Grantham Town defeated by the odd goal in three
Northern Premier League Premier Division
Grantham Town 1
Morpeth Town 2
Grantham Town's poor run of form continued with a slender defeat at home to Morpeth Town on Saturday.
The game stumbled into life at quite a pedestrian pace, with Grantham's first chance coming in the sixth minute when Craig Westcarr fired on target from the edge of the box, only to be foiled by goalkeeper Daniel Lowson's catch.
As the pace of the match picked up, the Gingerbreads had a couple more opportunities around the 10-minute mark. Remaye Campbell found himself one-on-one with Lowson but fired straight at him, whilst Jack Wightwick volleyed a dropping ball just wide.
Grantham continued to look the dominant side and, indeed, deservedly went in front on 19 minutes. Westcarr got on to a long ball down the right flank and fired in a half-volley from an acute angle. Lowson got a touch to the ball but could not prevent it flying into the back of the net.
Morpeth began to come into the game more after about half an hour's play, with Stephen Forster's 29th minute shot only being matched by Grantham keeper Adnan Kanuric's save.
The Highwaymen went closer still in the 34th minute. Joseph Walton sneaked a shot goalwards past Kanuric. The ball looked to be going in off the far post, but it bounced across the face of goal and then struck the near post and out again.
The Gingerbreads had a chance to double their advantage in the 37th minute but Campbell somehow fired over the top from inside the box. A minute later, Wightwick and Campbell combined well but the latter's shot was blocked.
Chances at either end saw Morpeth 's Liam Noble blast his 39th minute free kick wide, whilst Rob Atkinson headed into the side netting two minutes later from a Wightwick free kick.
With Grantham looking to go into the half time break in front, Morpeth equalised in the dying seconds of the half when Chris Reid tapped in from close range.
Morpeth began the second half with a real spring in their step and had the first chance on 49 minutes, but Wayne Philips' effort was never going to beat Kanuric. Kanuric was in action a minute later to deny Forster from close range.
Westcarr and Campbell combined well with a great move for Grantham in the 58th minute, but a goal would have been denied by an offside flag.
Westcarr looked sure to restore the Gingerbreads' lead in the 64th minute, but he was just unable to get the slightest touch needed to send Wightwick's cross goalwards from inside the six-yard box.
The game was now a real end-to-end affair, with the search for a winning goal becoming ever more frantic.
Grantham's best chance to steal a winning goal came in the 83rd minute. Westcarrplayed his free kick to Wightwick who fired in from the right, but keeper Lowson gathered safely.
All the Gingerbreads' good work was undone a minute later when Morpeth were awarded a penalty. Grantham substitute Charlie Ward was perhaps unfairly punished for what looked like nothing more than an innocuous push on Noble, who was not even threatening goal. But referee Mr Ricardo pointed straight to the spot and Noble duly tucked away the penalty.
Five minutes of added time was tagged on, but it was not enough for the the battling Gingerbreads to find another goal and take at least a share of the points.
Grantham Town: Kanuric, Currie, Bartle, Atkinson, McGowan, Dunn, Zoko (Ward 77), Tweed (Goncalves 89), Westcarr (c), Campbell, Wightwick. Subs not used: Broadhead, Adelekan, Holford. Att: 145.
More by this authorJohn Burgess