Grantham Defeat Resilient Ten Man Ravens
Coalville fell to a narrow defeat at the hands of play-off hopefuls Grantham Town, playing half of the game with a man down after Massiah McDonald was dismissed.
Coalville Town fought right until the end despite having a numerical disadvantage against the Gingerbreads, who secured their 5th consecutive league victory. Coalville did well to cancel out Luther Wildin’s 25th minute opener through a Danny Jenno free-kick in the second half. Although the Ravens were ultimately edged out by the visitors, with Jerimiah Dassaolu netting the winner.
There was one change from the side that lost away to Buxton on Saturday, with Alex Dean coming in for the unavailable Kyle Bryant.
It was a lively start to proceedings, with both sides keen to get forward. Harry Clifton produced the first shot of the game, but he shanked his effort well wide. Alex Dean had a big chance to put the Ravens ahead after just 2 minutes but he could only side foot his effort straight at Kieran Preston from close range after being played through by Massiah McDonald.
Coalville’s defence looked vulnerable throughout the first half and Lee Shaw exploited this in the 4th minute, working his way across the width of the box after cutting in from the left flank, before firing over.
Luke Shaw had the ball in the back of the net for the visitors in the 9th minute, heading Luther Wildin’s whipped ball across Coton and into the far corner, however the goal was ruled out for offside.
Grantham began to seize control of the game, retaining possession well whilst Coalville struggled to find any kind of rhythm to their play. The Gingerbreads broke the deadlock in the 25th minute through Wildin, who turned in Luke Shaw’s driven cross at the far post after some quick footwork on the left flank from the winger.
Grantham went close to adding a swift second as they broke at pace after a Coalville attack, with Luke Shaw marauding down the left wing before sliding through Dassaolu, whose shot was deflected just over.
Just before the break, as the Ravens looked to battle their way back into the game, drama ensued after a suspect challenge from Massiah McDonald, the challenge stirred up the passion of both sides, provoking conflict between players and staff. In the midst of the disagreements the referee brandished a dubious straight red card for McDonald for an alleged high foot on Danny Meadows, making it three dismissals in the last four games for the Ravens.
The second half seemed to present a tough task for the Ravens as they looked to overturn the one goal deficit with ten men against promotion pushing opposition. However, the hosts looked to be an improved side in the second period, with Liam Walshe coming on for Alex Dean and winning a free kick in a dangerous area for Coalville in the 50th minute. Danny Jenno then stepped up and superbly curled the ball into the top right corner, identical to his strike against Hednesford just a few weeks ago.
Coalville were much better than before the break, despite having a man less, but they had to endure another heavy spell of pressure from the visitors as they looked to take advantage of the depleted Ravens. Dassaolu looked set to regain the lead for his side but was denied by a last-ditch tackle from Dean Freeman in the 63rd minute.
A Coalville counter almost saw the home side take the lead as Marcus Marshall lifted the ball over to Walshe, whose attempted long distance lob was caught by the back-tracking Preston.
It was the Gingerbreads who found the next goal, and ultimately the winner, as Dassaolu smashed the ball into the top right corner via the crossbar after a scramble in the box as a result of a Matt Coton fingertip save.
Moments later Lee Shaw came within inches of sealing the game for the visitors as he sliced his half volley into the side netting from the edge of the area.
As Grantham looked to kill off the game they won a spot kick as Dean Freeman was adjudged to have pulled down Lee Shaw in the area in the 70th minute. Luke Shaw then wasted the chance to double their lead as his arrogantly audacious chip sailed over the bar.
The game then stagnated as the Gingerbreads looked to see the game out, and they did so with relative ease as Coalville failed to create any more clear cut opportunities. Liam Walshe’s ambitious volley which was straight at the keeper was the closest to a Ravens equaliser.