Grimsby Borough 3 - 1 Grantham Town
By James Bedford - email@example.com
Another red card for the Gingerbreads cost them the game at Grimsby Borough on Saturday.
Dan Cocks was sent off after just eight minutes of the Northern Premier League East Division match at at the Bradley Football Development Centre.
Grantham gave as good as they got for the first 45 minutes but could not hold out after the break as three second half goals gave Grimsby a double over the Gingerbreads after a 3-1 success, writes Graham Cowell.
Gingerbreads boss Matt Chatfield said: "There's no defending the sending off.
"An experienced senior player should not get sent off like that. It cost us a chance to get something out of the game. We now have to get something on Tuesday night."
Reece York had an early chance for the home side when he battled through the Grantham defence only to shoot straight at Dan Haystead in the first minute.
The game had an early edge to it with the first yellow card coming on five minutes as the home side's York was cautioned for a late challenge.
The game turned after seven minutes when Grimsby were awarded a free-kick and Cocks stood over the ball and was pushed back in the chest by Caine Winfarrah.
The referee booked Cocks, but took no action against the Grimsby player. Cocks said something to the referee and got a second yellow card and consequently a red for his troubles.
Grantham reorganised and defended strongly for the first half and Grimsby were frustrated and could not take advantage of the extra man.
Brody Richardson twice got into good positions, but a poor first touch let him down.
The best chance of the first half fell to the Gingerbreads after 24 minutes.
Chris O'Grady and Mason Lee battled well to keep the ball and played it to Kieran Hayes who fired in a fierce shot from just outside the penalty area that Grimsby goalkeeper Liam Higton did well to turn over the crossbar.
Grantham continued to defend well for the rest of the first half and, combined with poor play in the final third from Grimsby, ensured that the first half ended goalless.
Unfortunately, the Gingerbreads could not keep up their resilience after the break.
Only three minutes of the second half were gone when Grimsby got behind the Gingerbreads defence.
Jake Wright's tackle was mistimed, resulting in a penalty for the home side, and Jack Debnam fired past Haystead to give the home side the lead.
The goal lifted the home side and Grantham had to work hard to keep Grimsby at bay as Robertson got in again, but once more a poor touch let him down.
Grantham almost levelled the game after 61 minutes as a good cross found Matt Tootle whose drive was turned wide by Higton.
However, only two minutes later, Grantham had the wind taken out of their sails completely.
A poor clearance by Haystead only found Lewis Collins 30 yards out and, with the Grantham goalkeeper out of position, Collins half-volleyed into an unguarded net.
The Gingerbreads still created chances to get back into the game as Hayes worked a good position and delivered a low cross into the Grimsby penalty area, but there was no grey shirt there to meet it.
With 20 minutes to go, Grantham broke quickly from a Grimsby corner and Tootle was again on the end of things but this time he fired wide.
Grimsby threatened with a free kick from York that flew over the Grantham crossbar, but the home side rarely looked like adding to their lead.
At the other end, from a deep corner, Ashton Hall rose highest, but his header was wide of the mark.
Eventually, Grimsby began to get on top of the game as it went into the last 10 minutes.
Hayes put in a desperate tackle to block a shot after 81 minutes and was grateful to see the deflection off him go over Haystead's crossbar.
Three minutes from time, Grimsby found a bit of space and added a third goal. They worked the ball forward quickly to Robertson wide on the Grantham right hand side.
He squared the ball for Louis Adland who had made a good run from full back and he had a clear strike at goal and gave Haystead no chance.
The Gingerbreads were not done and got a consolation goal in the second minute of injury time.
Elliott Durell played a lovely pass down the right for Tootle to run onto and the Gingerbreads full back went on into the Grimsby penalty area and fired across Higton into the net to give Grantham something on the scoresheet.
Gingerbreads: Haystead, Tootle, Stacey, McCrory (Durell 71), Wright, Hall, Jayes (Munns 85), Dunn, O'Grady (Waldram 71), Cocks, Lee. Subs not used: Jemson, Gadomski. Attendance: 171.