Junior Premier League round-up for Grantham Town’s youth teams
With a long list of absentees, a depleted Grantham Town travelled to Holbeach United for their second JPL League fixture of the season.
Grantham had the bulk of the early possession, but their final ball was found wanting.
That said, early chances were created for Harry Winks, Louis Cardy and Maks Nowak, without seriously troubling the Holbeach keeper.
Then, 20 minutes in, and against the run of play, Holbeach took the lead with an audacious lob from 30 yards after Town lost the ball in midfield.
To their credit, the Gingerbreads replied immediately with a clinical finish from Winks.
Nico Fossey cut in from the right, found Town's number nine in the six-yard box to swivel and stroke in the equaliser.
Although the better side, Grantham struggled to really assert themselves in the final third, as clear chances for the visitors were at a premium.
But, on the hour mark, a low cross from the right by Max Davies was turned into his own net by a Holbeach defender to give Town a 2-1 lead.
In the moments that followed, a shot from Winks was saved, and a snap shot from Cardy missed the target, as Grantham slowly tried to build on their fortuitous goal.
Then, with 20 minutes remaining, the visitors finally started to go through the gears.
Campbell Searle slid in Max Davies to fire a low shot into the corner of the net to make it 3-1 and Winks converted a penalty after Nico Fossey was fouled in the box.
The scoring was wrapped up in the dying minutes when Matty Spencer’s determined run from right-back was rewarded with the debutant smashing in from close range to give Grantham a 5-1 victory.
Grantham Town Under 16s were edged out by the odd goal in seven when they faced a strong Birmingham City side at the weekend.
Playing a 3-4-3 formation, the Blues pressed Grantham's back line from the off but, despite this, the Gingerbreads looked steady enough as a defensive unit.
Poole, Keely and Varcianna were marking man-for-man, however, Birmingham's number 10 pressed high, meaning the defence were made to work harder in transition to attack.
Birmingham took the lead after a disputed penalty decision as, from an overload, Grantham failed to clear despite getting to the ball first.
They went a further goal behind in the next quarter as substitutions failed to give Grantham the lift expected.
In the second half, after a good team chat, Grantham moved to a 4-4-2 and the balance came.
They pressed better, with Kott making his debut in midfield alongside Kane, and Guest came off as he hadn't been feeling 100 per cent but tried to support where needed.
Cannon came on and the energy levels raised but, despite Grantham's best efforts, two penalty claims didn't go their way and Birmingham scored a third goal after breaking quickly from one of these appeals.
Grantham knew it would seem like an uphill task but they fought harder and stole more ball.
They scored from a rather simple cross-field ball as Birmingham failed to see the third man run and Poole converted superbly.
In the last 20 minutes, Grantham boxed Birmingham in their half and were rewarded with another goal by Wilkerson but that was countered with their fourth for the Blues after a switch-off in midfield, allowing a long shot to loop over Greenslade.
With five minutes to go, Wilkerson scored again to make it 3-4.
Grantham immediately pinned Birmingham in their half and, from a switch of play, the Gingerbreads player received the ball in the box and another penalty claim was waved away.
One last effort brought a cracking save from their keeper but, in the end, Grantham just couldn't find that final goal.