Men’s East League
Grantham travelled to Louth on a mild, late November afternoon, although not having won the previous week at Long Sutton, they were buoyed by a comeback performance that very nearly brought a point in a hard fought match.
Changes in personnel on Friday night and Saturday morning meant last minute alterations to the playing positions to produce the strongest team against Louth – a team who in recent weeks have been scoring freely.
Grantham opened the stronger of the two teams, Will Hill and Sam MacAllister playing solidly in central midfield, with Andy Hill and Mark Pearce on the right and left wings respectively.
Time and again, Grantham pushed forward with strong runs from Andy Hill, Mark Pearce, Ron Manguizis and George Lodge forcing Louth backwards.
Eventually the first goal came and shortly after, from a short corner, a second for ‘Super-Sam-Mac’.
Grantham were cruising, with passes and deft touches coming off nicely, with little the opposition could do.
But the young Louth team, to their credit, kept pushing with endless energy and industry. Flurries into the Grantham half and short corners were repulsed by Nick Wraith, Chris Hill, Paul Glover, and David Braunton, along with Arnold Manguizis in goal.
Louth finally did convert one chance to bring the score to 2-1 at half time.
A good victory and a valuable three points to bring Grantham in touching distance of the top two in the league still looked on the cards, but Louth’s goal had given them greater impetus.
The second half started and almost immediately Louth pressed hard, putting Grantham on the back foot. The visitors fought to clear the lines at the back, but the ball all to soon came back with wave after wave of attack from the revitalised Louth team. The second goal came all too soon to bring the home side level.
Whether Grantham had taken their foot of the pedal, Louth had improved greatly, or the effort in the first half had drained them, it was clear Grantham were fighting a losing battle. Eventually, Louth found their third goal of the game.
Althouth Grantham probed forward, it was all too often solo ventures that failed to produce clear cut chances to equalise and so the visitors had to accept another narrow defeat.