Ilkeston FC 1
Grantham Town 1
Grantham Town managed to take a share of the points despite being down to 10 men for the majority of the game.
The Gingerbreads were first to show with Rhys Lewis firing straight at Jordan Smith four minutes in.
Eddy Samba then fired at Grantham stopper Jake Turner after James Reid’s long ball had found him in the penalty area.
The Robins took the lead in more than controversial circumstances on 14 minutes.
Jake Wright, who was offside but not interfering when a ball was played forward, was only flagged when he did get the ball via a Grantham head. Everybody stopped except Wright and Mike Williams who netted an open goal from Wright’s squared pass.
Grantham fumed as referee Mr Smart consulted his assistant but still gave the goal.
Williams hit the side netting soon afterwards whilst Wright continued to be a nuisance and fired straight at Turner. David Morgan tested Turner too from distance but his effort was dealt with comfortably.
The hosts remained in control, with Callum Chettle firing too high after Town failed to clear from a corner, before Grantham’s cause was made that bit harder by a red card four minutes before the break.
Danny Meadows had already been booked for an earlier foul on Wright, so when he flew in again on the Robins striker there was little option for Mr Smart other than to send him for an early bath.
Ilkeston began the second half well, with Williams forcing Turner to push his half volley wide in the early moments, and Reid then striking a shot just past the post moments later.
At the other end, Scott Hellewell’s header from a free kick was held by Smith on 52 minutes.
Then, Ilkeston’s Samba received the ball from a Sam Purcicoe error but, after cutting inside, could only fire over the top.
Ilkeston struggled to kill Grantham off, not really building up any tempo or pressure and when they did get forward, the ball was not sticking or poor decisions were made.
The Gingerbreads had a chance to draw level on 76 minutes when substitute Liam Hurst’s chip hit the crossbar after he made space just outside the penalty area.
New Grantham signing Lee Ndlovu got on the end of a long ball on 89 minutes and his weak header was gathered by Smith.
The Gingerbreads got their reward as the game went into added time.
Ilkeston made a total hash of clearing a free kick into the box and when Williams went up for a header with Ben Saunders, he clumsily fouled the Grantham striker and a penalty was awarded.
Jake Wholey stepped up to slot the 93rd minute spot kick into the net to the joy of Grantham’s travelling army.
Grantham Town: Turner, Purcicoe (c), Wholey, Kay, Hellewell (Emmott, 75), Miveld, Meadows, Lewis, Read (Hurst, 45), Saunders, Ndlovu. Subs not used: Johnson, Rawdon, Johnson.
Photo: Craig Lamont