HOCKEY: Grantham men lose to league leaders Louth

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East League Division 5

North (West)

Grantham 1

Louth 2

GRANTHAM pushed league leaders Louth hard at home in a game that was well-contested and at times bubbled over into one that was a little ill-tempered.

All the goals came in the first half, Louth going 2-0 up, being pegged back by Adam Phillips, while the major flashpoints occurred in the second period.

Louth settled quicker and took the lead when some slack Grantham marking offered them a chance to overload the defence. They used the extra man effectively to slot home.

Grantham struggled to clear their lines although midfielders Benjie Groom, Mark Gray and MacAllister worked tirelessly to give forwards David Nix and Paul Hollingworth something with which to work.

Mark Richardson led by example in the centre of defence, making important tackles and Louth had to work hard to double their lead, but eventually their pressure told.

Grantham scrapped hard and began to work their way into the game, passing the ball crisply and showing patience in building from the back. Attacking down the right continued to reap rewards and as Phillips cut in from his wing, he unleashed an aerial shot across the goalkeeper that flew into the net to halve the deficit.

In the second half, Grantham enjoyed far more possession, bringing Rob Buxton, Ben Willey and Groom into the game more, and further driving runs from both Adam and Oli Phillips created opportunities. An excellent run and cross from Adam Phillips was met by Hollingworth but the Louth goalkeeper saved well from close range.

Louth threatened to score a third with a few sweeping counter-attacks but James Kerr, Richardson and Buxton were on their game.

The Harrison Green man of the match was Sam MacAllister.

Grantham: Barton, Buxton, Richardson, Kerr, O. Phillips, Gray, MacAllister, Groom, A. Phillips, Willey, Hollingworth, Nix