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Grantham Town defeated in first home game

Northern Premier League Premier Division

Grantham Town 0

Buxton 3

Action from Grantham Town's defeat to Buxton at The Meres on Tuesday night. Photo: Toby Roberts (50335759)
Action from Grantham Town's defeat to Buxton at The Meres on Tuesday night. Photo: Toby Roberts (50335759)

Report by Graham Cowell

Goals at key moments in the game saw Grantham Town start the season's home campaign with a defeat against a side fancied for promotion at the end of the season.

Buxton scored at each and of the first half, but the Gingerbreads matched their opponents for much of the first half.

“We knew our opening games were going to be tough,” said Grantham manager Carlton Palmer. “There wasn’t a lot in it. We should have had a penalty; we worked their goalkeeper, and we did well in a lot of that game. They deserved to win it; we were very good in parts of it.”

Both sides got the ball quickly from back to front in the early minutes, but neither side could open up the other until the 11th minute. The Gingerbreads won a corner and attacked it but were two on two at the back.

Buxton broke quicker than Grantham could recover. Tom Elliott played a through-ball for Diego DeGirolamo who duly slipped it past Jim Pollard for the opening goal.

The visitors were in control of the game at this point. James Hurst headed wide from a corner and Matt Curley hit a cross/shot wildly after Elliott set him up well.

By the 20-minute mark, Grantham had come into the game as more shorter passing was played by both sides. Two corners in a couple of minutes almost led to an equaliser.

First Adam Watson headed goalwards with Buxton goalkeeper Theo Richardson smuggling the ball off the line as AJ Adelekan closed in. From the second flag kick, Watson rose highest again only to see former Gingerbread Richardson claw his effort away from the post and then grab the ball gratefully.

Michael Williams stung Richardson’s hands twice with rasping efforts. After 28 minutes, Williams let fly from 30 yards out, Richardson saving well to his right.

Ten minutes later, Grantham thought they had a penalty when Williams was fouled on the edge of the Buxton box, but referee Mr Davies decided it was just outside the area. Williams curled his shot perfectly, but Richardson got across to turn it away from his left-hand post.

Having matched their highly rated opponents for much of the first half, Grantham fell to a sucker punch five minutes before half time.

A long clearance from Richardson was nodded on by Hurst for Elliott. His touch took the ball wide where Ash Chambers raced in to smash the ball into the net off the underside of the crossbar.

Palmer made two changes at half time to get the Gingerbreads back into the game, with the next goal so important. Grantham continued to cause Buxton as many problems as the visitors posed for the home side.

Buxton’s Elliott again made space on the edge of the Grantham penalty area, Chambers taking the ball on to fire a shot at Pollard.

Nathan Modest thought he had got a goal for Grantham after 55 minutes. He took on a through-ball and challenged Richardson on the edge of the area. Modest won the ball and rolled it into an empty net, but Mr Davies decided he had fouled the Buxton keeper.

The two sides cancelled each other out for a long time as both defences were on top. Neither set of forwards created any real chances until 14 minutes from time.

Buxton spread the ball to their right for Hurst and he delivered a low cross to the near post. Chambers got across the Grantham defence to poke it home at the near post for his second and the visitors' third goal of the night.

Grantham tried to get a consolation goal, but by now Buxton were managing the game out well and denied Town a sniff at goal.

But for Pollard, the visitors could have added a late goal. The Grantham goalkeeper made good saves to deny Chambers his hat trick and then, in the dying minutes, beat away a shot form 25 yards out from Hurst.

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