Grantham Town lose to Bridlington in the Northern Premier League East Division
Five minutes of second half mayhem cost the Gingerbreads three points against Bridlington Town on Saturday.
After taking a two-goal lead shortly after the hour mark, Grantham gave the visitors an unnecessary way back into the game with a penalty.
They then had no answer to a revitalised Bridlington side to slide to a defeat that left manager Paul Rawden both disappointed and frustrated, writes Graham Cowell.
He said: "After conceding the goals we did, you have to question some of the players out there.
"At two-nil, that should have been game over, but our game management was poor.
"We should have been better and some stopped working hard. Off the ball when we went two goals up, we were awful. I was really disappointed."
After an opening seven minutes that only saw a cross from Bridlington’s winger George Harrison almost find former Gingerbread Ali Aydemir, Grantham took the lead on eight minutes.
Elliott Walker showed good control to bring down a poor clearance from the visitors and played a superb through ball for Ify Ofuegbu.
The Grantham striker took the ball past the visitors’ defence and rounded goalkeeper James Hitchcock before sliding in his first goal for the Gingerbreads.
Grantham began to look a confident side and, although the pace of the game was slow, it was the home side who almost doubled their lead after 21 minutes.
Again, it was Ofuegbu who posed the problem for the visiting defence as Gregg Smith flicked on a long clearance from Curtis Hall for Ofuegbu who once again turned the Bridlington defence and fired in a good low shot but Hitchcock pulled off a sharp save to his left to turn the ball round the post.
Bridlington had a couple of half chances, but a deflected clearance that almost dropped for Aydemir and a low shot straight at Hall from Lewis Dennison were all they could produce.
The game turned very scrappy as half-time approached, with neither side able to create any real threat.
Whatever the two managers said to their sides made a difference straight after the break as first Grantham and then Bridlington could have scored.
Walker and Ofuegbu immediately combined after the break to deliver a cross that Bridlington captain James Williamson only just cleared from Luke Hinsley.
Walker and opposite wing-back Tommass Zerboni then created a chance for Matthew Doyle, but he couldn’t get enough power behind his shot.
The visitors worked the ball well from Jack Bulless via Ellis Barkworth to Dennison, but Ryan Ebanks snuffed out the danger for Grantham.
From the resulting corner, Zerboni cleared off the line as the ball pinballed around the Grantham penalty area.
Bulless headed wide from a good position after 58 minutes from a deep delivered free-kick before Grantham doubled their lead after 63 minutes.
Ofuegbu delivered a great cross from the right-hand side that found Hinsley unmarked and he made no mistake, placing his header well beyond Hitchcock to seemingly seal the game for the Gingerbreads.
Bridlington had offered little threat, but were handed a lifeline on 68 minutes.
Chris Salt made an ill-judged tackle inside his own penalty area, giving referee Mr Parker little option but to award Bridlington a penalty that Dennison dispatched into the bottom corner.
The goal gave the visitors an unexpected boost and Grantham suddenly found themselves facing a totally different side.
Just three minutes after the penalty, Andy Norfolk knocked a clearance back into the Grantham penalty area and a looping header from Bulless beat Hall to level the scores.
Grantham showed little ability to keep Bridlington at arm's length as only two more minutes elapsed until the hosts found themselves behind.
Aydemir returned a deep cross into the Grantham penalty area again and this time Norfolk timed his run perfectly to strike the ball into the bottom corner of the net.
Three minutes from time, Grantham were again opened up on the right-hand side and Dennison saw his shot deflected for a corner.
The Gingerbreads only offered a late threat as the game went into six added minutes.
Salt played in Harry Olivant who saw his shot saved by Hitchcock. The rebound fell to Hinsley whose shot hit Ofuegbu and flew over the crossbar.
After Dennison was sent off for a second yellow card in added time, Salt had one last chance to level the game. He turned a Grantham corner goalward, but Matty Dixon cleared off the line and time ran out on the Gingerbreads who visit Dunston this weekend.
Grantham: Hall, Walker, Zerboni (Olivant 85), Ebanks, Salt, Solomon, Christie (Doyle 45), Hinsley, Smith (Francis 71), Ofoegbu, Boateng. Subs not used: Goncalves, Gadomski. Attendance: 226.