It's Never Too Late For Jingle Bells
Adam Stevens named the same side that won on New Years Day. Stefan Galinski was back from illness.
Grantham came home with a well earned three points, first containing their hosts, then taking their chances to put Halesowen out of the game. The win lifted Grantham back to second in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Premier Division.
The first twenty-five minutes were fairly even as both sides played open football and tried to grasp the initiative. Twice the Gingerbreads defence had to get there first to block efforts from Matthew Barnes-Homer and Kevin Da Viega Monteiro.
In between those chances the Gingerbreads had shown their intent and after Jordan Hempenstall and Danny Meadows went close, Grantham took the lead on 30 minutes. Not for the last time in the game, Lee Shaw beat his man and fired in a shot. Halesowen goalkeeper Daniel Platt saved Shaw's effort, but the ball rebounded nicely for Curtis Burrows to nod into the empty net.
Seven minutes later it was 2-0 to the Gingerbreads. This time it was Lee Shaw who finished well. Grantham broke quickly after defending a Halesowen free kick. Hempenstall flicked the ball on for Shaw. The Grantham striker had too much pace for Halesowen defender Asa Charlton and slid his shot past Platt.
After the break, Grantham maintained their dominance of the game to deny Halesowen any chance to get back into the game. A solid rearguard denied the home side a sight of goal. Their only half chance was dragged well wide by Roland Agbor
The Gingerbreads control of the game seemed complete on 63 minutes when they beat the Halesowen defence again for a third goal. Clearing a Halesowen corner, Shaw sent Andy Wright held off the challenge from Exodus Geohaghon and from a narrow angle beat Platt with his shot.
With a three goal cushion, Grantham maybe took their foot off the gas, but Halesowen certainly didn't. Khaellem Bailey-Nicholls dragged his 71st minute effort wide, but with 8 minutes left, Halesowen pulled one back. Agbor had enough time to turn inside the Grantham penalty area and fire into the top corner of the Gingerbreads net.
Halesowen went close to making the final minutes awkward for the Gingerbreads. As the game moved into injury time, a poor clearance from Kieron Preston fell to Yasin Al-Masry. Fortunately for Grantham, his shot was too close to Preston and the Grantham goalkeeper recovered well.
A minute later, Preston was in action again. Agbor again had time to fire in a shot, but the Gingerbreads goalkeeper was equal to his effort to ensure a comfortable three points for Grantham.
By Graham Cowell