Grantham Town fall at first fence in FA Trophy
First Qualifying Round
Grantham Town 0
Halesowen Town 4
Grantham Town fell at the first fence in this competition, ending a miserable October which has seen the Gingerbreads record seven successive defeats.
A cold day at The Meres, with wind blowing strongly down the pitch, was made worse in the second half when the majority of the goals rained in, to the accompaniment of heavy precipitation.
Halesowen had their first chance in just the second minute. Jack Kelly's corner kick was repelled only as far as Jack Rea who volleyed over from just outside the box.
The visitors had another opportunity two minutes later, but Grantham goalkeeper Theo Richardson smothered Ravin Shamsi's curling free kick. Jacob Fletcher's ninth minute free kick for the Gingerbreads' went round the wall but bounced straight into Yeltz keeper Cameron Gregory's arms.
Grantham were saved by the woodwork in the 12th minute when Ivor Lawton's overhead kick from a corner kick struck the upright from inside the six-yard box.
Halesowen continued to have more of the ball and more of the chances, Daniele Bragoli heading over on 23 minutes and Lee Hughes dragging his 34th minute effort past the far post.
The Gingerbreads' best opportunities of the first half came in the 38th and 40th minutes. The first was foiled when Gregory managed to get a boot to Tom Siddons' close range shot in the penalty area, whilst Tom Curtis' half volley from the edge of the area after a quick counter-attack brought oohs from the crowd.
The oohs turned to boos two minutes later when Hughes lobbed Richardson to put the Yeltz in front.
The second half saw Grantham with the wind at their backs but they were unable to take advantage of the dubious 'advantage'.
The Gingerbreads came out looking lively and went close to equalising after two minutes, but Fletcher's free kick deflected off the Halesowen wall and landed on the roof of the net.
The visitors doubled their lead in the 52nd minute when Kieran Morris knocked in from a goalmouth scramble following a corner kick.
Grantham gave the Yeltz a scare in the 64th minute with Ross Barrows' punt from the halfway line forcing Gregory to tip the ball over the bar.
At the other end, in the 72nd minute, Richardson rushed out to close down Shamsi, blocking his shot with his chest.
The Gingerbreads had another good chance to pull a goal back five minutes later. First Michael Hollingsworth's strike was saved by Gregory, and then Siddons fired the loose ball over the bar.
Grantham went 3-0 down on 78 minutes after a mistake by Oliver Luto gifted the always dangerous Hughes the ball and, once again, he lobbed over Richardson and into the back of the net.
The home side had an opportunity in the 83rd minute but Siddons could not squeeze the ball in at the near post from a Barrows cross.
There was definitely no way back for the Gingerbreads after Halesowen made it four-zip in the 86th minute, Hughes this time turning provider for Lawton to head in, with Richardson out of position.
Literally the last kick of the game came in the third minute of added time, with Barrows forcing a final save out of Gregory.
Grantham Town: Richardson, Barrows, Thompson, Fletcher, Luto, Blaney, Hollingsworth (c), Watters, Siddons (Nassunculo 87), Curtis, Bastos. Subs not used: Charlesworth, Matts, Gibbons, Fosdyke. Att: 159.