Incredible comeback sends St Ives Town through in FA Trophy

Ed Hottor (tackling) scored the late winner for St Ives Town against Grantham in the FA Trophy. Picture: JAMES RICHARDSON

Ed Hottor (tackling) scored the late winner for St Ives Town against Grantham in the FA Trophy. Picture: JAMES RICHARDSON - Credit: Archant

One of Grantham’s most well-known daughters once famously said “the lady’s not for turning”. With mere minutes remaining of the FA Trophy tie between Grantham Town and St Ives Town it appeared the outcome was not to be turned either.

Grantham led 3-2 going into stoppage time at the South Kesteven Sports Stadium and yet somehow Ives managed to return south with the win and passage to the second round.

It has been the story of their run in the competition so far with the previous round seeing a last-gasp equaliser and penalty shoot-out win disposing of Stafford Rangers.

Here it was a penalty from Dylan Williams that brought parity in the second minute of time added on and less than 120 seconds later Ed Hottor bagged the winner to set up a clash at National League North Leamington.

It was a far cry from the start of the game which saw Grantham roar into a 2-0 lead.

They had already gone close twice before Liam Hardy raced clear and fired home from the edge of the box on 10 minutes.

The second arrived from another quick break on the half hour.

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This time Ives keeper Martin Conway started to come for a ball that looked like it might carry through to him. The wind had other ideas and it left the keeper stranded, Jack Stobbs gleefully taking advantage to lash it home.

The visitors did pull one back four minutes later, Marc Richards scoring from the penalty spot after Michael Harding had been brought down, but Grantham restored their two-goal advantage two minutes later thanks to a second from Hardy.

At 3-1 and seconds remaining in the half it appeared as if Ives were up against it but importantly they scored again, this one in first-half stoppage time.

Michael Gyasi picked up the ball wide on the left and with only one intention, he cut inside two defenders before rattling an unstoppable drive past the rooted Jan Budtz.

The second half proved frustrating for the visitors who struggled to create any real opportunities, and it was the home side who should have wrapped things up before the dramatic conclusion.

Manager Ricky Marheineke played all of his cards in an attempt to try and grab something from the game, including bringing on Hottor.

And with a minimum of four minutes added, they got their reward.

This time Gyasi tempted a Gingerbreads’ defender into a rash lunge on the edge of the box. The referee deemed the foul inside and Williams did the job from the spot.

But with thoughts all turning to another shoot-out, a turnover in midfield allowed Ives to break and when Harding fired it along the six-yard line, it ran to Hottor at the back post and he smashed the ball into the roof of the net to spark wild celebrations.

St Ives Town: Conway, Bateman, Toseland (Seymour-Shove 80), Gyasi, Jackson, Solkhon, Harding, Howell, Richards (Hottor 78), Williams, Hicks (Boxer 85).

Subs (not used): Patrick, Mitkov.

Goals: Richards (pen) 34, Gyasi 45, Williams (pen) 90+2, Hottor 90+4