Play Offs Secured!
Grantham secured their play-off place with a comfortable win at Sutton Coldfield. A late goal for Ashton United means a midweek trip to Warrington Town in the semi-finals.
The Gingerbreads dominated the game from the opening minutes when Danny Meadows shot was deflected wide. Sutton Coldfield goalkeeper Matthew Coton saved from Olly Luto and Jordan Hempenstall shot over the bar before the Gingerbreads striker scored the opening goal.
With 19 minutes on the clock, Grantham won a corner. Sutton didn’t clear their lines and the ball dropped to Hempenstall who lifted his shot beyond the Sutton defence.
Coton denied Curtis Burrows before Sutton reminded the Gingerbreads there were two sides in the game. Joshua Green looped an effort over the bar and a flick from Karl Hawley was just too high for Checkaine Steele.
Grantham finished the half strongly with a series of corners. Efforts from Meadows and Andy Wright were only just kept out by desperate Sutton defending.
Four minutes into the second half, Hempenstall got his and Grantham’s second goal. Meadows’ effort was cleared off the line, and again, Hempenstall was in the right place. He picked his spot and placed his shot past Coton.
Lee Shaw went close to adding to the Gingerbreads lead just before the hour mark. Shaw turned his defender and beat Coton with his shot, only to see his effort come back off the post.
Sutton made the last twenty minutes a bit nervy for Grantham, pulling a goal back on 67 minutes. Lee Smith was allowed a free header inside the Gingerbreads six yard box at the far post from a corner. The centre half made no mistake.
Justin Richards had Grantham fans worried ten minutes from the end. He turned the Gingerbreads defence on the edge of the penalty area. Kieron Preston made a great save to keep Grantham in front.
The Gingerbreads did a professional job to see the game out for all three points. Keeping most of the play in the Sutton half, Meadows and Hempenstall went close, but 2-1 was enough to book a play-off place, although a late Ashton goal sent the Gingerbreads on their travels again on Tuesday.