17.4.2018

Evo-Stik Northern Premier League

Grantham Town

Galinski (63)

Hednesford Town

Glover (90)

(0) 1

(0) 1

Attendance

MoTM

Current Form

Next Match

271

Jose Veiga

L L W L D L L D L D

Rushall Olympic (H) 19.4.18

The injury-ravaged Pitmen earned themselves an impressive point this evening, courtesy of Danny Glover's late, late header at play-off chasing Grantham Town to leave the hosts feeling frustrated after they had taken the lead through skipper Stefan Galinski

 

Saturday's dreadful defeat to Sutton Coldfield Town, coupled with more injury and suspension worries, left manager Rob Smith with very few options in his squad ahead of the game. He was forced to hand a first-team debut to teenager Tom Wheeldon, with the youth team graduate coming straight into the side in place of Jack Rea. James Wren was ruled out due to injury, meaning a rare start between the posts for veteran Jose Veiga, whilst Reece King returned to the side in place of the injured Darren Campion, meaning a reshuffle of the side that saw Tom Thorley once again playing in the right-back position to cover for injuries. Anthony Dwyer returned to the side after his bright cameo against Sutton, coming in for the injured Joe Fitzpatrick, who was fit enough to only make the substitute's bench. The final change to the personnel saw top scorer Danny Glover dropped to the bench in favour of Louis Harris

 

 Grantham had spent most of the campaign entrenched in the top six with Adam Stevens' side coming off a 2-0 weekend win over the out-of-form Workington to strengthen their grip on third place in the table and a potential home tie in the play-off semi-finals. Regular number Kieran Preston returned to the side after missing out against Workington in the only change to the side from the weekend's win at Borough Park

 

Veiga was called into action in the sixth minute of the game, making an early save to deny Anthony Wright after the midfielder had hit a rising shot from the edge of the penalty area

 

Veiga went walkabout in search of a loose ball on twelve minutes, as Charlie Gatter allowed the dangerous Lee Shaw to get in behind him down the right. Fortunately for Veiga, Shaw could not get a clear shot in from an acute angle and put his shot wide

 

The home side continued to have the better of the play and chances in the opening twenty minutes, as the Pitmen found it difficult to find out of their own area. On twenty-four minutes, striker Samuel Osborne tried his luck with a shot from the edge of the area that went just over the crossbar

 

Four minutes later, Veiga was called upon once more to make a save from a free-kick as he claimed the ball just ahead of Osborne inside his six-yard box 

 

Osborne was proving to be a slippery customer for the Pitmen's makeshift defence, with the forward drifting past two challenges on thirty-one minutes and hitting a bobbling shot across the face of goal, forcing Veiga into a simple save down to his left

 

Curtis Burrows was the next player for Grantham to have a pop at goal three minutes later, drilling in a low free-kick that was only inches away from Veiga's right-hand post

 

 A limp showing from the Pitmen up front had seen them fail to create a single opening of note in the first half hour, with King wasting the away side's best opening on thirty-nine minutes, wasting a great chance by electing to pull the ball back towards Joey Butlin rather than shoot from ten yards out and allowed Grantham to clear their lines

 

The first half ended with Grantham on the front foot once more, forcing successive corners without success as the Pitmen did well to see out the half without a goal conceded and still on level terms

 

The Pitmen were much brighter at the start of the second half, with King denied a clear header at goal by a last-ditch challenge from Tom Potts to turn James Lawrie's free-kick away for a corner and deny the midfielder a free header into the net at the far post

 

 Grantham responded with a quick break down the left wing, culminating in Osborne slipping past Thorley and firing high over the crossbar from fifteen yards out

 

 Another quick break from Grantham on fifty-four minutes almost caught the Pitmen out as Wright's deep cross to the far post was pulled back by Burrows, only for Harris to do brilliantly to deny Osborne a clear shot on goal from ten yards out

 

Preston made his first save of the evening on fifty-seven minutes, turning a Lawrie shot away from a corner kick after the midfielder had got in behind the Grantham defence to turn an angled shot goalwards

 

Veiga made another regulation save on the hour mark, saving low down to deny Burrows before Grantham took the lead three minutes later through skipper Galinski. An Osborne corner was headed goalwards by Burrows, with Callam Mendez-Jones doing his best to clear the ball away from goal. However, his attempted clearance went straight up into the night sky and dropped on the Hednesford goal-line, allowing Galinski the simple task of turning the ball into the net

 

The already-stretched Pitmen were dealt another injury blow a few minutes later, as Harris came off worst in a midfield clash. The combative former Wolves man limped on for a few moments, before admitting defeat on seventy minutes and came off in place of Fitzpatrick, who himself was barely fit enough to take his place in the squad

 

 Another good save from Veiga denied Shaw a second Grantham goal on seventy-five minutes, as the Gingerbreads caught the Pitmen out down the right-wing with a quick break through midfield

 

 Galinski was involved at the sharp end of the pitch once again two minutes later, turning a cross just over the Hednesford crossbar with a nonchalant flick of the boot

 

The best the Pitmen could muster in response was a high, wide and not-at-all handsome effort from Matt Curley, driving his effort onto the athletics track around the pitch after Lawrie's free-kick was only partially cleared by Grantham

 

With ten minutes remaining, Glover was called upon once again to get his side out of a hole as he replaced the youngster Wheeldon, who had had a tough introduction to first-team football by a powerful, experienced Grantham defence

 

Full-back Ollie Luto drove a shot narrowly over Veiga's crossbar with a speculative effort from twenty-five yards out two minutes later as Grantham looked to wrap up all three points

 

A frantic final few minutes saw the Pitmen start to take more risks going forwards as they searched for an unlikely equaliser, with neat build-up play down the right between Dwyer, Thorley and Fitzpatrick in the first minute of added time finally finding the head of King, who got goal side of Galinski but headed agonisingly wide of the near post with Preston beaten

 

And yet, there was still time for more late drama, as Glover stamped his name on the game with a late, late leveller for the visitors. Dwyer fed the ball to Lawrie out on the left wing, with the midfielder picking out Glover with a pin-point cross that was headed into the net by the Pitmen's top scorer

 

There was barely enough time for Grantham to kick-off before the final whistle was blown, earning the Pitmen a hard-fought and at times, barely deserved, point against a Grantham side that had dominated possession and chances. Glover had once again proved his worth to the side with his quality in front of goal, with the Pitmen looking to Glover to continue his wonderful recent form in front of goal on Thursday night when Rushall Olympic visit Keys Park in another re-arranged league game

Grantham Town: Preston, Potts, Luto, Lewis, Galinski ©, McGovern, Meadows, Wright (Hollingsworth 70), Osborne (Vince 75), Shaw, Burrows (Hempenstall 56)   Subs Unused: McMenemy, Thompson

 

Hednesford Town: Veiga, Thorley ©, Curley, Harris (Fitzpatrick 70), Mendez-Jones, Gatter , Dwyer, King, Butlin, Lawrie, Wheeldon (Glover 80)    Sub Unused: Rea

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