YOUTH FOOTBALL: Grantham Town under-13s impress on stadium debut
Mid Lincs League
Grantham Town 6
Grantham Town’s youngsters experienced playing on the the main pitch at The Meres stadium for the first time and started the match brightly.
With the wind in their favour, the Gingerbreads created chances early on, with a shot on five minutes from Lewis Smith neatly tipped over the crossbar by the Birchwood keeper.
More chances went begging for Grantham as they tried to get on top. The visitors came more into the game and troubled the Town defence who worked hard to keep out the Birchwood attackers.
On 16 minutes, Grantham were awarded a free kick on the edge of the Birchwood box which was taken by top scorer Lewis Smith who smashed the ball into the top corner of the net, out of the keeper’s reach.
From the kick-off, Grantham won the ball back and Kieran Smith calmly finished to put Grantham 2-0 up.
Moments later, good work from Alfie Hardman gave him a chance at goal but his shot narrowly went over the bar.
Matthew Lambley and Henry Johnson put in good performances as full backs and Liam Ginnelly worked a good shift in midfield.
Luke Pulfrey came on as a substitute and caused the opposition problems with his pace.
The hosts were growing in confidence and broke through again when Lewis Smith received the ball from Kieran Smith to make it 3-0 on 29 minutes.
Just before the half time whistle, Kieran Smith added another, and then Ollie Burton won the ball from the kick-off and put Kieran Smith through to complete his hat trick and put the home side 5-0 up at the interval.
Grantham had the wind against them in the second period as they tried to continue their good work from the first half.
Four minutes into the half, Lewis Smith put the Gingerbreads 6-0 ahead with a fine low strike to complete his hat trick.
Birchwood defended well and kept Grantham out as did Tom Clark and Matthew Smith in the Grantham defence. Grantham keeper Harry Pulfrey was rarely troubled but his goal kicks were excellent considering the wind speed. The hosts’ midfielders worked hard all game with great performances from Ollie Burton and Jack Carroll.
Keiran Tarver went close to furthering the Gingerbreads’ lead but his shot was gathered by the Birchwood keeper who had made several good stops to deny Grantham.
Birchwood finally got some reward for their hard work and bagged a consolation goal.
Grantham Town man of the match, chosen by the Birchwood manager, was Jack Carroll.