Derby Day Delight
The Gingerbreads came home with all three points from the first league derby
between these two sides for 33 years. A late own goal separated the sides in the end after a rip-roaring Boxing Day game watched by just over 700.
Grantham Town manager Richard Thomas was pleased with the win. “We’ve told the boys to respect a point and would have taken that with five minutes to go.” Thomas said. “When you respect the point and do the right things, you sometimes get the unexpected things. A quality ball caused problems and we got fortunate, but we competed well and competed.”
Both sides tested each other out for the first fifteen minutes. Grantham just edged the chances, Danny Durkin burst through from a wide position after 6 minutes, but Jon Stewart took his high drive comfortably.
The home side gradually got on top as the half progressed and had good chance to take the lead. After 17 minutes, Alex Byrne fed Ross Hannah. Hannah picked out Ashley Worsfold. Worsfold’s shot glanced off the Gingerbreads crossbar.
After a series of corners for the home side, Gainsborough skipper Shane Clarke had two great chances to open the scoring, but missed the target with one effort while Fernando Bell-Toxtle blocked the other well.
The first half ended evenly as Grantham came back into the game more, but neither side could get the breakthrough. Bell-Toxtle set up a couple of chances and the home side breathed a sigh of relief when Branden Horton stuck out a leg to divert Bell-Toxtle’s cross and hit his goalkeeper Stewart.
Immediately after the break, the home side got their noses in front. Just two minutes into the second period a low cross into the Grantham six yard box caused problems for the Gingerbreads and at the second attempt Worsfold stabbed the ball home past Jordan Wright.
Grantham battled their way back into the game. Ryley Thompson took the ball on and shot wide ten minutes into the second half, when Danny Durkin may have been in a better position. Durkin levelled scores after 57 minutes. He slipped between two Gainsborough defenders on the edge of the penalty area and struck a good shot past Stewart.
The sides were only level for two minutes; Grantham gave a way a free kick 20 yards out in a central position. Hannah stepped up and curled the ball perfectly into the bottom corner of the net.
The Gingerbreads stayed solid despite trailing for the second time in the match and got their reward with a quarter of an hour to go. This time it was Durkin who turned provider, driving a cross into the Gainsborough six yard box from the right flank. The ball came all the way through to Thompson at the far post and he fired through Stewart to level scores again.
Trinity dominated possession for the last quarter of an hour, but apart from a couple of headers from Nathan Stainsfield and Worsfold, didn’t trouble the Grantham goal. The Gingerbreads got the winner with a quick break in the last couple of minutes. Durkin again gave the Gainsborough defence problems. He delivered another quality cross into the penalty area. Maguire stooped to head it out for a corner under no real pressure, but got his angles wrong and put his header past Stewart and just inside the post.
Referee Mr Richardson added a nervous four minutes for the Gingerbreads to hold out. Stout defending only allowed Gainsborough a slight glimpse of goal from a corner, but Wright got to the ball well and Grantham had all three points.