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Grantham Town friendly is abandoned before half time

By Graham Cowell

Grantham Town’s preparations for the season suffered further disruption at Stamford on Thursday night.

The pre-season friendly game was abandoned shortly before half time as Daniels manager Graham Drury took his players off the pitch with concerns over sustaining injuries.

Grantham Town and Stamford players face up to each other as the game is brought to a halt. Photo: Dan Allen (41418640)
Grantham Town and Stamford players face up to each other as the game is brought to a halt. Photo: Dan Allen (41418640)

Grantham were trailing by two goals at the time.

“I think our levels of fitness at this stage contributed to a couple of late challenges,” said Grantham manager Martin McIntosh. “Stamford were a bit sharper than we were. Although I’m disappointed by Graham’s decision to take his side off, as a manager I respect that he wanted to make sure he didn’t get any more injuries with an FA Cup game coming soon.”

Stamford manager Graham Drury said: “There were five or six nasty challenges went in which you don’t want in a pre-season game.

“I’ve got six or seven on the injury table already and with the FA Cup in a couple of weeks couldn’t afford any more on a night where conditions certainly played their part.”

The action on the pitch got off to the worst possible start for the Gingerbreads. Stamford took the lead after only 15 seconds. A quick break down the Grantham left saw the ball crossed to Tom Siddons who slipped it past Jan Budtz.

The pace of the Stamford front line continued to cause Grantham problems throughout the first half. A minute after Ben Turner linked up with Harry Middleton to fire a shot wide of the Stamford goal, the home side exposed space behind the Grantham wing-back. Greg Young had to slide in to deny Stamford another strike on goal.

Shane Clarke and his opposite number four traded rising shots from 25 yards out midway through the half as Grantham got a semblance of a foothold in the game, without testing the Stamford goalkeeper.

After half an hour, the home side doubled their lead. A strong run through the centre of midfield ended with a perfect pass for the Stamford right winger who had popped up on the edge of the Gingerbreads penalty area. He took a touch, stepped to his right and curled a lovely shot into the bottom of the net.

The game boiled over before half time with Harry Middleton and then James Berrett booked for strong and slightly late challenges in the centre of the park.

After Berrett’s 42nd minute yellow card left his opponent needing treatment, the Stamford boss walked on to the pitch and instructed his players to leave.

Both sides faced up to each other in the centre circle as they made their way off, the referee eventually intervening and the game being abandoned.

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