Grantham Town cruise through to county competition semi-finals
Lincolnshire Senior Shield
Grantham Town 2
Holbeach United 0
Grantham Town progressed to the last four of the county cup competition with a comfortable win at The Meres on Tuesday night.
The two-league gap between the two sides was evident from the kick-off when the Gingerbreads got off to a confident start, playing a confident passing game that kept the visitors on the back foot.
Grantham did allow Holbeach into the game at times and United had one early chance through Matthew Warfield but his drive caused no problems for home goalkeeper Jake Turner.
The Gingerbreads’ best opportunity in the opening quarter of an hour saw Connor Johnson run through from midfield and get off a bobbling shot that visiting keeper Nick Conroy just managed to control.
Grantham went in front on 20 minutes. A long ball from Paul Grimes flighted beautifully to find Correy Newman. He beat both defender and keeper before dinking the ball in from the edge of the 18-yard box.
Town could have doubled their lead less than a minute later but Rhys Lewis was unable to direct his close range header with any accuracy.
Despite Grantham’s continued superiority, it was not Grimes’s night as he missed several goalscoring opportunities in the first half. He sliced a 30-yard lob wide in the 25th minute, with the keeper out of position, a bicycle kick went awry seven minutes later, and he drove his 37th minute effort in front of goal into the ground and into the arms of Conroy.
At the other end, Turner nonchalantly stopped a Gary King header which was going perilously close to bouncing in at the far post – but was probably the home keeper’s biggest contribution to the game.
A Holbeach defender blocked Stefan Bilyk’s 39th minute strike and the Grantham number 10 missed out again two minutes later when he was unable to respond quickly enough to Grimes’s excellent ball across the face of goal.
Grantham’s final chance of the first half saw Michael Emmott cross dangerously to the near post, but Conroy had it covered and caught high above his head.
The Gingerbreads doubled their advantage in the opening minute of the second half. Will Rawdon put in a good cross which was knocked on by Grimes, feeding Bilyk who slotted in with aplomb while under considerable defensive pressure.
Holbeach’s King darted down the right wing and put in a good early cross-cum-shot in the 50th minute, but it was little more than a good hand warmer for keeper Turner.
Grantham had several good goalscoring opportunities through Emmott, Bilyk and Lewis, as they continued to press forward with waves of attacks and long range strikes.
The open nature of the game occasionally allowed United a foray towards the Grantham goal, but the Gingerbreads repelled them before the danger became too acute.
Johnson had a couple more chances for the home side, and Emmott’s 88th minute 25-yard grass-cutter was ambitious but ultimately never likely to trouble Conroy.
The visitors had one final sniff at goal in the first minute of added time, but Turner caught the cross-cum-shot neatly to deny Jermaine Palmer.
Grantham Town: Turner, Divver, Rawdon, Kay, Batchelor (c), Johnson, Newman (Wholey, 80), Lewis, Grimes, Bilyk, Emmott. Subs not used: Meadows, Saunders, Miveld, Hallcro.