Grantham Town share the spoils in subdued atmosphere
Northern Premier League
Grantham Town 0
Warrington Town 0
It was something of a subdued evening at The Meres on Tuesday night compared to Saturday’s carnival atmosphere.
There was a bit of an end-of-season feel to it all, despite the fact that there was still plenty for which to play.
Saturday’s balmy conditions were replaced with more familiar wind, cold and rain, with the greasy conditions making grip and the ball something with which to contend.
Following a moderately paced start to the game, Warrington upped the tempo and had the first chance on goal in the seventh minute when Shaun Beeley curled a thumper into Grantham goalie Kieran Preston’s arms.
Grantham’s first opportunity came a minute later from an Oliver Luto free kick which was punched clear by visiting keeper Luke Pilling, but the ball found Jordan Hempenstall who fired his half-volley over the bar.
Warrington showed slightly more going forward but Grantham defended confidently as swirling rain began to sweep from end to end.
Sam Osborne had a couple of chances for the home side, with Pilling punching his 22nd minute effort clear and the number 11 driving a half-volley over the target a minute later.
There was a temporary moment of anguish for Grantham and their fans when Warrington hit the post and scored from the rebound on 25 minutes, but Warrington’s celebrations were cut short by the linesman’s flag for offside.
Grantham’s Lee Shaw missed an open goal three minutes later when clear through, but his effort too would have been disallowed for offside had it been successful.
Shaw and Hempenstall continued to invade the Warrington penalty area but time and again the visiting defenders denied Grantham’s front men so much as a sniff.
The Gingerbreads defended sometimes desperately early in the second half as Warrington enjoyed an intense spell of pressure in the home half, but the visitors were unable to produce a goal for their efforts.
With both sides frustrated at not being able to find the back of the net, tempers became shortened and numerous fouls were the result.
Warrington’s best chance of the game came in the 64th minute when Sean Williams unleashed a scorcher that brought an equally impressive save from Preston who just tipped the ball over the bar.
The last quarter of an hour saw Grantham occupying the Warrington half for the most part, after the visitors had Mekhi Leacock-McCleod sent off for a second bookable offence.
The Gingerbreads had a reasonable penalty shout in the 78th minute when Shaw was brought down to prevent him from connecting with a Danny Meadows ball in, but referee Mr Saunby could see no wrong-doing.
And so the game petered out, with the 10-man visitors sitting back and only venturing forward for the occasional counter-attack, and Grantham having to be content with a share of the points.
Grantham Town: Preston, Potts, Luto, Lewis, Galinski (c), Batchelor, Meadows, McGovern, Hempenstall, Shaw (Hakeem 81), Osborne (Burrows 55) Subs not used: Wright, Hollingsworth, Vince. Att: 301.