Despite being on the wrong end of a 3-1 score-line, the match was fairly even. Jack Walton had been recalled by Barnsley, putting Aidan Winterbottom back in goal for Celtic.
Celtic started off pressing the visitors back into their own box, with Jake Charles’s cross inches away from the boots of Connor Hughes and Matty Wolfenden. Moments later and Wolfenden found the space, but fired straight down the throat of Keiran Preston, so it was somewhat against the run of play when Danny Meadows broke for Grantham racing past Jack Taylor and pulling the ball back to the edge of the box where Jack McGovern was arriving to drill his shot through a crowd. Winterbottom saw the ball late, and was left motionless as the ball flew into the bottom corner.
Celtic were back on the attack after the goal, with Harrison Holgate’s whipped in cross finding the head of Liam Dickinson, but again, Preston was well placed to make the save.
Lee Shaw had been holding the offside line really well in the opening period, and did so again for Meadow’s ball over the top for him to chase. Ross Killock went with him, but couldn’t quite keep up, and as Winterbottom narrowed the angle, Shaw tried the lob, making it inch perfect as it looped over Winterbottom and snuck just under the bar.
Oli Roberts came on after Liam Dickinson picked up a knock, immediately getting involved in the action with a rapid series of passing seeing him latch onto the ball, firing through the crowd from the edge of the box, but Preston got down well to deny him. Moments later, Roberts was shooting again, this time his angled drive into the side netting. After Lee Shaw had seen his effort blocked by Luke Ashworth, Connor Hughes broke free and raced down the line. Jake Charles matched his run and arrived as Hughes’s ball came into the box. Charles was too central, and took the touch first allowing Preston to get across and make a very good save.
The second half saw more chances come Celtic’s way, with Charles trying a twenty-five yard effort to the top corner that Preston caught, whilst Hughes’s fierce drive was inadvertently blocked for a corner by Tom Potts. As the other end, Rhys Lewis tried his luck from too tight an angle, hitting the side netting, whilst Winterbottom did well to deny Shaw, the ball squirrelling out for a corner.
With time running out and Celtic pressing, moving Ashworth up front, gaps were opening at the back, and Grantham exploited them. A loose clearance came to Sam Osbourne and he had the space to curl in a good shot from the corner of the box that left Winterbottom no chance.
Celtic did deny Preston his clean sheet bonus when Connor Hughes’s quick foot work created enough of an opening for Alex Honeyball who curved his shot beyond the fingertips of Preston to claw one back as the last action of stoppage time.
|3||Luto, Ollie||> 63|
|4||Lewis, Rhys||> 81|
|8||McGovern, Jack||> 76|
|12||Osbourne, Sam||< 63|
|14||Wright, Andrew||< 81|
|15||Hollingsworth, Michael||< 76|