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Grantham Town lose to Winterton Rangers in the Northern Premier League





Grantham came up short in their last game of the Northern Premier League East Division season on Saturday.

They conceded two goals to former player and current Winterton joint manager Paul Grimes as relegated Rangers ended their time as a step four club on a high.

The two midweek wins meant the result did not matter in terms of potential relegation for Grantham but the performance did concern head coach Louis Bland.

He said: "We played a bit like we were on the beach.

"That was not the intention, but the emotions of the two games in the last week possibly caught up with a few.

"I am disappointed but I am so proud of what we have achieved and I am already looking forward to pre-season and building for next season."

Grantham started well and created two early chances that could have changed the game.

After two minutes, a Sam Muggleton throw was headed on by Sisa Tuntulwana which the Winterton defence struggled to clear and Harry Olivant hit a volley that struck a defender before being cleared.

Rodrigo Goncalves was next to threaten the home goal as a weak clearance from Lee Ridley fell to Goncalves on the edge of the penalty area.

He curled a shot towards the top corner of the Winterton net, but Nathan Popple made a great save to turn the shot wide.

From the corner, Connor Peters met the far post delivery well but could only direct his header wide of the target.

Winterton's first real challenge to the Grantham goal led to the opening goal on 11 minutes.

Owen Vincent laid the ball back on the Grantham right for Scott Matthews whose cross caused problems for the Gingerbreads defence and, despite having three chances, they didn't clear their lines and Grimes reacted quickest to poke the ball home.

Winterton created the best chances in the middle of the first half.

Vincent beat Tuntulwana after 23 minutes and sent a dangerous ball into the middle that hit Peters and fell for Jonas Gadomski to gather. Grimes then turned sharply to beat Peters and find Jamie Ture but he shot wide.

Between the Winterton chances, Grantham looked dangerous when Muggleton delivered a long throw into the penalty area which Brad Munns flicked on but it was gathered by Popple.

Six minutes later, another throw was only cleared as far as Olivant who drove a fierce shot just wide of the target.

Winterton looked for a second goal early in the second half.

An early free kick was played in behind the Grantham defence and only just eluded two home players before Henry Moore got on the end of the loose ball but Gadomski again came to Grantham's rescue with a good save.

A triple substitution by the Gingerbreads five minutes into the second half disrupted their rhythm for a few minutes as they re-settled.

After 63 minutes, Grantham broke from a Winterton corner. Sam Hooper played a good ball for Ethan Bojang. The Gingerbreads had a two-against-one advantage as Bojang passed to Ryan Rushen who let fly but Popple again saved well.

Grantham missed two good opportunities in the next few minutes. Munns' free kick towards the top corner of the net was easily taken by Popple and then a Peters volley missed the target.

As the game entered the last quarter of an hour, Grimes began to trouble the Gingerbreads defence.

On 76 minutes, he got in behind the Grantham defence and it took a good save from Gadomski to deny him with Peters clearing the danger.

There was no escape for Grantham on 80 minutes, however, as a long clearance saw Grimes again beat the Grantham offside trap.

With only Gadomski to beat, he made no mistake this time, firing past the Grantham goalkeeper from the edge of the penalty area into the bottom corner of the net.

Both sides seemed to accept that the result was settled as the game ended with plenty of effort from both sides but little chance to change the scoreline.

Grimes got in again five minutes before the end but this time Hooper got enough of a touch to get the ball back to Gadomski and deny the home striker a hat-trick.



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