Town Can't Hold On For Point
By Simon Hayes
A late goal for the home side denied the Gingerbreads a point on the road
as they slipped to a single goal defeat for the third consecutive away game. It was a better performance than that at Hednesford the previous week, but the Gingerbreads still came home empty handed.
"I thought we deserved a point." Said Gingerbreads joint manager Paul Rawden. "I couldn't fault the desire or application today. We defended and broke well and deserved something from the game."
Grantham had the wind at their backs for the first half, but failed to make the most of it. Home goalkeeper Greg Hall didn't have a save to make as Grantham over hit a number of forward passes or were hustled off the ball by a well organised Witton defence.
The best chance of a first half where neither goalkeeper was stretched came on 29 minutes. Danny McKenna got some space inside the Grantham penalty area, but curled his shot over the top of the net.
Witton defender River Humphreys was lucky to not be punished by referee Mr Wyatt just after the half hour mark. He went through Chris Dawson with a wild challenge as the Grantham player looked like delivering a cross from wide. Dawson was left needing treatment while Mr Wyatt merely gave a throw in.
Osebi Abadaki caused problems for the Gingerbreads late in the first half. He got on the end of a pass from Will Jones, but shot weakly at Sam Andrews. His cross a minute later was turned wide by Rob Hopley from a good position.
Dawson kick started a brighter second half for Grantham. A minute into the second period, he cut inside, but his shot rolled wide. Play moved quickly from end to end, but neither side could get on top of the game for a long while.
Humphreys was again involved in a talking point after an hour. The game had turned feisty and when the home side's defender manhandled Akeel Francis inside the penalty area, again missed by Mr Wyatt, Francis reacted which ended up with both players booked.
Danny Brooks fizzed in a free kick on 70 minutes that Hall fumbled at the foot of his post, but the home goalkeeper recovered well enough to snuff out the danger. Michael Tweed opened up a shooting chance 7 minutes later, but his effort was blocked.
Grantham were pressed back with ten minutes to go. Abadaki and Matty Devine both drove low crosses into the Grantham penalty area that only lacked a final touch, but the Gingerbreads survived. The deciding goal came shortly after. Devine aimed a ball for Hopley who flicked the ball on for Jones. He stepped past one challenge before firing past Andrews.
The Gingerbreads pushed hard for an equaliser in the remaining time, but the home side kept resolute. Hall wasn't troubled as Grantham ran out of time and ideas.