Gingerbreads progress in FA Cup after last gasp penalty
A 93rd minute penalty at Daventry Town on Saturday booked the Gingerbreads' place in the Emirates FA Cup Second Round Qualifying – and a £6,000 reward for doing so.
Manager Ian Culverhouse was delighted with the performance: “I thought we were excellent and controlled the match for long spells. The lads kept the ball and did what I asked for; I was really pleased.
"We need to find an end product though, but we’ll be working on that.”
Max Watters had the first chance for the Gingerbreads in the 10th minute, before beating the last man nine minutes later, only for the keeper to smother the ball. Grantham had another good chance to take the lead just before half time but Jack McGovern fired over the bar.
A minute after the break, Tom Curtis' headed was saved by the Daventry keeper. Kegan Everington fired wide on 50 minutes and numerous other chances just did not work out for Grantham.
However, when Ross Barrows was brought down in the box in added time, Michael Hollingsworth stepped up and once again struck the spot kick home to send the Gingerbreads a step nearer to Wembley.
Culverhouse was also pleased with how his side dealt with the antics of the Daventry side. He added: “They tried early on to get in our faces and maybe wind us up. The lads got on with it and let the referee control the match.”
Ahead of that match, the Gingerbreads added to their squad with 18-year-old Luke McCormick registering in time to take his place on the bench.
Culverhouse said: "Luke trained with us in pre-season and was named as a trialist. He did really well when he came on, his movement is really quick and he’s going to be exciting to watch.”
In the next round, the Gingerbreads will play St Ives Town (Cambridgeshire) after they won their replay against Saffron Waldren 3-1 on Tuesday night. It will be the first time the two sides have ever met.
While that match was in action, so too were the Gingerbreads at North Ferriby United.
Barrows and Watters gave Grantham a two goal lead heading into the final minutes of the match. And then North Ferriby pulled one back in the 85th minute through Jack Mail.
The referee indicated five minutes of additional time and with moments left, Ferriby's Luke Lofts aimed a shot which took a massive deflection to beat Town keeper Theo Richardson.
Despite snatching a draw from the jaws of victory, Culverhouse was philosophical: "I thought we were excellent again; the lads are devastated as am I. We couldn't do anything about the equaliser, it's just taken a deflection.
"We'll take the positives out of tonight, we'll all remember the feelings and do our best for it not to happen again."
The Gingerbreads return to The Meres on Saturday when they host Hyde United. The visitors were promoted last season from the Evo-Stik North Division.
Culverhouse said: "They've not had the start they would have wanted but we know anyone in this league can beat anyone. We'll regroup and be ready."
The games come thick and fast for the Gingerbreads and again they have a midweek match when they host Glapwell in the Integro League Cup on Tuesday night, kick off 7.45pm at The Meres.
+ The Gingerbreads Soccer School runs on Saturday mornings from 9am till 10am on the 3G pitch at The Meres. See the club's website for full information.