Sunday, January 28, 2007

Grantham Town 1 Ossett Town 3

A short trip down the A52 today to watch this Unibond Premier League meeting. The Gingerbreadmen play at the soulless South Kesteven Sports Centre, it all looks a bit East German to me.

An athletics track runs round the perimeter of the ground, there are no standing or seating areas behind the goals. One side has a two tier stand whilst the other has a terrace. You need a pair of binoculars to see the pitch.

The ground is on an industrial estate near a Gala Bingo Hall, but there is no chance of a full house, 300 turn up to answer the local paper's rallying call.

Grantham's most famous resident is of course The Iron Lady, we try not talk about her in the Nottinghamshire Coalfields, what's left of it. Martin O'Neil had a spell here once with his spongeman Robbo, wonder what happened to them?

There's a free promotion in the bar on Carling 2% lager I'm bullied into having one, a decision I regret almost immediately when I spot two real ales on show. Ossett Town from West Yorks are the visitors, Grantham are rock bottom, a cricket score is expected.

Garry Marrow, the Grantham Manager has done more wheeler-dealing than Frank Butcher's car lot in recent weeks, most have arrived from his previous club Frickley Athletic.

Grantham surprise me, they keep possession well and get it wide, Mark Ward their forward has great feet, but they lack penetration and pace. They have used over 40 players this season, 17 have since departed.

Ossett are second from bottom in the fair play league, and No.8 Marchant would appear to top the disciplinary points chart, some of his tackling is x-rated and he doesn't endear himself to the home faithful.

Out of the blue and against the run of play Ossett take the lead through Carl Fothergill, a better goal I've yet to see this season, he spins his marker, leaves two defenders for dead, and hits a delicious curler into the right hand corner.

have their tails up, Fothergill causes chaos down the right hand side, fellow striker Walshaw (once on trial at the mighty imps) converts with ease. 2-0.

Grantham are shell shocked, they deserve better. Their No.5 Brett Lovell, a makeshift defender is losing the battle with Walshaw.

At half time I meet Grantham's Ian Robinson's dad in the bar. Both his sons have been professional footballers, his youngest, Steve, played for Birmingham and Swindon. He, like me, has coached junior sides in Notts. He got 6 pros from his team Pheasant Colts, I remember one,Matt Carbon from his time at Lincoln.

Ossett pile on the pressure, the crosses from their left are relentless, goalkeeper Ingham is rooted to his line.

Walshaw and McManus twice fail to wrap the game up, the latter does eventually after Ingham had pushed a header onto the bar.

Mark Ward deservedly scores a consolation goal, he has worked his socks off with no support.

win the midfield battle,Luke Pugh, their No.4 is a class act, always in space, finding a blue shirt with every pass. Grantham create very little and lack pace although debutant sub Tom Byrne impresses out on the left.

Grantham Town 1 Ward Ossett Town 3 Fothergill, Walshaw and McManus.

Man of the Match Luke Pugh, Ossett Town

Crowd 312


Mike Smith said...

Just noticed you've put a link to my blog - cheers !

The compliment has been duly returned...

Simple Pieman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Simple Pieman said...

Real Ale in the clubhouse at Grantham when I visited was from this Grantham brewery.