HOCKEY: Six-goal Grantham defeat Wisbech at Meres

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Grantham produced the sort performance they have been threatening for several weeks, putting six goals past Wisbech Town to take their second straight league victory at The Meres.

East League 5

North (West)

Grantham 6

Wisbech Town 4th 1

Following last week’s attritional victory over Cambridge Nomads, Grantham were keen to embrace a new style of play, and from the first whistle, an expansive move saw Grantham with the ball in the Wisbech net with less than a minute played.

The move started from the back, moved from the centre to the wing and vice-versa before neat interplay between Lloyd Morris-Fletcher, Benjie Groom and Paul Hollingworth saw the latter turn sharply and push the ball past the onrushing keeper.

Wisbech were shell-shocked and Grantham struck again. Morris-Fletcher, an ever-present thorn in Wisbech’s side, floated through into the shooting circle and made no mistake, firing the ball hard into the backboard before the punch-drunk defenders could think what to make of his jinking run.

At this point the tide was firmly in favour of the men in red. Soon after, Hollingworth ran through the centre, picking up a slide-rule pass from tireless midfield dynamo Sam MacAllister, drew the keeper and slipped left to the waiting stick of captain Groom. An open goal beckoned but Groom was unable to convert, offering Wisbech some hope of getting back into the game.

Morris-Fletcher then avoided several tackles during another breezy, barnstorming run into the D, sparing Groom’s blushes by smashing his second home with consummate ease.

After half time, Grantham’s only lowt came when they conceded a goal from a penalty corner late in the game, lifted past a stranded Will Leadenham. Aside from that, Grantham’s back four of Jem Hill, Mark Richardson, Nick Wraith and Rob Buxton were rarely troubled.

Sensible play from all areas of the pitch, with wingers Alex Clark, Will Hill and midfield enforcer Mark Gray combining neatly throughout, resulted in numerous chances. Grantham made their pressure count and continued to play their game.

Morris-Fletcher rode more tackles before rapidly pushing the ball directly behind him parallel to the goal, a poorly positioned Wisbech foot applying the finishing touch.

Grantham sandwiched two more strikes around the Wisbech goal, Gray and Hill finding their mark with calm precision, before MacAllister was named as the AWS Appliance Spares man of the match.

Grantham: Leadenham, Wraith, Richardson, J. Hill, Buxton, W. Hill, Clarke, Groom (c), Hollingworth, Morris-Fletcher, Gray, MacAllister.