Rare clean sheet but finishing touch eludes Frickley Athletic in Grantham stalemate

Frickley Athletic managed their first clean sheet for 16 matches against Grantham Town but could not find the finishing touch at the other end in Saturday’s Evo-Stik Premier League ‘six pointer’.

The home back four of Joe Wilcox, Gareth Clayton, Callum Howe and Chris Fisher were cool and collected, while returning goalkeeper Tom Woodhead handled confidently, but the Blues were still lacking a goal at the other end that would have boosted their survival hopes.

It was not until the 21st minute that the Town goal was seriously threatened when Jimmy Ghaichem whipped in a cross from the left but Luke Hinsley saw the ball cleared off his head by Jake Turner.

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Hinsley pounced on a mistake by a defender to break clear five minutes later, only to lose control of the ball with the goal at his mercy and the same player took advantage of another error in the visiting defence in the 29th minute and picked out Jason Yates, but he fired wide from 12 yards.

A deep cross from the left found Nathan Watson unmarked two minutes later, and it needed a fine save from Woodhead to turn his angled 15-yard shot around a post and, from the resulting corner, Yates cleared off the line from Watson.

Chris Wood and Yates both squandered possible scoring opportunities as Frickley pressed for the opener up to the interval.

Turner saved well from Ghaichem in the 50th minute, while it took a good effort from Woodhead between the other posts to thwart Deon Meikle when he got clear two minutes later.

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Hinsley had a shot deflected behind in the 59th minute and, from the corner kick, Jake Picton saw his header blocked on the line by Smith, while Wilcox made a good run two minutes later before picking out Hinsley who shot tamely at the goalkeeper.

A probing ball from Picton found Wood in the 73rd minute, only for his shot by held by Turner, and Town finished strongly, Woodhead saving well from Rhys Lewis and Sam McVicar as they tried to snatch a last gasp decider.

Frickley: Tom Woodhead, Joe Wilcox, Chris Fisher, Jake Picton, Gareth Clayton, Callum Howe. Jason Yates, Danny Walsh, Luke Hinsley (Chris Howarth 71), Chris Wood, Jimmy Ghaichem. Unused subs, Terry Barwick, Luke Jeffs, Lee Stratford, Jamie Green.

Grantham: Jake Turner, Tommy Hannigan (Alistair Asher 60), Lee Ridley, Deon Meikle, Adrian Hawes, Rhys Lewis, Nathan Watson, Emeka Hwadike, Jamie McGhee (Alex Troke 11, Sam McVicar 44), TJ Nightingale, Kallum Smith. Unused subs, Danny Elliott, James Martin.

Referee: David Storrie

Attendance: 217.