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Grantham Town enjoy a welcome win at home

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Northern Premier League Premier Division

Grantham Town 2

Hyde United 0

Grantham Town's Harry Wood and Jonathan Wafula advance up the field. Photo: Toby Roberts (56116476)
Grantham Town's Harry Wood and Jonathan Wafula advance up the field. Photo: Toby Roberts (56116476)

Grantham Town recorded a well-deserved late season victory at a sun-drenched Meres stadium on Saturday.

The bottom-of-the-table Gingerbreads' winning performance left Hyde United themselves teetering just one point above the relegation zone.

The first chance of the game fell to the visitors, with Tayt Trusty thumping his volley over the bar from a long throw-in.

Hyde skipper Tom Pratt was a danger throughout and made his presence first known in the fifth minute when he forced a save from Town goalkeeper Jim Pollard to his firm cross along the goal line.

Grantham's first sniff at goal did not come until the 13th minute when Lee Shaw won a corner; taken by Steve Leslie, the flag kick was headed clear from danger.

Town had another corner a minute later, Leslie's effort this time finding Jonathan Wafula who swivelled and fired a shot off but lifted it over the Hyde bar.

Play switched quickly to the other end where Pratt fired wide from a Jack Sherratt ball when one-on-one with Pollard.

In the 16th minute, Pratt's cross-cum-shot forced a diving save from Pollard who could not hold on to the ball, but his defence cleared.

It was Pratt again in the 22nd minute who fired in from the right, forcing Pollard to tip the ball wide. The resulting corner kick was headed off the goal line by the Grantham defence.

Town's Ashton Hall had a run in on the Hyde goal in the 29th minute but dragged his low shot wide of the left hand post.

Three minutes later, at the other end, Lewis Earl fired from outside the box to bring another good save from Pollard.

The Gingerbreads went in front with 10 minutes of the first half remaining. Leslie's long free kick from the half way line found the head of Sisa Tuntulawana who directed the ball across the box to where Shaw headed in from close range.

Hyde had a chance to equalise in the 41st minute but Earl headed wide of the near post from a Sherratt corner kick.

Town almost doubled their lead a minute later when a United defender nearly put the ball into his own net from an Elliott Durrell cross; luckily for Hyde, their keeper James Chew was alert to the danger and smothered the ball to safety.

The game continued apace after the break and six minutes into the second period Grantham doubled their advantage with an unstoppable Leslie free kick, struck from 20 yards out with his left foot into the top left hand corner of the Hyde net.

A minute later, Shaw tried his luck with an overhead kick but United keeper Chew was more than equal to his effort.

Hyde had not given up and brought on all their substitutes at regular intervals as they attempted to get back into the game.

Sherratt swung in a dangerous free kick into the Grantham box in the 59th minute, but Pollard jumped highest to catch with confidence.

The Gingerbreads also brought on their subs as the game wore on, one change forced by an injury to talismanic skipper Durrell following a heavy tackle.

Grantham striker Shaw went on a solo break down the right flank in the 77th minute and played a one-two with sub Ali Aydemir, as the pair opened up the Hyde defence, but he was then brought down in the box; however, referee Mr Wooley saw no offence and play carried on, as Shaw dusted himself down.

Gingerbreads number 11 Matthew McBride attempted a curler on 80 minutes that forced Chew to tip wide just in case. Chew punched the resulting corner kick from the danger area like a true heavyweight.

Aydemir tested the visiting keeper with his 86th minute low drive but Chew managed to hold on to the ball.

In the third minute of Mr Wooley's allocated three minutes of added time, Aydemir was fouled 35 yards out. Leslie stepped up again to take the free kick and zipped the ball goalwards, forcing Chew to tip it over the bar a second before the final whistle was blown.

Grantham Town: Pollard, Tuntulawana, Storey (Johnson 81), Wafula, Townrow, Hall, Wood (Clarke 68), Leslie, Shaw, Durrell (Aydemir 72), McBride. Subs not used: Munns. Att: 259.

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