Gingerbreads Leap To Second
Grantham were made to work hard for the three points as Witton Albion gave the Gingerbreads a late scare.
Grantham's seventh away win of the season looked wrapped up with 15 minutes to go, but two late goals by the home side jangled nerves amongst the visitors.
Witton started well, but found Grantham in uncompromising mood minimising chances from the home side. Prince Haywood and Owen Dale had early shooting opportunities, BurLington Preston denied Haywood while Dale was closed down as he shot.
The first chance for the Gingerbreads lead to the opening goal. With 21 minutes gone, Curtis Burrows whipped a cross into the near post. Jordan Hempenstall got in front of his man to head past Witton goalkeeper Calvin Hare.
Witton continued to have the better chances. Dale had another effort blocked by Preston and from a corner, the Grantham goalkeeper also denied Tom Owens. Grantham continued to frustrate the home side as the half drew to a close.
Early in the second half, Preston kept Grantham in front again. Owens played in Steven Tames who crossed for Dale at the far post. The Gingerbreads goalkeeper made a good block to deny the home side again.
Hempenstall got his second of the game on 57 minutes. Witton won a corner which the Gingerbreads defended well. A long clearance found Hempenstall just inside the Witton half. He showed a turn of pace to hold off Haywood and slip the ball under Witton goalkeeper Hare.
Grantham continued to frustrate Witton despite the home side having the better of the possession for a while. Grantham began to get the better chances as the game went into it's last quarter. Andy Wright had a shot deflected for a corner after 73 minutes.
The Gingerbreads forced another flag kick.Witton cleared their penalty area, but only as far as Olly Luto. His cross found skipper Stefan Galinski who glanced his header off the inside of the post to put Grantham three goals clear.
Rather than seeing the game out from that point on, Grantham found themselves in a fight to hold on for all three points. After Michael Hollingsworth had a shot well saved by Hare, the home side took the game to Grantham.
With five minutes of the 90 left, Witton got what seemed to be a consolation goal. Matty Devine got away on the Grantham right and delivered a cross into the Gingerbreads six yard box. Rob Hopley hooked the ball past Preston.
With eight minutes of injury time added by Mr Atkinson after an injury to Witton's Paul Williams, the home side didn't give up. Seven minutes into added time they got a second goal. This time Dale supplied the cross for Hopley to grab his second goal. There was not enough time left for a third goal for the home side as Grantham moved into second place in the table.
Match report by Graham Cowell