Grantham Town weather the storm to snatch late victory
Northern Premier League
Grantham Town 3
Grantham Town triumphed in a game that had truly everything at The Meres on Saturday.
After a generally stale first half that began with the stadium bathed in sunshine, the Gingerbreads found themselves a goal down when half time kind of came, courtesy of a thunderstorm that forced referee Mr Pidduck to suspend play in the 38th minute for safety reasons.
Town had gone behind in the 14th minute when James Earl headed in low through a gaggle of legs from a Jacob Simpson corner kick.
Play resumed at 4.15pm, seven minutes being played before a swap of ends – but not before Mr Pidduck was felled by the ball and required medical attention.
Grantham improved as the second half went on and levelled on 56 minutes. Danny Meadows’ beautiful curled cross was met by Jordan Hempenstall who thumped his header past rooted Workington goalkeeper Aaran Taylor.
But the visitors regained the lead in the 70th minute when a mix-up outside the box saw Scott Allison pounce on the loose ball and drive low past Town keeper Kieran Preston.
Grantham had the chance to annul that goal after Lee Shaw was tripped in the box two minutes later, but Luke Shaw’s resulting penalty kick headed skywards – an opportunity squandered.
However, Luke’s blushes were spared when Hempenstall grabbed his second from a Jack McMenemy free kick, knocking the ball in from close range.
Hempenstall had a couple more chances to complete his hat trick, but the game looked to be heading for a draw with four minutes of added time pinned on.
With the sun now shining once again, Lee Shaw was the day’s hero when he finally beat the offside flag for the first time all game and rolled the ball in under Taylor from a Luke Shaw through-ball to bring the home support to their feet.
The win took the Gingerbreads back up to second in the league behind Warrington Town.
Grantham Town: Preston, Potts (Luke Shaw 54), Luto, Baker, Galinski (McMenemy 82), Lewis, Meadows, Wright (Everington 76), Hempenstall, Lee Shaw, Curtis Burrows. Subs not used: Thompson, Hollingsworth.