Ten-man Grantham Town suffer defeat at Whitby
Northern Premier League Premier Division
Whitby Town 3
Grantham Town 0
by Graham Cowell
Whitby had an element of fortune to their first two goals but were the better side for a lot of the game, whilst Grantham struggled to create chances and, with 10 men for the last 25 minutes, had an uphill struggle all afternoon.
"The first half wasn't too bad, but we conceded to a wonder goal," said Gingerbreads manager Dennis Greene. "Once they got the second, the game was gone."
Jim Pollard made three saves early in the game to keep scores level. Lewis Hawkins was twice denied by an outstretched leg from Pollard, while Bradley Fewster suffered the same fate on four minutes.
The game became more even as the half wore on. Ricky Miller turned and shot on 13 minutes but could not hit the target. A minute later, a cross from the Gingerbreads right found Fewster, but Pollard again denied the home side.
As the first half wore on, Grantham got more into the game, but still struggled to create chances despite good possession. Whitby still created better chances. Josh MacDonald put a low cross into the Grantham six-yard box on the half hour mark, but Fewster was inches away from making contact.
Four minutes later, Whitby took the lead. Coleby Shepherd played a pass wide to Jacob Hazel. He controlled the pass and appeared to look to deliver a cross, but his delivery flew over Pollard into the far corner of the net.
Whitby finished the half on a high as a free kick was only half cleared by the Gingerbreads. MacDonald fired the loose ball wide of the mark.
The home side came out the stronger after the break. A corner three minutes into the second half led to a scramble inside the six-yard box that the Gingerbreads only just got clear.
An own goal after 57 minutes gave Whitby a decisive lead. Soni Fergus found space on the Grantham left hand side. He had time to control the ball and drive a cross into the six-yard box. Thomas Unwin tried to clear his lines, but only sliced the ball past Pollard to give the home side a two goal lead.
Three minutes later the home side wrapped the game up with Hazel's second goal of the game. The ball was played down the Grantham right for the Whitby forward. He beat Pollard to the ball and rolled it into the empty net, just beating the Gingerbreads defensive efforts.
Glenn Yala was harshly sent off for a late challenge just after the hour mark to leave Grantham with 10 men for the last 27 minutes. With a man advantage, the home side had the better of the last quarter of the game. Hazel had another two chances to get his hat trick, but rattled the crossbar with one shot, then hit Pollard with a shot from Adam Gell's pass.
As Grantham slipped to their 15th defeat of the league season, the best they could muster was a late pass from Finlay Shrimpton that Greg Smith got on the end of, but Shane Bland saved well to deny Grantham a consolation goal.