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Time well and truly running out for Grantham Town following defeat to Seasiders

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Northern Premier League Premier Division

Grantham Town 0

Whitby Town 2

Grantham Town players watch on as Lee Shaw chases a loose ball. Photo: Toby Roberts (55711054)
Grantham Town players watch on as Lee Shaw chases a loose ball. Photo: Toby Roberts (55711054)

Grantham Town's relegation worries were dealt a serious blow against Whitby Town on Saturday, with the Gingerbreads now 14 points from safety, with only another 15 possible points available to them.

Grantham bossed the first half, stifling every Seasiders move and once again having the majority of chances on goal.

But conceding two goals in the first 20 minutes of the second half sealed their fate and will most probably prove to be the final nail in the Gingerbreads coffin.

An unseasonably warm and sunny Meres stadium greeted the two sides, with the home side having the first opportunity in the fourth minute, but there were no Grantham players in the box to meet skipper Elliott Durrell's header.

The Gingerbreads' next chance came four minures later. Lee Shaw played a ball through to Durrell who crossed for an Ali Aydemir header, but a Whitby defender headed it out for a corner. Durrell's flag kick went Thomas Unwin's way, but he was denied by visiting goalkeeper Shane Bland.

The Seasiders' first sniff at goal came a minute later, but Grantham keeper Jim Pollard caught the close range header.

Durrell's 10th minute shot from a Matthew McBride cross was caught by Bland.

Whitby's Lewis Hawkins sent a half volley over the bar on 20 minutes whilst two minutes later, at the other end, a good move saw Sisa Tuntulawana break down the right, play a ball through to Aydemir who crossed for Shaw. Shaw could only cut the ball back into the box but Whitby cleared the danger.

A 25th minute Tuntulawana ball found Aydemir who ran into the box but fired just wide of the Whitby goal.

Grantham were at it again two minutes later when Durrell's cross-cum-shot was deflected out for a corner kick by defender Soni Fergus. Ashton Hall got a header to Durrell's flag kick but no team-mate was able to get the vital touch.

And then on 34 minutes, Harry Wood fired a half volley not too wide of the Whitby far post. Durrell pulled a cross back across the visitors' goal, but again no-one could quite get to it.

Pollard came to Grantham's rescue in the 41th minute, diving down quickly to smother Jacob Hazel's cross from eager Whitby feet.

The Gingerbreads' last chance of the half to go ahead came with a minute to play. Grantham were awarded a free kick following a trip on Tuntulawana 30 yards out. Durrell's free kick was negated by an offside flag, whilst team-mate Shane Clarke was also protesting he was held back in the box.

All Grantham's first-half good work in disrupting Whitby's usually more flowing game was forgotten two minutes after the break.

Hazel was allowed too easily to make his way through the Grantham penalty area to find himself one-on-one with Pollard. Hazel nodded the ball to his side and knocked an easy shot into the back of the net.

The Seasiders almost had a dramatic second goal on 54 minutes when Hawkins connected his overhead kick to a long free kick but, fortunately for Grantham fans, Pollard was equal to his effort.

The Gingerbreads had an opportunity to level just before the hour mark when Aydemir won a free kick 35 yards out. Durrell took it and the ball was flicked on into the danger area, but Bland was first to it.

Whitby doubled their advantage in the 63rd minute. Priestley Keithley's 35-yard free kick was headed on to Hawkins who volleyed spectacularly past Pollard and into the Grantham net.

The Gingerbreads' star striker Ricky Miller was seen warming up at half time and was brought on tout suite, no doubt hoping to be Grantham's super sub of the day.

The Whitby defence were well aware of Miller's potential and he was first brought down in the 69th minute. Durrell's free kick was punched to safety by Bland.

Miller was on the floor again a minute later, fouled by Hawkins near half way. Durrell's free kick came to naught.

Bland once again punched Miller's 76th minute corner kick from danger.

The Seasiders had two very good chances to extend their lead in the 81st and 85th minutes. First a corner kick was swung out to Hawkins who played the ball in to Bradley Fewster, but his sitter was deflected wide for a corner kick. Four minutes later, Hazel was unlucky to strike the post with Grantham keeper Pollard expecting the ball to go wide and remaining statuesque.

The nearest Grantham went to claiming a consolation goal in the dying minutes was from one of many long Tuntulawana throws, but Bland as usual rose highest to catch with confidence.

Grantham Town: Pollard, Tuntulawana, Storey, Clarke (Townrow 86), Unwin, Hall, Aydemir (Johnson 78), Wood (Miller 64), Durrell (c), McBride, Shaw. Subs not used: Stones, Bailey-Nicholls. Att: 229.

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