Not a Happy Day Beside the Seaside
By Simon Hayes
Two late goals in seven minutes undid the Gingerbreads after Grantham
created enough chances to have won the game comfortably. Scarborough played the better football, but until James Walshaw's 71st minute opener, rarely threatened the Grantham goal.
"If we had been two goals in front at half-time, no-one could have complained." Said Gingerbreads Joint Manager Paul Rawden. "But we've said before that you have to take the chances. When we hit the post and the ball rolls along the line and out, you think it might not be your day and it proved that.
The first ten minutes were all Scarborough possession. Solid defending by Grantham gave the home side no way through. Ryan Watson played in James Walshaw after 10 minutes, but his shot rolled a foot wide.
Grantham didn't have too many chances, but the ones they did create deserved better luck. Chris Dawson set up Shane Benjamin a minute after Walshaw's effort, but the Gingerbreads striker lifted his shot over the bar.
Walshaw and Kern Miller were spoken to by the referee after the two clashed in the Grantham box, an off the ball niggle from Walshaw getting a reaction from Miller. Grantham frustrated Scarborough and went close to the lead on 20 minutes. Benjamin again caused the home side problems, turning to shoot and being a good low save from Tommy Taylor.
Scarborough had chances themselves. Kevin Burgess had a free header from a corner and Walshaw go on the end of a free kick, but both put their efforts over the crossbar. Grantham finished the half the strongest. Jordan Adebayo-Smith and Akeel Francis both had efforts blocked by the home defence. The best chance came five minutes from the break when Dawson ran along the by-line and pulled the ball back across the six yard line, but just behind Benjamin and the rest of the Grantham front line.
The second half had a similar story to it for the first 25 minutes. Scarborough had most of the possession, but Grantham had the best chances. On 54 minutes, Francis rose on the six yard line and powered a header goalward. Taylor reacted superbly to tip the ball over the crossbar. From the corner, Dawson did everything but score. His shot beat Taylor, but hit one post and somehow stayed out as it rolled along the line with no-one there to turn it in.
Sam Andrew was in the right place to field a couple of free kicks from dangerous positions, but could do nothing about the hosts’ opener on 71 minutes. Michael Coulson split the Gingerbreads defence with a through-ball for Walshaw. The striker lashed his shot high past Andrew.
Seven minutes later, Scarborough added a second goal. A free kick delivered into the Gingerbreads penalty area was knocked down for Coulson. He had space to shoot past Andrew to seal the game.
The home side could have added a third goal late in the game, but Grantham did enough to stop Luke Loft's late run. It made no difference as the two goals were enough for Scarborough.