Grantham Town 0 - 1 Hebburn Town
By John Burgess - email@example.com
Match Report courtesy of The Grantham Journal
Action from Grantham Town against Hebburn Town at The Meres on Saturday. Photo: John Burgess (62245137)
Grantham Town's hopes of extending their streak to three games were ended by a single second-half goal from visiting Tyneside team Hebburn Town.
Following a particularly dire first half from both sides, the game improved immeasurably after the break, but only the visitors were able to take anything from their chances.
Conditions at The Meres were unseasonably mild and it was the visitors who had the first shot on goal in the eighth minute, but Joseph Walton fired wide.
Hebburn had another chance on the quarter hour mark but Thomas Devitt skied his effort, with Grantham having their first opportunity two minutes later when Lee Shaw headed over the bar.
The Gingerbreads had several free kicks and corners but were unable to make anything from them, whilst much of the rest of the first period was scrapped out in midfield.
Hebburn were awarded a free kick in a dangerous position after Ashton Hall fouled Oliver Martin. Martin brushed himself down and fired the free kick into the Grantham wall.
The Gingerbreads' final corner of the half came in the 40th minute but a foul on Hebburn goalkeeper Shaun Newbrook put paid to getting anything from that.
The half ended with Grantham's Matt Tootle hobbling off injured, replaced by Brad Munns.
The Gingerbreads began the second half in style with Mason Lee's shot skimming the bar in the opening minute.
Grantham had another chance a minute later but Lee was unable to get a proper shot off from Shaw's cross.
The visitors had then had three opportunities to score within a five minute period. Martin dragged a shot past the far post, Liam Murray put his clear shot on goal wide to the left, and another Martin effort was deflected out for a corner.
The Gingerbreads began to string a few passes together, something they seemed pretty incapable of in the first half, and had a great chance in the 56th minute when Dan Cocks sent a ball down the centre of the field to Lee, but Newbrook loomed large and blocked his close range shot.
A minute later, after a good build-up, Grantham's Declan Dunn had a shot deflected wide for a corner.
The Gingerbreads now appeared to be a clear and present danger with further chances coming from a Nathan Tyson header, a Munns low drive and Dunn again, whose shot this time deflected straight into the arms of Newbrook.
However, it all changed a few minutes later, in the 71st of the 90. A long throw-in into the penalty area evaded a gaggle of Gingerbreads and found Amar Purewal lurking in a gap from where he dinked in from close range.
Grantham could have quickly conceded a second time a minute later when Martin spotted Haystead well off his line and tried his luck from the centre circle, but the Gingerbreads stopper was soon calmly back in position and saved comfortably.
Grantham conceded a free kick on the edge of the D on 74 minutes but the home team wall did its job and repelled Martin's effort.
The Gingerbreads were lucky not to concede what would have been an embarrassing goal after Hall's pass back lacked the legs to reach Haystead. Hebburn substitute Liam Henderson pounced on the ball and fired into the side netting, when perhaps he might have better off trying to round the keeper. A real let-off for Grantham nonetheless.
The final two chances saw Hebburn's Martin fire over from outside the box in the 80th minute and seven minutes later, at the other end, Munns's free kick from the centre circle just go a tad too far and land safely into the gloves of Newbrook.
Grantham Town: Haystead, Tootle (Munns 44), Stacey, Waldram, Wright, Hall, Shaw, Dunn, Lee, Cocks, Tyson (Tait 72). Subs not used: Jemson, Hayes, Gadomski. Att: 286.