Ten men Gingerbreads beaten on opening day
Town: 1.James Lindley, 2.Sam
Purcicoe, 3.Lee Potts, 4.Grant Brindley, 5.Sam Saunders, 6.Phil Watt, 7.Rhys
Lewis, 8.Martin Ball, 9.Paul Grimes (14.Karl Demidh, 71 mins), 10.Ben Saunders
(17.Jamie McGhee, 55 mins), 11.Emeka Nwadike (15.Damien Magee, 83 mins). Subs
not used: 12.Tony Battersby,
United of Manchester: 1.James Spencer,
2.Kyle Jacobs, 3.Lee Neville, 4.Dave Birch (15.Scott Cheetham, 71 mins), 5.Adam
Jones, 6.Dean Stott, 7.Carlos Rocca (12.Stephen Johnson, 56 mins), 8.Jake
Cottrell, 9.Mike Norton (16.Kris Amadi, 78 mins), 10.Jerome Wright, 11.Matthew
Wolfenden. Subs not used: 14.Daniel
Grimshaw, 17.Charlile Anderson.
Town: Grimes (12 mins),
Purcicoe (53 mins).
United of Manchester: Jones (38 mins),
Wright (47 mins), Rocca (51 mins), Norton (67 mins).
Town: Brindley (34 mins),
McGhee (59 mins), Potts (88 mins).
United of Manchester: Birch (28 mins).
Town: Lindley (47 mins).
Referee: Mr S Finch.
Gingerbreads season opener saw them push promotion favourites fc united of
Manchester all the way. Until the game changed just after half time with a
sending off, Grantham were more than a match for their fancied opponents.
Lindley punched clear a couple of early efforts from the visitors, but it was Paul
Grimes who had the biggest early impact. First he curled a shot from the edge
of the penalty area round the post; then Grimes gave Grantham the lead. After
12 minutes, Grimes ran through the United defence and slipped the ball past James
Spencer to open the Gingerbreads Premier Division account.
continued to have the better of the game. Rhys Lewis had a free header on goal,
which didn’t have enough power to test Spencer. Minutes later, Martin Balls’ free
kick from the edge of the ‘D’ was spilled by Spencer, but he managed to recover
and collect the ball.
visitors were resorting to the long ball as Grantham defended well; but seven
minutes before half time, they levelled from a corner. Carlos Roca’s corner
found Adam Jones at the far post, who headed across Jimmy Lindley into the
Saunders and Grimes had chances to restore the Gingerbreads lead before the
break, but neither could make the most of their opportunities. Straight after
the break, Grantham nearly caught the visitors cold again. Kyle Jacobs rescued
FC United at the expense of a corner.
minutes after the break, the game changed. Mike Norton was allowed to run on
from a seemingly offside position. As he tried to round Lindley, the Grantham
keeper brought him down and referee Mr Finch awarded the penalty and sent
Lindley off. Grant Brindley went between the sticks and his first action was to
save the penalty kick. Unfortunately for Grantham, however Jerome Wright gathered
the rebound, and finished well from a tight angle.
Grantham were still reorganising, FC United took advantage to stretch their
lead. Four minutes after Brindley took over in goal, Roca arrived at the far
post to pick up Wright’s cross and squeeze the ball between the keeper and the
being a man short and two goals down, Grantham didn’t give up. On 53 minutes,
Sam Purcicoe gave them hope of pulling if a result with a great strike from
distance, beating Spencer to his right. FC
United were clung to their lead as a cross to the far post looked likely to be the
equaliser, but Lee Neville cleared the ball off the line.
fourth goal in twenty minutes finished the game. FC United moved the ball
forward well and Mike Norton gathered the ball; then flicked it over Brindley
to restore a two goal cushion.
goals down with twenty minutes to go, Grantham pushed forward. Martin Ball
played a good pass through for Emeka Nadwike. He got to a low header which
Spencer pushed around the post. The Gingerbreads tried to find a way back in
the closing stages, but FC United closed the game out.