Grantham Ladies 8
Long Sutton Ladies 2nd
GRANTHAM took their first points of the season in style by beating Long Sutton 2nd at The Meres.
Grantham started the game well with quick, direct passing and took the lead after just one minute when Katie Davison latched on to a through-ball from Sacha Smith and calmly slotted home.
Long Sutton worked tirelessly and still looked a goal threat, despite not having a full side available. A strong run down the right allowed their winger to cut in and equalise. Grantham reacted immediately and Davison’s run through the middle put them 2-1 up.
More decisive play from the Grantham front line saw a square pass find Tess Broadley who took advantage, making it 3-1.
Davison grabbed her second with a deflected shot, and Smith got on the scoresheet after a well linked move with Davison.
Grantham’s right winger, Iona Charlton, worked endlessly trying to push up and support the front two, and fully deserved her two goals she bagged just before half-time, after again linking well with Smith and Davison.
Stand-in keeper Debi Wood did well in goal and managed to keep the scoreline down to one until the half time whistle went.
Grantham knew that it would be difficult to maintain the pace in the second half and did sit back for the opening 15 minutes. The home side failed to close down quick enough in the last third and Long Sutton took advantage of that with a powerful shot past Wood.
The goal woke the Grantham side up and they stepped up a gear, beginning to dominate the game again.
Davison won the team a penalty corner. Smith’s powerful shot was deflected and Davison reacted quickest to complete her hat trick.
With Kirstin Barney and Megan Louise Footitt constantly hassling their midfield, it was no surprise when their pressure forced the Long Sutton midfield to play back. The ball lacked pace, Davison intercepted and then beat the remaining two defenders to push the ball into the back of the goal.
East League Division 5
Newmarket 2nd 2
GRANTHAM suffered their first league defeat since last October as they went down to Newmarket 2nd at The Meres.
All the scoring came in the second half on a frustrating day for the home side, who had done well to keep the scores level at half time.
Already missing regular captain Oli Phillips with a stomach ulcer, barely five minutes were on the clock when John Pennington had to leave the field of play after he was accidentally struck on the side of the head by an opponent’s stick.
As Pennington was taken off to hospital, Grantham enjoyed a spell of pressure on the Newmarket defence but there was no way through.
The second half saw both teams offer more precision in the attacking third and it was Newmarket who moved into the lead, and then doubled it.
Two short corners were too good for Grantham’s defence, despite being bolstered by the return to the side of both Mark Richardson and James Kerr.
Hopes of a comeback were raised when Grantham pulled one back through a Newmarket own goal when a defender deflected a strike from Rob Buxton into his own goal.
However, the visitors held on to leave Grantham frustrated at losing their first league match at home since February 2011
Grantham: Leadenham, Kerr, Richardson, Pennington, Buxton, Braunton, Gray, Groom (c), J. Hill, Willey, Halliday, W. Hill, Barton, Johnson.