Northern Premier League
AFC Fylde 1
Grantham Town 2
Grantham worked hard for the full 90 minutes and defended strongly to earn all three points and, for the second time this season, break a long unbeaten run. Prior to this, Fylde were unbeaten since the turn of the year.
The Gingerbreads started brightly and could have taken an early lead. Lee Potts and Michael Towey combined to set up Michael Jacklin who delivered a deep cross. Rhys Lewis arrived late at the far post but could only turn his effort wide.
Fylde gradually settled to their game and put the Gingerbreads under pressure. Andy Russell headed just wide before Dan Haystead made the first of a number of good saves, turning an effort from Matt Blinkhorn on to the crossbar.
A shot from David Hamlin ended up in the same place after it took a deflection off Danny Lloyd. A deep cross after 14 minutes was met by Lloyd but Haystead denied the home side again.
Fylde kept the pressure on Grantham. Harry Winter had two good chances but could not take advantage. Haystead did enough to keep Blinkhorn and Lloyd out as Grantham defended stoutly.
The Gingerbreads saw out the first half comfortably in the end which allowed them to take advantage of mistakes in the Fylde defence after the break.
Just a minute after half time, a poor header from Russell allowed Hempenstall to nip in and lob Ben Hinchliffe and put Grantham in front.
Four minutes later, after Haystead had again denied Blinkhorn, Hempenstall bagged his second. Russell dithered on the ball and Hempenstall robbed him before chipping Hinchliffe to double the Gingerbreads’ lead.
The home side threw everything at Grantham for the last 40 minutes. Ritchie Allen gave Fylde a cutting edge with some tricky play, but until the 65th minute, poor finishing let him down. A quick free kick from Fylde put Grantham on the back foot and as Grantham stood off, a run from midfield, a quick pass and an equally quick shot from Allen saw the hosts pull a goal back off the inside of the post.
From that point on, the home side gave the Grantham defence a serious test and the Gingerbreads back line came through with flying colours. The Gingerbreads goalkeeper continually frustrated the home side’s forwards, saving from Blinkhorn and Lloyd as Grantham defended deeply.
The Gingerbreads continued to hit Fylde on the break and created chances for Jack McGovern and Paul Grimes, but neither were taken. Despite five minutes of added time and almost constant pressure from the home side, Grantham kept Fylde out to record a deserved win.
Grantham Town: Haystead, Purcicoe, Jacklin, Hawes, Lister, Lewis, McGovern, Towey (Walker, 60), Grimes, Hempenstall (King, 85), Potts (Meikle, 90). Subs: Motson, Ridley. Att: 348.