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Depleted Grantham Town under-13s knocked out of cup

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King's Lynn Town U13 6

Grantham Town U13 2

Action from Grantham Town under-13s from earlier in the season. (53674715)
Action from Grantham Town under-13s from earlier in the season. (53674715)

Last year's JPL National Cup winners Grantham Town will not be repeating their amazing success this season, as a depleted squad travelled to King's Lynn to face the team that beat them 4-1 in the league just before Christmas.

With injuries and Covid taking its toll on the Gingerbreads, it was always going to be a difficult task against a much improved King's Lynn.

On a bog of a pitch, both teams found it difficult to settle, but Grantham gifted the home side an early opportunity with a poor clearance that was duly converted to make it 1-0.

Their lead only lasted a couple of minutes as Grantham broke the offside trap, sending Carrick Willcock clear. As he reached the ball in the penalty area, the home keeper was late with his challenge.

The referee subsequently awarded the spot kick which Henry Thomas coolly struck home to equalise.

Willcock took a heavy blow to the head in the incident and was unable to continue, reducing Grantham's limited options further.

Grantham's joy was short lived as more poor defending from the visitors allowed the King's Lynn midfielder to turn easily on the edge of the box and pick out a team-mate to slide home to make it 2-1.

The home team scored a third with a free kick that gave Grantham keeper Harrison Bexon little chance, and Bexon had to be at his best a moment later to stop a fourth goal, as he dived down low to palm wide for a corner kick.

The Gingerbreads did have some pressure of their own just before half time but Thomas could not quite prod home after a goalmouth scramble.

The second half started with King's Lynn in full command. The home forward rounded the keeper but Grantham's Arthur Dobson came from nowhere to clear the ball off the line.

But King's Lynn then added two further goals in quick succession. Firstly possession was lost in Grantham's midfield before the ball was slammed home. Then as the visitors pushed forward, they were hit on the counter-attack as King's Lynn made it 5-1.

There was a glimmer of hope for Grantham as Layton Smart drove a shot from long range that found the corner of the net, and although the Gingerbreads finished the last 15 minutes of the game with 10 men, they dug deep and began to create further chances for themselves.

Thomas had a shot blocked in the six yard box and the rebound could not be forced home by Max Davies. Cohen Lawson then showed good skill on the edge of the box, but his shot flew inches over the bar.

Thomas had another effort that looked to be heading for the bottom corner, but for the hand of the goalkeeper turning it round the post. Then Davies was sent through one-on-one, his shot was saved and Thomas could noat convert the rebound.

Against the flow of the previous 10 minutes, King's Lynn added a sixth as their striker clipped a first time finish into the net, and moments later keeper Bexon tipped the ball wide as the home side tried to wrap things up.

Grantham, however, never gave up and still had time for another chance as Davies was sent clear, but again the home keeper made himself big to thwart the attack.

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