A young Grimsby Town XI booked a place in the semi-finals of the Lincolnshire Senior Cup with a 3-0 victory over Scunthorpe United this afternoon.
Although we appreciate that many of our supporters would have liked the opportunity to attend the game, with it being an away fixture, Scunthorpe made the decision to play it behind-closed-doors to save on costs.
The Mariners side, made up mostly of players from the club’s under-18s squad and led from the dugout by youth team boss Neil Woods, produced a confident and at times, stylish performance as they dominated the behind-closed-doors clash at Glanford Park.
Edwin Essel gave Town the lead just after the half-hour as he reacted the quickest when Jaz Goundry’s header from a corner was saved, then Harvey Tomlinson doubled the advantage two minutes later.
Scunthorpe, who also fielded an XI largely made up of U18 players, pushed forward after the break in search of a way back into the contest. But the visitors made sure of a fully deserved win when Tomlinson scored his second goal of the game from the penalty spot with 15 minutes to go.
Town started brightly, with a cross-field ball from Shakeel Brown proving to be just too far ahead of the run of Harry Milner on the right.
A foul by Tomlinson on striker Harrison Poulter then gave Scunthorpe a free kick inside the Grimsby half on three minutes but they were unable to create an opening from it.
Three minutes later, a run down the left by Louis Boyd was brought to a halt unfairly but the resulting free kick from Brown was cut out by right-back Charlie Burden-Whittleton before it could reach Boyd.
Tom Zerboni hit a low cross from the left which was collected by home keeper Ewan Oxborough, before a good block denied Tyrell Sellars-Fleming at the other end after a run through the middle.
Boyd saw a cross cleared after he had linked up with Zerboni down the left, then a centre from Markham on the opposite flank sailed out for a goal kick as the visitors continued to boss the early stages.
Oxborough produced a great save on the quarter-hour to keep a header from Boyd out, after the winger had met a cross from Brown on the right. It led to the game’s first corner, which was cleared for a throw-in after Boyd’s delivery was punched by the keeper.
Sellars-Fleming headed wide after a promising move down the Scunthorpe right as the hosts started to come into the game, then good defending by Henry Moore saw Sellars-Fleming win a corner. From the flag-kick, a volley was comfortably stopped by Town keeper Jamie Pardington.
Milner battled well to win a corner at the other end soon afterwards but it caused no problems.
Another corner was won by Essel on the right just before the half-hour and this time, Boyd’s ball was punched clear by Oxborough.
The Mariners pressure continued with their latest corner on 32 minutes and this time, it led to a breakthrough as Boyd’s right-wing delivery was met by Goundry. His header was tipped onto the bar and ESSEL was in the right place to send the rebound into the net.
Town’s dominance was then further rewarded as they doubled their advantage less than two minutes later. This time, Essel was the provider as his flick sent TOMLINSON clear through the middle and after taking the ball forward, he kept his composure to slot past Oxborough.
Pardington raced off his line to make a smart block from Poulter as Scunthorpe aimed to pull a goal back.
But the away side were in full control now and another opening came when Tomlinson pulled the ball back across the six-yard line from the left, although this time, nobody in black and white was there to convert the chance.
Brown’s chip from the edge of the box was caught by the keeper, before Milner side-footed just wide of the far post as the Mariners continued to create opportunities with half-time looming.
A cross from Markham was blocked for a corner on the right on 43 minutes but Boyd’s delivery was cleared, then Tomlinson got to another Markham cross first after great play by Milner, although the shot went just wide of the near post.
That proved to be the last opportunity of what had been a great first half for Town, with the 2-0 scoreline fully merited after an eye-catching display.
Scunthorpe made a double-substitution before the restart, with Edward Devine and Lucas Dickinson coming on.
A cross from Markham went out at the far post for a goal kick, before a foul by Moore on Burden-Whittleton gave Scunthorpe a free kick midway inside the Grimsby half. Harvey Cribb’s chip to the edge of the box was headed away by Milner but Scunthorpe kept possession and a low ball by Charley Strouther was deflected wide for a corner on the right, which went straight out for a goal kick.
The hosts were pushing for a way back into the contest and another corner came on 59 minutes but the ball from the flag was headed away by Zerboni, with Goundry then getting his head to a follow-up cross.
Milner created Town’s first good chance of the second half five minutes after the hour when he battled to win the ball in midfield and then raced clear into the penalty area. Instead of pulling the trigger though, he looked for Essel and the ball was scrambled away for a corner, which was headed over the bar by Goundry.
A ball forward from Thorpe for Essel proved just too far ahead of the frontman and Oxborough gathered it, before a cross from Strouther at the other end was blocked by Markham for a corner on the home left. Strouther’s delivery was headed away by Goundry and Tomlinson completed the clearance.
Tomlinson found Boyd to start a Town attack on 70 minutes but after cutting inside from the left, the winger ran out of room and the ball went out for a goal kick.
Brown was spoken to by the referee after dragging Devine down 25 yards from goal but Sellars-Fleming could not profit from the free kick as his strike was well held by Pardington.
Town were then given the opportunity to seal their passage to the last four of the competition on 75 minutes, when Tomlinson was bundled over inside the box after cutting in from the left. The referee pointed to the spot and TOMLINSON got up to find the bottom-left corner of the net and make it 3-0.
Boyd was replaced by George Sims before the restart and moments later, a foul on Sellars-Fleming gave Scunthorpe a free kick on the right edge of the Grimsby box. Strouther’s shot from it bounced off the Town wall and the rebound from Cribb went just over the bar.
A flashpoint came after a poor challenge on Brown by Devine, who was booked for the foul. Tomlinson’s free kick from inches outside the penalty area hit the Scunthorpe wall and was then cleared.
Josh Murtagh replaced Oxborough in the home goal for the last eight minutes of the game and another excellent attacking move by the Mariners almost led to a chance for Brown at the far post but the ball was put behind for a corner, which was eventually cleared.
Harrison Whiteley came on for Scunthorpe with two minutes to go but by then, the game was gone for them and Town closed out the remainder of it to cap a fine performance with a clean sheet.
Town: Jamie Pardington, Alex Markham, Tom Zerboni, Harry Thorpe, Henry Moore, Jaz Goundry, Shakeel Brown, Harvey Tomlinson, Edwin Essel, Harry Milner, Louis Boyd (George Sims, 75); Subs not used: Cameron Gardner, Will Mitchell, Charlie Clements, Billy Bradley
Photo by Luke Broughton.