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Home win eludes Grantham Town once again

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Northern Premier League Premier Division

Grantham Town 1

Warrington Town 2

Grantham Town striker Manny Kianga on the ball. (52564828)
Grantham Town striker Manny Kianga on the ball. (52564828)

Once again Grantham Town failed to register their first win at home despite matching the visitors pretty much throughout the match.

Quicker to practically every ball, Warrington had the slight advantage in the first half and had two goals to prove it, but after three half time substitutions the Gingerbreads came alive and were more confident looking, deserving more than a single goal for their efforts.

Grantham had the wind at their backs in the first half, often a disadvantage at The Meres and so it proved with every long ball to front man Lee Shaw going way beyond his reach.

The visitors lost Luke Duffy after a nasty looking clash with Grantham's Henry Eze, leaving the pitch with blood streaming from his nose, to be replaced by Matthew Grivosti – a substitution that the Gingerbreads would go on to regret.

Warrington had a couple of attacks in the opening 15 minutes, but both were foiled by offside flags.

The Gingerbreads' first real chance came in the 17th minute but visiting goalkeeper Daniel Atherton managed to get a hand to the ball to tip Harvey Grice's dangerous corner kick from the danger area.

A minute later, at the other end, Warrington's Jack Mackreath outwitted the Grantham defence with a quick break, but his shot was tipped over by stand-in keeper Joshua Render. The resulting corner kick from Sean Williams was headed wide by the visitors' skipper Mark Roberts.

Warrington had further chances through Jordan Buckley who fired over in the 19th minute and then had a second effort smothered by Render five minutes later. Eze headed a Roberts header clear on 26 minutes, while Buckley blasted over again three minutes later.

The Gingerbreads' best chance came on the half hour mark. Jonathan Wafula connected strongly to Grice's corner kick, volleying through a gaggle of players and striking the post.

However, the visitors went in front two minutes later when that substitute Grivosti pounced on an error by Render and blasted in the loose ball.

Grantham's Manny Kianga had a promising run into the box in the 36th minute, only to be disarmed of the ball by Mitchell Duggan.

With half time looming, the visitors doubled their lead in the 44th minute when that man once again, Grivosti, broke quickly down the right, cut into the box and fired in between Render's legs.

Grantham manager Carlton Palmer did not mess about at half time and brought on all three substitutes.

The opening 10 minutes saw several chances for Warrington, two of which brought good saves from Render.

The Gingerbreads got back into the game on 58 minutes when Wafula was allowed too much space in the box and fired home, helped into the net by Warrington's skipper Roberts.

From then on it was end to end stuff. Render made a fingertip save to Williams' 64th minute effort. The resulting corner kick was headed over from a crowded six-yard box.

Two minutes later, Grantham's Wafula whipped in a beauty of a cross towards Shaw, but Atherton plucked the ball from the number nine's head.

Render was called into action again in the 72nd minute, smothering Mackreath's low, bobbling 20-yard free kick.

Gingerbreads sub Jacob Wright sent his 20-yard strike goalwards but it simply did not have the legs to actually make it into the back of the net before a Warrington defender cleared.

Grantham were keeping Warrington on the back foot, with all 11 men defending their now slender looking advantage.

The Gingerbreads had another good opportunity to level in the 88th minute, but Shaw's glancing header flew just wide of the far post, causing him to bury his head in his shirt in shame.

Warrington had a chance to put the game to bed a minute later, but sub Joshua Amis' shot struck the bar.

It carried on to be edge of the seat action into the four minutes of added time, Grantham's final chance to pull level denied by Atherton who caught Wafula's header from a Wright long ball.

Grantham Town: Render, Williamson (c), Latty-Fairweather, Clarke, Eze (Parkin 45), Adelekan, Adeymir, Grice (Wright 45), Shaw, Wafula, Kianga (Shrimpton 45). Subs not used: Modest, Millen. Att: 247.

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