Grantham Town's FA Cup hopes over after losing out in tight affair
Grantham Town 0 Matlock Town 1 - Report by Graham Cowell
Grantham fans must wait another year for an extended cup run as the Gingerbreads failed to take advantage of their possession and chances to get hit by a sucker punch in the second half.
Virtually Matlock’s first effort on target after 78 minutes saw them grab the only goal of the game.
“I don’t think we played badly,” said Grantham manager Martin McIntosh. “Throughout the game, we had the better chances, but had switched off a bit and conceded at that time.”
Both sides matched up a 3-5-2 and throughout the game, the back threes dominated their area. Matlock’s Liam Hughes and the Gingerbreads Ash Worsfold worked hard and won a decent amount of ball, but the loose ball was so often swept up by the defence that chances were difficult to make throughout the game.
A mistake by Matlock goalkeeper Shaun Rowley almost saw Grantham take the lead after 18 minutes. Worsfold closed down the visitors’ goalkeeper, who didn’t clear the ball well. Alistair Taylor’s cross was only just too long for Remaye Campbell to reach.
The game got a little techy before half time with a series of yellow cards shown by Mr Ricardo in quick succession as Grantham pressed for the lead. Tom Ward went close midway through the half and a deflected shot from Abbott almost fell to Worsfold, but Shaun Rowley in the Matlock goal got there first.
Grantham kept up their pressure as the half drew to a close. The second half showed a similar pattern for a long time. Grantham had the better chances, while Matlock were kept at a distance. A burst of action around the hour mark saw Nathan Dyer start things off with a run and cross that almost found Worsfold in the centre.
Matlock rode their luck immediately. Grantham forced three consecutive corners before Ryan Holland got his head on the third, only to see his effort kicked off the goalline.
The visitors’ best period of the game led to the only goal. After 73 minutes, Daniel Greenfield was played in by Byrne and Budtz was forced to save with his boot. Five minutes later, Greenfield was involved again as Matlock took the lead. He received the ball from Hughes and played it on to Calam Dolan on the edge of the Grantham penalty area. With enough time to take a touch, Dolan fired a low shot past Budtz.
The Gingerbread threw men forward in the last quarter of an hour, Tom Ward acting as a striker. It was to no avail as Matlock defended strongly and kept Grantham from goal to give the Gingerbreads another early FA Cup exit.