Grantham Town triumph in five-goal thriller
Northern Premier League
Grantham Town 3
Lancaster City 2
Grantham Town overcame their northern visitors to go third in the league in an exciting high tempo encounter at The Meres on Saturday.
The Gingerbreads had an early chance in the opening minute when the league’s top scorer Lee Shaw curled over in the opening minute.
Two minutes later, Town were in front. Grantham goalkeeper Kieran Preston took a long free kick from his own half. A Rhys Lewis header glanced the ball forward to Jordan Hempenstall whose subsequent header was saved by Joshua Powell, but the rebound fell back to Hempenstall who slotted in at the post.
Grantham’s lead was short lived, however, when Lancaster equalised in the seventh minute. Town failed to deal with Sam Bailey’s long throw and Sam Hibbert looped his close range header over Preston and into the net.
And four minutes later, the Gingerbreads went behind. Preston’s goal kick clipped the head of his defender Lewis and the ball fell to City. It was fed to the lurking Melle Meulensteen in space and he made no mistake in slotting home.
Both sides had further chances but the half ended with Town 2-1 down.
The game continued apace after the break and Shaw had the first opportunity for Grantham seven minutes in. With Powell prone, Shaw’s shot looked to be a sure thing but it went straight to the Lancaster stopper.
Paul Dugdale conceded a corner to deny Shaw another chance a minute later, whilst Michael Hollingsworth drove over from 20 yards in the 59th minute, as the Gingerbreads searched earnestly for an equaliser.
And, as if on cue, it came two minutes later. Hempenstall put in a deft cross over the box and Curtis Burrows acrobatically volleyed the ball in past the diving Powell.
Grantham had a let-off in the 68th minute when, with Preston off his line, Meulensteen lobbed him – but he overdid it slightly and the ball landed on the roof of the net.
Currows doubled his goal tally and gave Town the lead and ultimately the win in the 77th minute, slotting in this time from a Hollingsworth cross in the box.
Grantham went close to increasing their lead in the 83rd minute, but somehow Hempenstall was just unable to get a header to Danny Meadows’ dangerous cross into the penalty area.
Shaw headed wide a minute later and the Gingerbreads had the ball in the net on the stroke of 90 minutes, but the linesman’s flag was already up for offside.
The last real goal scoring opportunity for either side fell to Shaw in the second minute of added time, but he was denied by Powell.
Grantham Town: Preston, Potts, Luto (Thompson 87), Lewis, Galinski (c), Hollingsworth, Meadows, Wright, Hempenstall (McMenemy 90), Shaw, Burrows (Curtis 90+4). Subs not used: Dasaolu, Baker. Att: 274.