First Away Point For Rawden and Cousins
By Simon Hayes
Further changes to the Gingerbreads line-up and formation saw them take the game to Nantwich Town and come away with a deserved point.
In a game with few clear chances at either end, Grantham matched their play-off chasing opponents and but for a questionable decision from referee Mr Baines just before half time, could have had all three points.
“I think we’ve bossed them on their own pitch.” Said Grantham Town Manager Paul Rawden. “I think the Ref’s given them an absolutely soft penalty when Dawson’s won the ball cleanly, but to come back after conceding so near half time was excellent.”
Ross Barrows’ departure in the week and an injury to Sam Cartwight forced some changes to the Gingerbreads line-up. With two new signings in Shane Benjamin and Callum Coyle, Grantham went with a bold 4-3-3 formation
Early exchanges were even as Nantwich tries to make the most of the free kicks they were awarded by Mr Baines while Grantham earned corners rather than free kicks. Neither side could take advantage of their dead ball situations, despite both sides causing problems with their delivery.
The Gingerbreads worked hard across midfield to deny Nantwich time to settle and the Grantham back four supported that effort by wining almost everything Nantwich threw forward. Midway through the first half, Grantham won another corner and went close to taking the lead. A header by Kern Miller flashed just wide when the centre half should have hit the target.
A couple of minutes later, the Gingerbreads had to defend a flurry odf corners from the home side. Five times in two minutes Nantwich took flag kicks, only for the Gingerbreads defence to win every one of them. When Danny Glover took a tumble inside the penalty area after half an hour, it showed the home sides’ frustration as Mr Baines ignored his efforts to get a decision.
Jordan Adebayo-Smith set up Shane Benjamin five minutes before halftime, but the Gingerbreads debutant had his shot smothered by the home defence. Right on the stroke of halftime, Mr Baines gave the home side a penalty.
A good move between Glover and Joe Malkin saw Malkin clear of the Grantham defence. Chris Dawson slid in across Malkin from just behind the Nantwich striker and poked the ball to Sam Andrews. Malkin went over the Gingerbreads midfielders legs and won the decision from the referee. Sean Cooke drove the spot kick home to give Nantwich a half time lead.
The home side were on top for the first ten minutes of the second half, but only had one real effort to show for their possession. A good low cross by Nathan Cotterell found Malkin, but his shot didn’t stretch Andrew.in the Grantham goal
Having weathered the early storm from the home side, Grantham began to impose themselves of the game. Coyle became influential through the centre of the Gingerbreads midfield and was involved in a series of moves that led to the equaliser. .
On 52 minutes, Coyle played a one-two with Adebayo-Smith, but couldn’t get his shot right. On 61 minutes he tried again, this time exchanging passes with Akeel Francis before driving in a low cross that bounced around inside the Nantwich penalty area before Benjamin pounced to drive home the equaliser.
Great defending by the gingerbreads kept the home side at arms length for the remainder of the game. Miller and Tom Ward won everything in the Grantham penalty area and the midfield kept harrying the home side into mistakes and ensuring the Gingerbreads managers got their first point away from home.
Photo courtesy of Jonathan White