Westcarr hat trick rescues point for Grantham Town
Northern Premier League
Lancaster City 3
Grantham Town 3
Craig Westcarr’s hat trick was only enough to rescue a point for the Gingerbreads as the goals flew in at Lancaster.
Westcarr initially put Grantham in front, but Lancaster twice had the lead but could not close the game out.
Town boss Paul Rawden said: “That was not a great game to be a manager in. We gave away sloppy goals and so did they. I thought we got bullied a bit, but we kept going and earned the point.”
After seven minutes, James Berrett and Jack McGovern quickly combined to play a through-ball for Westcarr. The Gingerbreads striker rounded the Lancaster goalkeeper and slotted into the empty net.
The home side began to use the space on the Grantham right to create crosses, but created few chances as Grantham defended strongly. Lancaster’s Paul Dawson began to exert an influence on the game, shooting just over the bar after 21 minutes when he controlled a cross-field pass and let fly from distance.
Westcarr almost added a second after half an hour. Tom Nicholson hit a booming clearance to the Grantham striker who turned and let fly, beating Sam Ashton, but Luke Thompson cleared off the line.
Lancaster’s pressure led to an equaliser four minutes before the break. Jack Broadhead conceded a free kick 20 yards out when he appeared to be pushed. Dawson hit the free kick through the Grantham wall and in the net off the far post.
The home side maintained their pressure after the break. On 53 minutes a low cross for Charlie Bailey saw him turn at the near post, but fire wide. A minute later, Grantham were opened up down their left from a free kick. Bailey found Dawson and his low cross was met at the near post by Matty Blinkhorn who found the net to put Lancaster in front.
The lead only lasted two minutes before Westcarr grabbed his second goal of the game. A quick break saw the Grantham striker one on one with the home side goalkeeper again and for the second time in the game beat him comfortably.
Dawson rattled the frame of the Grantham goal after 58 minutes with a fierce drive. Nicholson turned another effort from Dawson over the crossbar as Lancaster looked to retake the lead.
The home side continued to turn the screw on Grantham, and got the goal they looked for on 74 minutes. A deep corner found Dawson unmarked inside the Grantham six yard box and there was no stopping his powerful header.
Twice in the next five minutes, Dawson threatened to take the game away from Grantham. A deep free kick found him unmarked again, but headed wide of the mark. After 76minutes he opened up the Gingerbreads defence again but his shot was deflected wide.
With 10 minutes remaining, Westcarr completed his hat trick. Rodrigo Goncalves played in James Berrett on the right. Berrett’s cross was perfectly placed for Westcarr to glance his header in and level scores again.
Both sides had chances to take all three points, but good goalkeeping and wayward shooting ensured a draw. Dawson fired another effort just wide and Nicholson blocked a run from Bailey. At the other end, Ashton denied Rodrigo Goncalves and a clearance off the line by Niall Cowperthwaite in injury time denied Westcarr a winner.