Grantham Town share spoils at Whitby
Northern Premier League Premier Division
Whitby Town 1
Grantham Town 1
By Graham Cowell
A determined second half rearguard from the Gingerbreads secured a vital point on the road at Whitby Town on Tuesday night.
The first point under Martin McIntosh looked as though it might be three, but an equaliser by the home side midway through the second half meant Grantham had to be content with a draw.
“It was a hard-earned point,” said McIntosh. “I thought we were ever so good in the first half. I asked the players to put in a shift and they certainly did that. They gave everything and left nothing in the tank. A point on the road is a good point.”
The Gingerbreads had the first half chance in the second minute. Curtis Morrison made a neat turn and got a shot away, but it rolled wide of the mark.
Good chances were at a premium as both defences got on top of the attaches early on. Remaye Campbell also got an early shot in for Grantham, but only found Shane Bland in the Whitby goal.
The home side were frustrated by the Gingerbreads defence. An effort from Adam Gell was blocked on 17 minutes and when Daniel Rowe won a header on the end of a deep free kick, there was no-one there to capitalise for the home side.
Grantham got their noses in front after half an hour. Chris Robertson rose highest from a corner to power a header past Bland. The Gingerbreads were on top at that point of the game and Morrison tried his luck again a couple of minutes later, only to find Bland well positioned again.
The home side began to get into the game late in the first half, but could not find the target. Twice, Jake Hackett fired wide of the mark, while the two number sevens. Jordan Hickey for Whitby and James Berrett for Grantham lifted their shots over the top.
It was a more determined performance from the home side after the break and they began to push the Gingerbreads back from the first minute of the half. A penalty appeal on 48 minutes was turned down by referee Mr Bancroft and the Gingerbreads blocked Hickey’s shot.
Whitby forced three quick corners. But solid defending from the Gingerbreads denied them any opportunities to level the game. Matthew Dixon ran past the Gingerbreads defence on 59 minutes and crossed for Kieran Weledji, but he could not get any power into his shot and Jon Worsnop gathered the ball comfortably.
Weledji saw Worsnop shovel his shot round the post a minute later and Daniel Rowe headed over the bar from the corner as the home side sought an equaliser.
Whitby drew level midway through the second half. Weledji was allowed to carry the ball deep into the Gingerbreads half. He spread play wide to Dixon who delivered a low cross into the Grantham six-yard box. The ball bounced around with no-one getting a decisive touch until Gell poked it home for Whitby.
The remaining quarter of the game was backs to the wall defending for the Gingerbreads as the home side pushed hard for a second goal. Campbell and Morrison fed of scraps for the Gingerbreads as clearances were returned back into the danger zone.
Hackett hit a shot from 20 yards out that Worsnop took at the second attempt. Liam Cooke and Dixon exchanged passes 10 minutes from time to create another scoring chance, but Worsnop saved Grantham again.
Inside the last 10 minutes, Whitby got more desperate. Hickey shot a yard wide before a loud penalty appeal was turned away again by the referee.
Gell and Corey Roper combined in the last minute, but Grantham again cleared their lines to hold on for a vital point in their battle against relegation.
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