Grantham Town have to settle for a point at home
Northern Premier League
Grantham Town 0
Stalybridge Celtic 0
A single point and a clean sheet were all the rewards for Grantham Town’s efforts on an unseasonably warm Saturday afternoon.
It was a lively start at a sun-drenched Meres and it was the visitors who had the first real chance in the fourth minute, with John Cofie’s 30-yard attempt not that far off the target. And Liam Dickinson’s ninth minute cross-cum-shot forced a diving save from Gingerbreads custodian Kieran Preston.
But, in general, it was Grantham who played the more attacking football. Luke Shaw’s 11th minute shot was charged down whilst, three minutes later, Lee Shaw’s better option might have been a shot rather than squaring the ball across the six-yard box.
Lee Shaw did have his 17th minute strike cleared off the line by Ross Killock, who stuck to the Town number 10 like a limpet throughout the match. Celtic keeper Jack Walton then dived to save Stefan Galinski’s follow-up shot.
At the other end, Dickinson’s 32nd minute strike from distance forced Preston to tip round the post.
The real chance of the game went to Dickinson five minutes later after the Grantham defence was undone, but the Celtic number nine somehow skied the ball over from the edge of the six yard area – a real let-off for Town.
The Gingerbreads’ last two opportunities of the first half saw Danny Meadows drag his long strike wide, and Luke Shaw have his shot blocked in the final minute.
The game continued apace after the break, with the first chance going to the visitors in the 48th minute when Matthew Wolfenden turned and fired, fortunately straight at Preston.
Grantham were dealt a blow when Luke Shaw was stretchered off after a tackle in the 51st minute.
Lee Shaw was just beaten to a Meadows ball by Walton in the 59th minute, whilst substitute Jordan Hempenstall’s first touch was a goalbound glancing header that unfortunately lacked the oomph to trouble the Celtic defence.
Walton rose highest to punch clear a dangerously whipped in corner kick from Town sub Curtis Burrows in the 66th minute.
The ever-troublesome Dickinson had three good chances for Celtic in the space of five minutes, but it was not to be his day either.
Lee Shaw kept pressing forward, with Walton catching his goalbound header from a Burrows cross in the 76th minute. Two minutes later, a Burrows shot from distance was deflected out for a corner.
Grantham had another let-off in the 80th minute when no Celtic player was able to get a touch to Jake Charles’s dangerous cross over the box.
At the other end, Burrows’ snapshot inside the box was well caught by Walton.
The Gingerbreads’ final two chances to snatch all three points came in added time, and saw a Hempenstall shot blocked, whilst his header two minutes later just lacked the power to trouble Walton.
Grantham Town: Preston, Potts, Luto, Lewis, Galinski (c), Hollingsworth, Meadows, Wright, McMenemy, Lee Shaw, Luke Shaw. Subs not used: Baker, Thompson, Curtis. Att: 272.