Point Gained? Points Dropped?
By Simon Hayes
With an hour of the game gone, it looked as though Grantham would bring home all three points from North Ferriby. However, a spirited counter from the Yorkshire side denied the Gingerbreads and earned a share of the points.
“I thought we were magnificent tonight.” Said the Gingerbreads manager Ian Culverhouse. “For 75 minutes we were outstanding, we bossed the game, moved the ball well and the two goals were deserved. We let it slip, but we will learn from that.”
The first forty five minutes saw Grantham dominate possession and territory without turning it into goalscoring chances. When Ryan Oliver did get through after 12 minutes, home goalkeeper Lewis Exall was off his line quickly to deny the Gingerbreads striker.
North Ferriby were presented with their best chance of the first half after a quarter of an hour. A poor backpass from Tom Ward let in Ben Leyland, but he fired well wide. Oliver brought another save from Exall, but despite playing high tempo passing and keeping the ball well inside the North Ferriby half, Grantham didn’t stretch Exall too often.
Late in the first half, the home side showed they couldn’t be written off as an attacking force. Tom Curtis gave the ball away in midfield and North Ferriby quickly got Jordan Harrison in behind the Gingerbreads defence. Similar to Leyland earlier in the half, his shot was wayward.
In an action packed second half, Grantham got off to the perfect start. They continued to push their hosts back and after 50 minutes, Ross Barrows scored his second stunning goal of the season. The North Ferriby defence stood off Barrows who cracked a drive in from a good 35 yards out. Exall had no chance as the shot arrowed into the back of the net.
Ten minutes later, Grantham seemed to have wrapped up the points. Jack McGovern blocked an effort from outside the Grantham penalty area and the loose ball was collected by Max Watters. Waters ran directly at the Ferriby goal, leaving defenders in his wake before slipping his shot past Exall.
Rather than deflating North Ferriby, the second Grantham goal seemed to inspire the hosts and the Gingerbreads found their goal under siege. A string of great saves by Theo Richardson and a number of blocks by the defence denied a series of chances. Substitute James Nichols seemed to be at the heart of everything as first McGovern deflects a shot onto the post, then Nichols was denied twice by desperate defending in two minutes.
Richardson twice got to the back post to deny James Piercy and Leyland goalscoring chances, but the Grantham goalkeeper was eventually beaten on 85 minutes. Ferriby forced two corners in quick succession and from the second, Jack Mail powered home a header.
McGovern and Richardson again denied Ferriby as Luke Lofts won yet another corner after Richardson stopped his effort. A minute into injury time, it was Lofts who earned a point for his side. He fired into a crowded penalty area and a deflection wrong footed Richardson to level scores.
There were late scares for Grantham as Lofts and Dan Norton both could have won the game for the home side. Richardson again saving Grantham as both sides had to settle for a point.