Last Day of the Season
By Simon Hayes
A goal on the stroke of half time put the Gingerbreads on the back foot after defending well
for the first half and creating chances to take the lead themselves. Andy Scott turned in low drive from Scott Bakkor as Grantham looked for the half time whistle.
"We switched off again just before the break and got punished for it." Said Gingerbreads Joint Manager Paul Rawden. "We created a couple of chances, but didn't really do enough to get back on terms."
In poor conditions with rain and wind driving down the pitch, both sides struggled to play quality football. The home side had the first chance of the game when Jack McGovern lost possession and Ross Dent played in Neil Kengni. The Stalybridge striker didn't make a good contact and the chance was missed.
After a quarter of an hour, the Gingerbreads had a good chance themselves. A poor back pass by Chris Smalley was pounced on by Jordan Adebayo-Smith. Similar to Kengni, he couldn't find the target from a good position.
Kengni got in again on 26 minutes, sent in behind the Grantham defence by Andy Scott. Kengni only had Sam Andrew to beat, but the Gingerbreads goalkeeper got his angles right to block the shot.
As the half went into its last fifteen minutes, the home side turned up the heat on Grantham. Dent had a volley blocked after 36 minutes and Scott Bakkor began to cause problems for the Grantham defence. A good cross was headed clear by Tom Ward.
Bakkor set up the only goal of the game two minutes into first half stoppage time. He was played in by Glen Rule. Bakkor ran at the Grantham defence and drove in a low cross that Scott turned in from close range.
Both sides cancelled each other out for a long time in the second half. There were twenty minutes gone before Kengni had the first effort of the second half, but shot over the crossbar. Seven minutes later, he set up Dent, but he also missed the target.
Kengni drove a low cross through the Gingerbreads six yard box, but no-one was there to turn it in. With ten minutes left Grantham had a chance to draw level. Chris Dawson beat two defenders inside the penalty area, but lifted his shot over the bar.
Stalybridge finished the game in the Grantham half, but couldn't break through a tight Grantham defence. With nothing happening up front for Grantham, the season finished with a fourth straight defeat without scoring.
Report by Graham Cowell