JPL Trophy Knockout
Kidderminster Harriers 2-0 Grantham Town U15s
Update from coach:
A bright, sunny morning awaited the visitors as The Gingerbreads travelled the long journey to Kidderminster to compete in the knockout stage of the JPL Trophy competition.
The game started in a fairly even manner, Grantham pressing quite hard on the oppositions goal but couldn’t find the breakthrough to have a shot on target-then the Harriers made a break and put a bit of pressure on our defence. It was end to end football but the first attempt on goal went to the Harriers, forcing Harri Bexon to make a great save, tipping the ball round the post from a tricky deflected shot.
Two or three shots for the home side came in quick succession but all were well defended amounting to nothing. One particular shot had Logan Roberts, back after injury, throwing his body on the line to keep the score line at 0-0. Lennon Stones then won a free kick on the edge of their box after being dragged to the floor, however the keeper dealt with the shot comfortably. Again, Kidderminster made another break with an on-target low shot but Bexon reacted quickly to make the save.
Then came a defining point of the match, Rhys Stevens made a run, fed through beautifully by Aston Taylor, when a clear hand ball by their defender was given against our player Stephens instead. A converted penalty would have more than likely changed the direction of the game in Towns favour. However, it wasn’t to be but Town didn’t give up and had another chance-Taylor blasting a shot at the keeper who made a great fingertip save. But it was a lost ball in midfield that gave the Harriers another run down their left hand side, and as Town weren’t set defensively it led to a 1 on 1 with Bexon and their winger, who just calmly took the ball around the Grantham keeper and slotted into the net leaving The Gingerbreads 1-0 down.
Grantham went into the second half looking more determined, resulting in a flurry of chances. Stephens making a run through on goal but Harriers were again solid in their defence. Minutes later Taylor shot a free kick high then shortly after Campbell Searle’s powerful shot flew slightly wide. Kidderminster then had their spell, ramping up their game and looking like the side who wanted the win more. Their centre forward broke through our back line and looked to be away but an all or nothing challenge in the box by Zak Coleman kept Town in the game.
True to form in this relatively even match, the Gingerbreads then had another push, culminating in a free kick won right on the edge of the box after a high elbow connected with Stephens head. The Kidderminster keeper was not phased though and comfortably saved the effort by Taylor. Grantham kept pushing but with time running out they just struggled to penetrate the Harriers defence from open play. This, along with the home side pouncing on every loose ball, gave the feeling that it wasn’t to be Grantham’s day. Cementing this came a couple of minutes later when the Harriers took a corner which was won in the air and headed sweetly into the back of the Town net.
With a mammoth task to save anything from this game, Town didn’t give up and tried hard to get back into it. It wasn’t to be and the final result was 2-0 to the home side. A competitive match against a very well drilled, determined side meant it wasn’t Town’s day, but they go again next week where they host Alive Kings Lynn Elite in the league back on home soil.
MOTM: KYE HUTCHINSON. A strong display in defence looking solid and sharp all game.
*Double game weekend for the U18s* JPL Cup vs Bottesford – 4-2 Loss Update from Coach: Unfortunately the U18 side were knocked out of the U18 JPL Cup to a strong Bottesford side. A lively first half performance from Grantham, maintaining possession and creating a number of good chances. Grantham were well worth their two first half goals, however the lead was unfortunately undone by two set pieces meaning the teams went in level at the break. Bottesford started the second half much the stronger of the two teams, taking the lead from another set piece. Grantham continued to press and chase for an equalising goal, however a penalty for Bottesford put the game out of reach. County Cup vs Gonerby – 6-0 Win
Update from Coach The U18s bounced back from a loss on Saturday with a win in the Lincolnshire County Cup. A very impressive performance from all members of the matchday squad. Grantham started brightly moving the ball across the pitch and working our way into some good areas, however good defending and goalkeeping by Gonerby kept the Grantham side at bay. Midway through the first half Granthams dominance started to show and goals from Colby, Olly and Ned took us into the break 3-0 up. More of the same was required in the second half. Grantham once again had the majority of the ball and looked assured playing out from the back. We created a number of good chances and worked the ball into good attacking positions but lacked the finishing touch on a number of occasions, hitting the post and the bar. However, Max, Liam and finally Macauley finished the scoring to make the final result 6-0. This result has put the U18 side through to the quarter-finals and we now wait to see who we will face in February. Newark Town 6-4 Grantham Town U16s Update from coach: An end to end game that really could have gone either way. Momentum shifted several times during the match as we took the lead midway through the first half, before finding ourselves 3-1 down at half time after two back to back mistakes cost us dearly. We puled it back to 3-3 within 5 minutes of the second half beginning however and looked like we were going to go on and get more but again, unfortunate errors occur and we soon found ourselves 6-3 down. We did manage to claw one back on the last minutes of the half but unfortunately it was too little too late