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Grantham Town have to settle for share of spoils

Northern Premier League

Premier Division

Grantham Town 1

Marine 1

Danny Durkin (5873142)
Danny Durkin (5873142)

Grantham Town shared the points with a side whose play belied their lowly position in the league.

The Gingerbreads went ahead midway through the first half, but it always felt that one goal was not going to be enough – and so it proved to be.

Town had an early chance in the second minute but no-one was able to get a touch to Fernando Bell-Toxtle's free kick.

The visitors' first opportunity came in the 11th minute but Craig Carney's 20-yard strike went just wide of the right hand post.

Two minutes later, at the other end, Marine goalkeeper Patrick Wharton did well to hold on to the ball from Shaun Harrad's close shot following a neat build-up by the homesters.

On 14 minutes, an unorthodox corner kick by Marine's Steve Irwin hunted out Charley Edge who put his half-volley over the target from outside the box.

The Gingerbreads took the lead in the 17th minute when Danny Durkin fired in from inside the penalty area, after a couple of attempts by his team-mates to do the same.

Marine boy Danny Shaw thumped his header over the bar from a Charley Edge corner kick on 20 minutes whilst, at the other end, Harrad's glancing header from a Bradley Fortnam-Tomlinson cross was going goalwards until Wharton caught above his head.

Grantham stopper Jordan Wright did well to rescue a desperate situation in the 35th minute, gathering a loose ball from danger in his six-yard box.

The final chance of the first half saw a beautiful left foot shot from Oliver Luto head towards the Marine goal, only for Wharton to spot it late and block.

The second half was to be played out in the most part to the accompaniment of dark skies and cold, swirling, torrential rain, adding a curious atmosphere but also reducing visibility, such was the nature of the precipitation.

Town were the first to attack with two minutes played but Harrad was unable to get a touch to Tom Siddons' dangerous cross that went straight by the face of the Marine goal.

The visitors began to exert more pressure on the Grantham goal, none more so than in the 61st minute when there was a barrage of activity.

It began with Wright desperately managing to prevent an own goal. The resulting corner was headed over off the goal line by a Town defender. And then dangerous Marine substitute Michael Elstone's shot from the resulting corner was stopped with a great reaction save from Wright.

The visitors had several more chances in the following 10 minutes, with a goal looking increasingly likely. James Murray fired side, Wright punched Edge's dangerous cross well clear of danger and he then managed to get a good hand to a Shaw header.

Wright got another strong hand to Elstone's 74th minute cross-cum-shot but he was beaten a minute later, with Liam Hynes' shot through the box beating the Grantham keeper after a defensive lapse.

Wright was in action again four minutes later, parrying Elstone's shot, whilst Durkin's shot at the other end was deflected wide by one of his own players.

Referee Mr Kane added a generous five minutes of added time but the Gingerbreads were unable to regain the lead, with the final chance of snatching all three points going to Marine, but once again Wright saved from Shaw's backwards header.

Grantham Town: Wright, Barrows, Luto, Bell-Toxtle, Ward, Salt, Durkin, Ofushine, Harrad, Siddons (Podier), Fortnam-Tomlinson. Subs not used: Yenibertz, Fletcher. Att: 163.


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