Evostik Northern Premier League Premier Division
Grantham Town 2 North Ferriby United 3
Ferriby extended their lead at the top of the table to five points with a superb second-half fightback at Grantham. The Villagers were outplayed in the first-half and were perhaps lucky to be only two goals down.
Gregg Anderson's sixth minute header from Ryan Williams' corner was cleared off the line the ball and was as close as Ferriby came to a goal in the first-half From this point Ferriby's performance was disjointed. The midfield was over-run and the defence lacked its usual solidity.
Grantham took the lead after 7 minutes. Lee Potts broke quickly and played in Rhys Lewis who slid the ball past the advancing Adam Nicklin.
Jamie McGhee, Paul Grimes, Connor Higginson and Lee Potts controlled midfield with at least one of them always being free to take passes unchallenged. All four of them had shots and Grimes saw his shot bounce out of the inside of the post after another quick break.
Ferriby went two behind on the stroke of half time. Keeper James Lindley punched away a Nathan Peat free-kick and Grantham broke quickly. The ball reached Higginson who beat a couple of defenders before rounding Nicklin to score.
Ferriby had little to show for their efforts. Gary Bradshaw saw a header go narrowly wide and Lindley punched Williams' in-swinging corner off-his line.
The second- half was a rather different story. The introduction of Russell Fry and Ryan Kendall after 53 minutes saw Ferriby change their formation and Fry began to control the game.
Fry's free-kick in the 59th minute found Chris bolder at the far post and the midfielder placed his header across goal to go in at the far post.
This boosted Ferriby and they began to dominate. The equaliser came after 70 minutes. A defender slipped as he went for the ball and Gary Bradshaw latched on to the loose ball. His low cross in to the six-yard box was met by the incoming Ryan Kendall who fired home for a typical striker's goal.
Grantham were limited to fairly infrequent and largely long-ball attacks. The winning goal came after 81 minutes when Fry fed Kendall to score his second from ten yards.
The second-half performance showed Ferriby's spirit and belief in themselves. There is a determination and desire to win even when things are not working as well as they would like. The best sides in any league are those that can grind out results as Ferriby did last night.
There was concern midway through the second-half when Gary Bradshaw fell awkwardly and injured his neck. He resumed after a few minutes treatment.
Manager Billy Heath commented, "We were poor in the first half but in the second-half we showed great spirit and determination to turn the game around. It's always good to see substitutions work successfully. Going to 4-3-3 tightened-up the midfield. Russ Fry played really well and we scored three good goals."
NFU: Adam Nicklin, Steve Gardner, Nathan Peat, Liam King, Gregg Anderson, Mark Gray, Ben Hunter (Russell Fry 53), Chris Bolder Jack Muldoon (Steve Ridley 88) Gary Bradshaw, Ryan Williams (Ryan Kendall 53), Non-playing subs: Danny Clarke, Antoni Pecora
Grantham Town: James Lindley, Sam puricoe, Damian Magee, Rhys Lewis, Deon Meikle, Phil Watt, Jamie McGhee, Martin Ball (Ashley Robinson 88), Paul Grimes, Connor Higginson (Karl Demidh 69), Lee Potts. Non-playing subs: Gio Carchedi, Grant Brindley, Emeka Nwadike