Grantham Town go eighth after Scarborough Athletic game
Northern Premier League Premier Division
Grantham Town 2
Scarborough Athletic 1
Collecting all three points boosted Grantham Town from 14th to eighth in the league.
The Gingerbreads were up against a good footballing side, with an efficient Scarborough impressive throughout with their speed, accuracy and composure.
However, the seasiders had not reckoned on Grantham being so resilient in their workmanlike performance, defending resolutely and responding with counter-attacks.
The visitors did take an early lead but by half time the Gingerbreads were in the ascendancy and kept Scarborough at bay for the entire second 45 minutes.
The game got off to an uncharacteristically slow start, with Scarborough first to attack in the fourth minute, but new Town goalkeeper Adnan Kanuric repelled Connor Thompson's shot with his legs.
However, the visitors went in front two minutes later. Luke Lofts was allowed too easily to slip through the home defence before laying the ball off to Thompson who sneaked it in off the post.
Now up to pace, Scarborough had a chance to double their lead on 10 minutes but Paul Walker fired wide from inside the box.
Grantham's first real opportunity came in the 14th minute. Danny Racchi's low free kick was directed at Craig Westcarr who fired low goalwards, but keeper Thomas Taylor was down quickly to smother.
A minute later, at the other end, Lofts managed to miss an absolute sitter from a scramble in the penalty area.
As Town continued to grow into the game, they justly levelled in the 19th minute. With the Scarborough defence in disarray, the ball fell to James Berrett in space, giving him time to tee up his shot and fire in from 20 yards past the reach of the outstretched Taylor.
Grantham then hit the bar from a Berrett cross three minutes later.
Scarborough were taken somewhat by surprise when the Gingerbreads took the lead on 33 minutes. A brief spell of Grantham pressure was rewarded when Wescarr’s seemingly innocuous shot was deflected in by Remaye Campbell to the cheers of the Meres faithful.
With five minutes of the half to play, Scarborough's skilful danger man Chris Dawson dribbled into the Town box with ease, laying the ball off to Ryan Watson whose shot was blocked by keeper Kanuric. Seconds later, Adam Smith came to Grantham's rescue to clear the ball off the goal line from a corner kick.
The Gingerbreads had a chance to extend their advantage in the 41st minute. Smith absolutely cracked a shot in from inside the area. Taylor saved but the rebound fell to Town's Andy Wright whose shot was deflected out for a corner kick.
Scarborough exerted early pressure on the Grantham goal from the kick-off of the second half, with the home defence defending stoutly in numbers.
The Seadogs hit the bar with a header in the 56th minute whilst Town skipper Racchi cleared off the line from a shot from the rebound.
Two minutes later, Gingerbreads substitute Declan Dunn hit a great strike on target, only equalled by Taylor's diving save; had the ball gone in, the linesman's flag would have denied Dunn also.
Westcarr struck a good shot in the 63rd minute for Grantham, tipped over the bar by Taylor.
Taylor's opposite number, Kanuric, was brought into action four minutes later to pull off a confident catch to stop Watson's 30-yard rising free kick.
Scarborough's Pete Davidson then headed over from a Watson corner kick in the 68th minute.
The visitors only had a couple of final chances to snatch a point. Sub Michael Coulson curled his 90th minute free kick around the Grantham wall but Kanuric dived to tip the ball wide. Kanuric secured all three points three minutes later, saving a header from a Watson free kick.
Grantham Town: Kanuric, Green, Bartle, Atkinson, Ward, Racchi, Berrett, Wright, Westcarr, Campbell (Zoko 88), Smith (Dunn 53). Subs not used: Broadhead, Adelekan, Andrew. Att: 345.
More by this authorJohn Burgess