Division One South
Shepshed Dynamo 0
Grantham Town 1
ANOTHER late show by the Gingerbreads got Grantham the result they wanted to take them into the Evo-Stik League Division One South play-off semi-finals.
The injury time board had been shown and the clock ticked into the first of four extra minutes when Jamie McGhee glanced in an Alistair Asher free kick to give Grantham the victory their dominance of the game deserved.
Grantham took the game to Shepshed from the word go. An early corner saw Rhys Lewis get a free header but he couldn’t keep his effort down. A couple of free kicks from dangerous positions led to nothing, then Rob Norris delivered a good cross fro Gio Carchedi. His lay-off to Phil Watt saw the defender bring a good save from Gavin Saxby in the Shepshed goal.
Chances began to come Grantham’s way as the half wore on and Shepshed defended deeply. Ben Saunders got on the end of things twice in a few minutes midway through the half, but his first effort went over the top of the Shepshed goal, while Saxby was in the right place to stop his second effort.
The home side’s goal seemed to have a charmed life after 30 minutes. Lee Potts beat his defender and delivered the ball into the danger zone. Ben Saunders’ initial effort was blocked by Saxby. Lewis’ effort beat everyone but struck the post and came back out again for Ian Screaton to clear.
The closest Shepshed went to scoring was eight minutes before half time. A Shepshed free kick took a deflection towards the near post. What seemed a comfortable take for Rob Murray turned into a moment of worry as he fumbled the ball round the post.
Almost the entire second half was played in the Shepshed half of the pitch. Grantham pressed hard but even when Saxby put a clearance from outside his penalty area straight to Sam Purcicoe, the Gingerbreads could not take advantage.
Chris Glarvey, Carchedi and Lewis all sent efforts off target as the deep Shepshed defence did its job. The home side rarely got into Grantham’s half but with a bit more composure could have embarrassed the Gingerbreads on 77 minutes. A quick break saw Grantham outnumbered and a better pass from Ricky Hanson would have put Steve Shannon clear through on goal. Hanson’s through-ball proved too easy for Murray to gather and the chance was lost.
Just as it seemed Shepshed might hang on to take their second draw against Grantham this season, McGhee pooped up in the right place to head Grantham in front. The 90 minutes were up as Asher put a free kick in to the near post. McGhee got across his defender to place his header just inside the near post to the delight of the majority of the crowd.
Grantham Town: Murray, Purcicoe, Potts, Asher, S. Saunders, Watt, Lewis, Glarvey (Millns, 69), Norris (McGhee, 69), B. Saunders, Carchedi (Glass, 69). Subs not used: Dyson, Hallcro. Att: 295.