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Grantham Town frozen out by two second half goals

Grantham Town defend in numbers in the first half. (6928427)
Grantham Town defend in numbers in the first half. (6928427)

Northern Premier League

Premier Division

Grantham Town 0

Workington 2

With the majority of Saturday's NPL games postponed, Grantham Town may well wish that their match had gone the same way too.

Once again, the Gingerbreads were frozen out on a bitterly cold afternoon, conceding two second half goals to relegation-battlers Workington.

The opening 10 minutes saw end-to-end play, with half-chances coming at both ends.

The first real one on goal saw Workington's Jason Walker fire wide in the 13th minute. Town had a penalty appeal waved away by referee Mr Eley when Kevin Hemagou was brought down in the box a minute later.

The Gingerbreads' first opportunity came in the 16th minute but visiting goalkeeper Aaran Taylor saved Harry Millard's effort low down. Two minutes later, Taylor was there to deny Millard again, being equal to his 20 yard free kick.

Attempts on goal at either end became few and far between as the half wore on, Gary Thompson perhaps going closest with his 27th minute strike that flew just wide.

Grantham had a let-off in the 42nd minute following a defensive error when a wayward header back to the home keeper fell to Thompson, but Jordan Wright did well to block and the ball was cleared.

The first period ended goalless after Workington's Walker volleyed just wide with the side of his boot in the final minute.

The second half began in quite pedestrian fashion, with the first opportunity going to Town in the 52nd minute after Kuwesi Ofushine was fouled. Millard struck the 25-yard free kick but it was headed to safety by a Reds defender.

A minute later at the other end, Wright punched Niall Cowperthwaite's corner kick from the danger area. The Gingerbreads then survived a goalmouth scramble from a resulting second flag kick.

With almost an hour played and no goals, a scoreless draw was already looking on the cards.

And then the game-changing moment. In the 57th minute, Cowperthwaite latched on to a loose ball and fired in a rocket of a shot from the edge of the box, through the static Gingerbreads defence and into the net past a helpless Wright.

From thereon, Workington had their tails up and Grantham found themselves constantly on the back foot.

Town gave away a free kick four minutes later, but Conor Tinnion curled it over the wall and the crossbar.

Wright pulled off a great save in the 64th minute to stop Tinnion's dipping 25-yard volley.

Cowperthwaite had another shot on goal on 71 minutes but this time he dragged his effort wide. Wright then caught a Tinnion corner kick high above his head two minutes later.

The Reds continued to rain in shots with nothing coming back the other way.

Workington's persistence paid off and Grantham's defences were finally breached a second time in the 88th minute when a deep Cowperthwaite corner kick was headed in at the far post by Matthew Douglas, to kill off virtually any chance of the home side snatching a share of the points.

The Gingerbreads had one last opportunity for a consolation goal in the third minute of added time, but Tim Siddons headed wide from fellow substitute Kevin Da Bastos's cross.

Grantham Town: Wright, C. Ward (c), Greenwood, Millard, T. Ward (Luto 90), Salt, Fortnam-Tomlinson, Ofushine, Durkin, Hemagou (Da Bastos), Thompson (Siddons 63). Subs not used: McGhee, Gibbons. Att: 266.


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