Grantham Town lose to Bucks in final few minutes
Northern Premier League Premier Division
Grantham Town 1
There was yet more frustration for the Gingerbreads and their supporters at The Meres on Saturday after they lost their first half lead late in the second - and then conceded twice more in the final three minutes of normal time.
There were yet more new faces in Town's starting line-up, one of whom would put his side in front.
Early goal scoring chances for both sides came from corner kicks. Town skipper Danny Racchi's fourth minute flag kick was headed over the bar by Buxton's Kristian Scott to clear the danger; two minutes later, Scott's own corner was cleared by the Grantham defence.
New Town signing Curtis Morrison's 14th minute cross to the far post had no-one waiting at the other end whilst, two minutes later at the other end, Diego Girolamo's through-ball-cum-shot was on target but easy enough for Grantham goalkeeper Jon Worsnop.
The Gingerbreads' Joel Carta turned and fired goalwards on 21 minutes, but Bucks keeper Grant Shelton had it covered.
Three minutes later, Girolamo shot on target but Worsnop was quickly down to smother the ball.
Jack Broadhead's 25th minute long through-ball was cut out by the Buxton defence before it could reach its intended recipient, Craig Westcarr.
The Gingerbreads took the lead in the 29th minute with a bolt out of the blue. A quick break caught the Bucks napping and Morrison fired in at the near post with some confidence.
The visitors had a chance to level in the 32nd minute but Worsnop punched Scott's dangerous in-swinging corner kick off the goal line.
Town had an opportunity to double their advantage a minute later, but Shelton was able to stop Westcarr's 25-yard drive in its tracks.
Grantham's last real attack of the second half came in the 37th minute and saw Racchi's free kick nodded in by Lee Hughes, only for the linesman to flag for offside.
Buxton had a quick chance to level in the first minute of the second half, but Jordan Nicholson sliced his left footed half-volley over the target.
Town's Carta hit the roof of the net with his 55th minute cross-cum-shot as the game became increasingly frenetic.
Sitting back, Grantham conceded endless corner kicks but theBucks were unable to gain any reward from them as they started to show more going forward.
Perhaps the game could have panned out differently if Carta had scored for the Gingerbreads with his 71st minute effort. He danced around in the Buxton box until he could get the ball to his left boot and fired low, but his shot struck the far post.
Grantham had another opportunity to double their lead three minutes later when Westcarr turned and fired goalwards, but his effort was blocked for a corner kick.
Town's last real chance to maybe put the game to bed came in the 76th minute when substitute Callum Coyle darted into the Bucks box, however, his shot was charged down.
Buxton equalised a minute later with a fortuitous, game-changing penalty after Chris Robertson accidently sliced the ball on to his own hand in the 18-yard box. Referee Mr Dutton pointed to the spot and Girolamo duly dispatched the kick with some verve, driving the penalty straight down the centre of goal.
Worsnop made a great, high, one-handed save to deny Nicholson in the 83rd minute, with the rebound being fired over the bar.
With the visitors now playing with real purpose, one sensed that Buxton could smell victory.
And, in the 87th minute, they went in front when Girolamo dinked the ball over Worsnop in a scramble following a Nicholson corner kick.
There was precious little time remaining for theGingerbreads to try and redress the balance, less still after Buxton added a third goal in the 90th minute when sub Rumenio Barai finished off a Nicholson header.
Four added minutes and two more very late substitutions were too little, too late for Grantham Town.
Grantham Town: Worsnop, Berrett, Scarz, Willock, Robertson, Racchi, Broadhead, Carta, Hughes, Westcarr, Morrison. Subs: Coyle, Dunn, Campbell, Bartle, Wightwick. Att: 202.
More by this authorJohn Burgess