Three More Points for Gingerbreads
Grantham up to 15th after 2-0 win over Halesowen
Grantham made it 15 points from the last 18 with a 2-0 win over Halesowen at a wet and windy Meres
Grantham went into the game with 5 regular players missing. Sam Purcicoe, Ben Saunders and Ben Harris were ruled out after failing to recover from the injuries picked up in mid-week at Rushall and Rhys Lewis and Jack Beckett were both unavailable. Curtis Burrows on loan from Ilkeston came straight into the side, Aiden Kirby returned to the starting line-up after a spell out injured as dis Ellis Storey who was called upon to play in an unfamiliar central defensive role. Also returning for this game was Liam Read available as his current club Shepshed were without a game. Two of the under 18 side Euan Sweeting and Jake Towers rushed back from the under 18’s morning game in Stoke to sit on the bench.
Grantham lost the toss and had to kick into the strong wind in the first half. Liam Read found Lee Shaw in the opening minute but his shot was gathered by Halesowen keeper Shaun Rowley and Michael Emmott got in a shot two minutes later that again Rowley saved. Grantham were dealing with the conditions better than their opponents who over hitting balls forward in the strong wind. Jamie McGhee worked an opening on 5minutes but his rising shot from the edge of the box went just over. Lee Shaw turned in the box on 10 minutes but again Rowley got behind his shot. Halesowen went close on 14 minutes when Jean Michel Gulyer shot from 25 yards beater Jake Turners dive but the ball came back off the post. Halesowen’s Aaron Daniels got onto a through ball on 21 minutes but Turner came out to gather the ball. Grantham continued to press and Danny Meadows cross only just evaded Curtis burrows on 24 minutes but Grantham dis take the lead on 29 minutes. Danny Meadows put a free kick into the box. The ball appeared to be an easy catch for Halesowen keeper Rowley but when he dropped the ball Michael Hollingsworth following up was able to put the loose ball into the net to put Grantham one up. Halesowen pushed hard in the closing stages of the half for an equaliser. Daniels saw his header comfortably saved by Turner and both Aaron Griffiths and Daniels saw long range efforts go wide as the half ended with Grantham one up.
With the wind at their backs in the second half Grantham began with Aiden Kirby shooting over from 35 yards and then Lee Shaw worked his way along the by-line but his cross eluded everyone. Halesowen were finding it easier playing into the wind and Malcom Melvin was put through by Aaron Daniels on 50 minutes only to be flagged narrowly offside... Michael Hollingsworth had a chance to put Grantham two up on 54 minutes but his shot from 15 yards went narrowly over. Halesowen were working some god positions Gulyer and then Griffiths from a free kick getting good balls into the Grantham box but the Grantham defence were able to clear on both occasions. Halesowen were now pressing and both Malcom Melvin and Bradley Lewis had chances around the hour mark but on both occasions they saw their shots from inside the box go over. Michael Hollingsworth went close again for Grantham when his shot from a Liam Read lay off went narrowly wide. Halesowen went close to an equaliser on 66 minutes when Daniels raced clear but he dragged his shot wide of the far post. Hollingsworth went close again for Grantham on 71 minutes when he latched onto a pass from Lee Shaw but again his shot under pressure from Halesowen defender Kyle Morrison went just wide of the post. Grantham went even closer to doubling their lead on80 minutes when Curtis Burrows goal bound shot was turned onto the bar by Rowley. Grantham introduced Stefan Bilyk for Michael Hollingsworth on 87 minutes and he was able to capitalise on an error by a Halesowen defender to fire past Rowley as he came out to seal the 3 points for the Gingerbreads
J Turner, D Meadows, M Emmott, M Hollingsworth (S Bilyk 87), L Gorman, E Storey, J McGhee, A Kirby, L Shaw, L Read, C Burrows.
Subs not used
E Sweeting, J Towers, D Martin
S Rowley, D Summerfield (N Waite 46), B Lewis, J Denny, K Morrison (J Hull 73), J M Gulyer, A Charlton, D Bragolli, A Daniels, M Melvin, A Griffiths.
Subs not used C Westwood, L Connelly, D Watson
Referee Mr R Dadley
Yellow Cards – Grantham 3 Halesowen 3
Free Kicks Conceded – Grantham 8 Halesowen 7
Corner Count – Grantham 4 Halesowen 2