Grantham Prove Too Strong For Ravens
Coalville’s recent downturn in form continued with an uninspiring loss to a good Grantham outfit.
The result marked a fourth consecutive loss after going the previous eight unbeaten as the Ravens looked short of ideas at times during the match.
Despite being second best for the majority of the contest chances did arise for the hosts, with Blair Anderson, Nathan Watson and Daniel Creaney among those to squander good chances.
Four changes were made to the side that fell to what manager Tommy Brookbanks described as an “embarrassing” 1-0 defeat at Workington on Saturday. Charlie Gatter, Ruben Desrosiers, Tom McGlinchey and Daniel Creaney made way for Kyle Bryant, Steve Towers, Will Mellors-Blair and Blair Anderson.
Coalville started the match with intent, no doubt determined to recapture their winning form. But it was the hosts who carved out the first opportunity, Luke Shaw hoisted his effort inches wide of the right post after the ball deflected through to the forward inside the area.
Then in the ninth minute, Coalville forged a glorious chance to break the deadlock. Will Mellors-Blair, making his first start in nine games, played a perfectly weighted outside of the boot through ball to Blair Anderson, who took the ball too far before sliding his shot wide.
Grantham’s dynamic front line proved to be a regular threat to the Ravens throughout the game and this was demonstrated in the 15th minute. Lee Shaw burst from his own half before blitzing down the right flank and into the box before he was halted by Dean Freeman.
Kyle Bryant then almost opened the scoring minutes later – but at the wrong end as the full back misjudged a Grantham cross, side footing the ball goal bound, thankfully Matt Coton was alert to catch the ball from close range.
As the game reached the 30 minute mark tempers began to flare, with both side’s commitment resulting in a number of overzealous tackles. The Gingerbread’s assistant manager, Danny Martin, was then ordered to the stands by the referee.
However it didn’t seem to affect the visitors as they took the lead just a few moments later. Lee Shaw whipped a cross into Danny Meadows at the back post, whose header marginally went over the line as Coton attempted to claw it away.
Grantham then firmly took control of proceedings as the Coalville defence came under intense pressure. Luke Shaw’s attempted effort was diverted just wide by the head of Lee Shaw before the Grantham number 10 was denied by Coton from close range just a minute later.
Coalville created what was becoming an elusive chance in the 41st minute, Anderson was released down the left before he powered a shot high into the side netting from a tight angle.
The Gingerbreads had time to create another two big chances before the break as they cut through Coalville with ease. Andrew Wright spooned his shot over from 8 yards out after a Jack McMenemy cross. And then it was McMenemy who spurned a chance, his effort was pawed away by Coton.
The visitors made a bright start to the second half, and extended their lead on 51 minutes. A first time pass bypassed the Ravens rear-guard sending Lee Shaw clean through, who coolly slotted the ball past Coton.
Coalville then endured a frustrating spell, seemingly unable to get a real foothold in the game. Bryant blocked a Luke Shaw effort and Meadows fired over from outside the area as Grantham searched for a killer third goal.
The Ravens created their first chance of the second period as the game neared the hour mark. Massiah McDonald did well on the left flank before squaring a pass to substitute Daniel Creaney, who scooped his first time effort over from inside the box.
Nathan Watson also went close for the hosts, but lifted his shot well over after cutting inside from the left wing.
They may have been the better on the night, but Grantham netted a flattering third after 64 minutes. Wright knocked the ball into the path of Luke Shaw inside the box before he stoked the ball into the bottom right corner.
The home side were given a lifeline in the 77th minute when Tom Potts was adjudged to have brought down Watson in the area. Creaney then stepped up to place a low shot down the centre to give Coalville hope.
The Ravens however failed to gather momentum in the final stages, with Creaney having the hosts best chance in the 89th minute, lashing a half volley wide from the edge of the area.
Following defeat, Coalville still sit in a comfortable mid table position, but will be hoping for a much better performance in their next game on Saturday, away to Witton Albion.