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Grantham Town lose first home in six weeks

Northern Premier League

Premier Division

Grantham Town 0

Buxton 1

Grantham Town's Michael Tweed (right) stretches to the ball to deny two Buxton opponents. Photo: Toby Roberts (7822472)
Grantham Town's Michael Tweed (right) stretches to the ball to deny two Buxton opponents. Photo: Toby Roberts (7822472)

Grantham Town suffered their first home defeat since the beginning of February, going down to a single second half goal from the Bucks.

The wind was the real winner on a frustrating day for both sides, and a draw would have been a truer reflection of the share of play.

If it could be called an advantage, the Gingerbreads had the gusting wind at their backs in the first half and its effects were immediately apparent; if played, the long ball game was going to be an extremely long ball game.

Jordan Adebayo-Smith and Chris Dawson combined well going forward in a couple of early moves for Town.

Probably the Gingerbreads' best goal scoring opportunity of the whole game came in the 14th minute. Dawson put in his free kick from the edge of the box on the touchline, low across the face of goal, but Akeel Francis was unable to stab the ball home from close range and Buxton goalkeeper Theo Roberts smothered the ball.

Town had another good chance six minutes later. Jack McGovern fired over from 25 yards after another good Adebayo-Smith and Dawson move found Michael Tweed in the box, but he had been unable to get a shot off.

Dawson's 25th minute corner kick just needed a touch from Adebayo-Smith or Francis, but neither was able to connect.

The visitors' first real threat was not really until the 34th minute when Jude Oyibo put a ball into Bucks skipper Callum Chippendale on the edge of the six-yard box, but Town keeper Sam Andrew was quick to snatch it to safety.

Grantham's last chance of the first 45 minutes came in the last of those, with the wind taking captain Danny Brooks' 25-yard free kick over the Buxton bar.

With no let-up in the wind after the half time break, the first opportunity of the second period went to the visitors on 48 minutes after keeper Andrew miskicked the ball straight to John Roberts, but his 25-yard snap shot went high over the bar.

Oyibo made no mistake with his accuracy two minutes later, however, Andrew was there to safely gather.

Adebayo-Smith ran in on goal for Grantham in the 52nd minute, but his shot was charged down by a Bucks defender.

Two minutes later, at the other end, James Dean's low, bobbling 25-yard effort proved no problem for Andrew who had it covered all the way.

The Gingerbreads defence continued to frustrate Buxton's offensive moves with some confidence, until they were undone in the 59th minute. A slight error and a bad bounce gifted the ball to Liam Hardy who rounded out-rushing keeper Andrew and slotted home.

With a quarter of an hour remaining, Town managers Paul Rawden and Russell Cousins began piling on the substitutes, but the addition of three fresh pairs of legs would prove fruitless.

A 75th minute 30-yard Buxton free kick by Hardy was not too far off and five minutes later the same player might be considered unlucky for having hit the post.

Grantham won a couple of corner kicks but were unable to produce anything from them.

The home side's last opportunity to restore parity came in the first minute of six minutes added time but, due to the wind, no Grantham player was able to control the ball quickly enough from a beautifully weighted free kick from the centre circle.

Hardy had a chance to double his and the Bucks' tally in the penultimate minute when, again, he was gifted the ball, but he was unable to find the target.

Grantham Town: Andrew, Barrows, Cartwright, Miller, Ward, Tweed (Grouse 74), McGovern, Brooks, Adebayo-Smith, Dawson (Hogg 82), Francis (Jackson 78). Subs not used: Smith, Briers. Att: 217.


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