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Promotion-hunting Grantham Town forced to share points with Pitmen

Pitmen keeper Jose Veiga smothers the ball from Sam Osborne in the first half. Photo: Toby Roberts
Pitmen keeper Jose Veiga smothers the ball from Sam Osborne in the first half. Photo: Toby Roberts

Northern Premier League

Premier Division

Grantham Town 1

Hednesford Town 1

Promotion hunters Grantham Town were cruelly robbed of all three points after 95 minutes of play against The Pitmen at The Meres on Tuesday night.

The Gingerbreads dominated throughout in a match too often punctuated by the overly fastidious refereeing of Mr Pidduck who completely disrupted the flow of the game.

Grantham had the first chance on goal in the fifth minute but Hednesford goalkeeper Jose Veiga parried Andrew Wright’s strike, before smothering the ball from any further danger from Sam Osborne.

The visitors had little answer to the Gingerbreads’ pace going forward and struggled to keep their penalty area clear as the home side had chance after chance.

The Pitmen’s first opportunity came from a free kick on the quarter hour mark, but Grantham keeper Kieran Preston was equal to James Lawrie’s effort.

Osborne had time aplenty to take aim and tee up his 22nd minute shot but he drove the ball over the crossbar. Veiga denied Osborne a header a minute later, catching Oliver Luto’s high free kick into the box.

It was Osborne again in the 26th minute with a fine solo effort, but once more Veiga did enough to stretch and stop the ball in time.

The Gingerbreads went close again on the half hour mark with Curtis Burrows’ 25 yard free kick just bobbling past the near post.

Grantham had another chance from a free kick on 36 minutes but Burrows’ effort this time went skywards from 30 yards.

After an ultimately fruitless first half, with countless set-pieces for the home side, the second 45 minutes began with the Gingerbreads once again dominating proceedings.

However, as inept as the visitors were, they still somehow managed to flummox Grantham and bring them down to their level.

Hednesdford did test the home side in the 56th minute when Lawrie struck from close range, but Preston was alert to get a hand on the ball and tip it to safety.

The Gingerbreads were finally rewarded for their constant bombardment of the visitors’ goal in the 62nd minute. A shot from Osborne’s corner kick was cleared off the line but only upwards, with the ball coming down to Stefan Galinski who headed in from close range.

Grantham had a good opportunity to double their lead in the 74th minute, with substitute Jordan Hempenstall’s ball finding Lee Shaw who was just denied by Veiga who managed to get a finger to his shot and tip it wide of the far post.

The pattern of the game continued till the end, with Luto firing just over in the 86th minute, as Hednesford still showed very little going forward.

Mr Pidduck indicated there would be a minimum of four minutes of added time and the visitors made the most of them.

Preston was on hand to collect a dangerous ball into the box to deny sub Danny Glover a header in the 91st minute. And Preston needed to be alert to make sure Reece King’s header rolled past the post two minutes later.

But Grantham and Preston were caught out in the dying seconds when Glover headed in from a well-weighted Lawrie cross to prevent the Gingerbreads from securing all three points.

Grantham Town: Preston, Potts, Luto, Lewis, Galinski (c), McGovern, Meadows, Wright (Hollingsworth 72), Osborne (Vince 77), Shaw, Burrows (Hempenstall 51). Subs not used: McMenemy, Thompson. Att: 271.


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