Gingerbreads' Cup dream turns into a nightmare
Second Round Qualifying, replay
Grantham Town 0
St Ives Town 2
Grantham Town's road to Wembley terminated in a premature dead end at The Meres on Tuesday night.
Having drawn 1-1 at St Ives on Saturday, the Gingerbreads and the Saints recommenced battle to decide who would be facing York City in the next round of the competition.
The home side were ultimately undone in the second half when St Ives scored twice in quick succession following an inspired double substitution.
Once again, Grantham found themselves on the back front early on, but gradually got their game together and began to play some good football.
The visitors went close to taking the lead in the second minute but the inrushing Robbie Parker was just unable to get his head to George Bailey's cross.
Grantham's first real chance did not come until the 14th minute when Oliver Luto fired over from the side of the box following a corner kick.
In the 18th minute at the other end, Ben Baker was unable to connect with a cross into the box, and two minutes later he curled a shot just wide of the target.
Luke McCormick had an opportunity for the Gingerbreads in the 27th minute but it was perhaps a tad ambitious from a good 25 yards.
Grantham's best chance of the half came a minute later. Saints' Joe Hood was forced to clear a dangerous cross out for a corner kick. The flag kick was played short to Jack McGovern who crossed to the far post where Ross Barrows headed to the opposite side of goal, the ball bouncing off the foot of the upright.
Chances came thick and fast at both ends. McGovern headed over on the half hour mark, whilst Ben Seymour-Shove had his shot charged down by a Grantham defender three minutes later.
McGovern had another header tipped wide by Saints keeper Samuel Wilson on 36 minutes. Seymour-Shove had the last goal scoring opportunity of the half following a Grantham defensive mix-up, but he squandered the chance with a wildly off-target strike.
There was no let-up in pace after the break and the Gingerbreads had early chances, with McGovern and Barrows having shots charged down in the Saints box before Max Watters dragged his effort just wide of the far post.
St Ives brought on two substitutes around the hour mark and their impact was almost immediate, with Danny Kelly heading wide in the 63rd minute.
The Saints went ahead three minutes later when the Gingerbreads failed to deal with a corner kick and the loose ball was knocked in from close range by Sam Cartwright.
But Grantham were not fazed and two minutes later Barrows whipped in a great squared cross, but keeper Wilson plucked the ball from danger.
St Ives doubled their lead in the 71st minute after Seymour-Shove struck the bar, with substitute Oliver Snaith pouncing amid the chaos to signal celebrations from the travelling Saints fans.
The Gingerbreads' heads did not drop and they continued to battle valiantly, going close in the 73rd minute but once again Wilson plucked the ball to safety, this time from sub Antonio Jaquite who was on for a sure header in the six yard box.
Jaquite had another chance in the 79th minute, curling a shot in from 20 yards, but once more Wilson had it covered.
Grantham's final opportunities saw McGovern drive over the bar and Jaquite slice wide in desperation, but the clocked ticked down all too quickly and the Gingerbreads found themselves of the Cup for another year.
Grantham Town: Richardson, Barrows, Luto, Horton, Ward, Curtis (Nassunculo 83), McGovern, Watters, Acar, McCormick (Bastos 77), Thompson (Jaquite 72). Subs not used: Yenibertz. Att: 294.