Shaw Shoots Down The Bucks
Lee Shaw came out on top in the battle of the leagues’ leading scorers.
The Gingerbreads striker hit his second hat-trick of the season, while Buxtons Liam Hardy was kept on a tight leash by the Gingerbreads defence.
Grantham edged a tight first half with both sides having chances to score, but the Gingerbreads Making the difference on 26 minutes. Playing up the slope in the first half, Grantham needed to play on the front foot to negate the inevitable pressure from the home side.
It was Buxton who had the first clear chance of the game after 11 minutes. Hardy got away from Stefan Galynski and laid a perfect ball back for Luke Hinsley. From the edge of the six yard box, Hinsley skied his effort over the crossbar
Three minutes later, the home side had another good chance. From a corner, Ioan Evans had a free header, but similar to Hinsley, he couldn’t hit the target. From that point on, the only danger came from the Gingerbreads. Curtis Burrows had a shot blocked just before Grantham took the lead.
Jordan Hempenstall’s shot was deflected for a corner, and when Buxton didn’t clear their lines, Burrows whipped the ball back in to the near post. Shaw reacted the quickest and got across the front of the Buxton defence to turn the ball past Jan Budtz for a 26th minute lead for the Gingerbreads.
With the slope in their favour in the second half, Grantham took the game to Buxton. A high pressing game gave the hosts no chance to settle. Although Grantham conceded early possession in the second half, they held their hosts at arms’ length. Chances began to come on the break. A cross from Shaw and was agonizingly in front of Andy Wright, and a quick break saw Michael Hollingsworth set up Shaw, but his effort was blocked. Another cross, this time from Danny Meadows just eluded Shaw.
The Gingerbreads top scorer got his second of the afternoon from the penalty spot with 12 minutes left. Hempenstall turned too sharply in the penalty area for his defender and referee Mr Watson had no hesitation awarding a penalty. Shaw was not worried about Budtzs’ reputation for saving spot kicks as he sent the Buxton keeper the wrong way to double Grantham’s lead.
The second goal took the wind out of Buxton at the right time, taking some sting from the expected late assault from the home side. Instead, it was Grantham and Shaw who got the late goal. Hollingsworth brought the ball forward on the break and slipped it through the Buxton defence for Shaw to complete his hat trick from yards out.