Match Report – Grimsby Town 4 – 0 Crewe Alexandra

Grimsby Town booked their place in the second round of the Carabao Cup with a convincing victory over Crewe Alexandra at Blundell Park.

The Mariners dominated throughout the contest and went in two goals up at half-time after Luke Waterfall’s early header was added to by a volley from Kieran Green.

Crewe tried to respond after the break but their hopes of getting back into the game were ended when Andy Smith made it 3-0, before Stephen Wearne added a late fourth to cap an excellent team performance.

New signing Aribim Pepple came straight in to make his first start for Town a day after joining the club on loan from Luton.

He was one of three changes from the XI that began Saturday’s home draw with Northampton as Wearne and Danny Amos were also handed starts, with Brendan Kiernan, Ryan Taylor and Harry Clifton making way.

Max Crocombe started in goal, with Michee Efete, Waterfall, Smith and Amos forming the back four.  Wearne, Green, Bryn Morris and Glennon were the midfielders, with Gavan Holohan supporting striker Pepple.

Competition rules state nine substitutes can be named for Carabao Cup games, so Kiernan, Taylor and Clifton were joined on the bench by Ollie Battersby, Shaun Pearson, Evan Khouri, Jordan Maguire-Drew, Aaron Braithwaite and Jordan Cropper.

Crewe made the journey east looking to continue their perfect start to the season, having registered wins in both of their League Two games so far.

Manager Alex Morris named Arsenal loanee goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo among his starting line-up, with striker Courtney Baker-Richardson looking to cause damage at the other end of the pitch.

Town won the first corner of the game two minutes in but Glennon’s ball from the right flag was cleared after it had been flicked on at the near post.

Amos was shown the first yellow card a minute later for a foul near the halfway line and the resulting free kick led to a Crewe corner, which was eventually cleared.

A break by the Mariners then produced another corner, this time on the left, but as the ball came into the box, the referee blew for a free kick to the visitors.

A foul on Green gave Town a free kick in a promising position on the right on eight minutes.  Glennon sent the ball towards the far post, where it was headed over the bar by Efete.

Another free kick came on 13 minutes after a foul on Pepple and this time, it led to the deadlock being broken as the ball to the far post was met by WATERFALL and his header bounced up, beyond Okonkwo and into the net.

Crewe’s response saw them win a corner and from it, they were almost level as Charlie Colkett’s delivery led to a looping header from Luke Offord bouncing off the bar before the ball was scrambled to safety.

Wearne appeared to be pulled down inside the box on 21 minutes but the referee waved play on, then another penalty appeal came three minutes later when Efete went down under a challenge.  Again, no action was taken.

A low ball into the box from Wearne was sliced towards his own goal by defender Rod McDonald just before the half-hour, although keeper Okonkwo was able to reach up and catch it.

Moments later, a good cross-field ball found Charlie Finney on the Crewe left but his cross caused no problems.

A foul on Efete then gave Town a free kick midway inside the away half and from it, they made it 2-0.  Morris’ chipped delivery into the box was punched by Okonkwo as far as GREEN, who found the net with an emphatic half-volley from 20 yards.

It was almost three on 40 minutes when after some great link-up play in midfield, Holohan pushed the ball through for Green but this time, he could only send it wide of the target.

Crewe had rarely threatened over the course of the half as the hosts remained on top and a free kick from the away right also failed to cause a problem as the ball from it was headed through to Crocombe.

At the other end, a low cross from Pepple on the right was put behind for a corner but the ball from it was scrambled clear.

One added minute was played at the end of the half and with no further opportunities coming for either side, the Mariners went in at the break with a fully-deserved two-goal lead.

The visitors made a double substitution before the restart, with Zac Williams and Bassala Sambou coming on for Joel Tabiner and Charlie Finney.

Sambou headed harmlessly over the bar from Crewe’s first chance of the second half, before they were forced into another change when Colkett limped off after going down injured on 49 minutes.  He was replaced by Tariq Uwakwe.

Baker-Richardson won a corner on the right but Kelvin Mellor’s near-post header from it was blocked and Town cleared.

A low cross-shot from Sambou was stopped by Crocombe as Crewe continued to up the tempo in search of a way back into the contest.

But their hopes were dashed once and for all when the Mariners grabbed a third goal on 56 minutes.  A free kick from Glennon on the right was met by SMITH and his volley rolled into the bottom corner of the net.

That was the signal for more changes from the away side, with Dan Agyei and Callum Ainley replacing Regan Griffiths and Oliver Finney.

Town kept looking for more goals and a low cross from Efete was put behind for a corner before it could reach Pepple.  Glennon’s delivery from the flag caused chaos as Okonkwo’s punch came back off one of his defenders but the officials ruled the ball had not crossed the line before the keeper scooped it back.

A good move from the visitors came soon afterwards, although it ended with Sambou firing tamely wide of Crocombe’s target.

Mellor was booked for a foul near the halfway line, before a purposeful run from Agyei looked like causing danger until the offside flag went up following his through-ball.

Khouri and Clifton were sent on in place of Green and Holohan in Town’s first changes on 68 minutes.

After a lengthy stoppage where the referee called both teams to the touchline, a mistake at the back gave Agyei an opportunity to take the ball forward and shoot from 20 yards but his effort went wide.

Kiernan and Cropper replaced Amos and Pepple on 78 minutes, before Efete narrowly failed to connect with a header from a Glennon corner on the left.

Crocombe came off his line to make a good block from Sambou and preserve his clean sheet with five minutes to go.

And seconds later, the Mariners made it 4-0 as Kiernan got down the left and crossed to the far post for WEARNE, who squeezed the ball into the net from a narrow angle.

Pearson came on for Waterfall after the goal and Crewe won a corner as the game moved into six added minutes.  The ball from the flag was glanced wide for a goal kick.

Khouri almost made it 5-0 but Okonko did well to get to his curling strike and tip it over the bar for a corner, which was headed clear.

Kiernan then nearly benefited from a mix-up at the back, before another strike by Agyei from outside the box at the other end was deflected away for a corner, which was headed away from danger by Smith.

That meant the Mariners secured a clean sheet to go with their four goals, adding up to an impressive night’s work.

They will find out their second-round opponents when the draw is made on Wednesday night after the televised clash between Sheffield Wednesday and Sunderland.

Town are then back in league action on Saturday, when they travel to Rochdale.


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