but were undone by a deflected goal late in the first half. Despite throwing everything at Buxton and dominating the second period, the luck was not with the Gingerbreads as they could not force the equaliser.
“Everyone can be proud of the way we played in the second half.“ Said Gingerbreads boss Ian Culverhouse. “We played some of the best football this season and deserved t have got something out of the game.”
It was a real game of two halves as each side dominated playing with the slight slope that remains at the Silverlands after laying a new 4G pitch. It was the hosts turn to control the game first. Grantham set up in a solid formation as a reaction to the heavy defeat at South Shields. While they defended well, going forward, Grantham didn’t threaten much for the first half.
The home side forced six corners in the first period to the Gingerbreads one. Sloppy play allowed Buxton the first chance. Jack McGovern gave the ball away cheaply after 6 minutes and home striker Kayde Coppin let loose a fierce shot that Theo Richardson did well to touch away from goal.
Three times in the next six minutes, Richardson kept the Buxton attack at bay as Grantham found themselves under the cosh. First Josh Meade shot straight at the Gingerbreads goalkeeper, then Richardson saved another Coppin effort, before throwing himself at a shot from Garry Gee after the Buxton midfielder wriggled through two Grantham defenders inside the six yard box.
The home side squandered chances as Brad Roscoe and Greg Young both should have done better midway through the first half. On 25 minutes, McGovern had a rare chance for the Gingerbreads. Ryan Oliver flicked the ball on for McGovern, who only had Buxton goalkeeper Theo Roberts to beat, but the home custodian did well to keep scores level.
Brad Grayson set the mar for the way to an opening goal for Buxton. On 35 minutes, Tom Ward headed clear another cross from the space Grantham gave to Buxton’s wide men. It fell to Grayson 26 yards out and his fine shot hit the bar and bounced clear.
There was no let off for the Gingerbreads four minutes before the break. Another clearance dropped 25 yards from goal. This time, Ash Young drove a shot into the crowded penalty area and got a deflection that wrong footed Richardson to put the home side in front.
It was a totally different game after the break as Grantham got on the front foot, kept the ball well and outplayed the same side that had just dominated them for the first period.
The second half was only six minutes old when Grantham thought they had levelled the game. McGovern’s free kick brought a good save from Roberts. From the corner, Tom Ward got a header over the line, but referee Mr Reeves decided there had been a foul somewhere in the Buxton penalty area and disallowed the goal.
The Gingerbreads continued to press hard and Max Waters went close twice in ten minutes. After Richardson kept Grantham in the level with a great save to deny Tolani Omotola in a one-on-one with the burly striker, Watters brought a good save from Roberts with a clean strike. The home goalkeeper kept his side in front on 64 minutes, tipping a rasping drive from Watters over the crossbar.
As the half wore on, Buxton began to create chances ion the gaps Grantham left as they pushed forward for an equaliser. Grayson will feel he should have done better with 12 minutes left. Substitute Diego De Girolamo pulled the ball back rom the by-line for Grayson. Grayson shot into the pitch and the ball bounced up and over the crossbar.
Grantham were denied a penalty five minutes from time. Oliver seemed to be hauled around inside the penalty area and wrestled to the ground, but Mr Reeves ignored the clash as he had all night.
Richardson kept it a tight game again as the match went into injury time. The Gingerbreads goalkeeper denied Diego De Gironlamo again before joining the attack for a last minute corner that Grantham could not quite force over the line.
Updated 06:15 - 10 Oct 2018 by Simon Hayes