Our women’s team made it through to the Marsh Sport County Plate quarter-finals after putting eleven past Louth Football Club Ladies. Star of the show Bethany Wharton scored four as she celebrated becoming the club’s all-time leading appearance maker.

The Mariners made the short trip down the A16 in blustery conditions to face a lower-league side who were looking to complete a giant killing, with a place in the quarter finals at stake.

Grimsby set up with five changes from their previous league game with Jasmine Lacey taking her place in between the sticks for her first outing of the season. Eden Pedersen was back from suspension and came in for the unavailable Darcie Proud and Olivia Kershaw, Ellie Wilson and Alisha DeJonge were rested with next week’s league fixture in mind, taking their place amongst the substitutes with Lily Jacklin, Jade Appels and Hermione Clapham given their chance in a much changed 11.

Louth kicked off and where under the cosh almost immediately with some good footwork from Jacklin creating space with her dipping shot flying just over the bar. It was a warning shot which Louth did not heed and with only 4 minutes on the clock the Mariners took the lead; a lovely threaded ball through from Evie Revell set Bethany Wharton away who slid the ball past the keeper coming back off the post and landing at the feet of the onrushing Appels to slot into an empty net for her first ever Mariner’s goal.

Grimsby seemed to take their foot off the gas, and with conditions favouring the home team attacking with the wind, every ball into midfield seemed to come straight back with under hit passes and the wind causing Grimsby’s own eventual downfall. In the 25th minute A sloppy pass back went straight out for a corner which Louth capitalised on. The corner was headed clear by Sophie Grey landing at the edge of the area and a thunderous shot left Jasmine Lacey with no chance as it flew into the corner.

A rallying cry from the sidelines aided in the Mariners playing the football we have become more accustomed to leading to two goals in a minute, the first of which was a lovely chipped pass from Captain Danielle Brighton onto the rushing Wharton, fresh from celebrating her 50th appearance for the Mariners, who found herself in a similar situation to her first but made no mistake this time sliding round the keeper and into the bottom corner on 29 minutes and almost a carbon copy on 30 minutes, this time it was the ball through from Sophie Grey for Wharton to finish this time into the opposite corner.

With the clock heading towards halftime, there was still time for 3 more goals. Firstly on 43 minutes, a Dalton cross missed everyone and was kept in play by the lively Jacklin having an excellent game. She slid the ball back to Leah Wray whose first time cross landed at the feet of  Appels to slot in her 2nd of the game.

A mistake by Lacey lead to a second for Louth. Lacey threw the ball out from her area, but it was intercepted and slotted away at the first time of asking. Into added time, and Lily Jacklin got her first of the season and a well-deserved goal. Jacklin initially crossing the ball into the box lead to a scramble with Appels and  Brighton’s shots bouncing back off the keeper and after following in her own cross, Jacklin managed to bundle the ball over the line.

There was barely time to get your breath back after a seven-goal first half before the goals started again, four minutes into the second half. A wicked Kershaw corner was flicked on by DeJonge, who then found the ball back at her feet on the rebound, striking the ball which cannoned off Dalton and in at the back post.

Grimsby had control of the second half with Louth unable to get out of their own half for more than a fleeting moment. The lively DeJonge, who came on at half time, then got herself on the scoresheet not once but twice inside three minutes. Into the 57th minute and another killer through-ball played by Brighton saw  DeJonge through, who slotted past the Louth keeper and then again on 60 minutes this time, Pedersen returning from a two-match suspension got her first assist of the game sending a lofted ball over the top of the back-line with DeJonge sliding in at the back post.

With 30 minutes still to play there was still time for three more goals. Firstly a driving run by Pedersen who had found herself on the right wing, played a quick one-two with Wharton and drove towards the Louth penalty area, a delightful cut-back to the onrushing  Wharton saw her seal her hat-trick with a first time strike into the bottom right corner. DeJonge then completed a 13-minute hat-trick for herself with Pedersen making it a hat-trick of assists in a row, with another beautifully lofted ball, leaving DeJonge to take a delicate touch to set the ball and fire high to the keepers left. There were plenty more chances with  DeJonge, Jacklin and Appels all finding their shots blocked by a stubborn Louth back-line fighting for pride, but the final goal of the game came on 79 minutes with Wharton scoring her fourth of the tie, assisted by Jacklin, as she slid the ball under the Louth keeper.

Celebrations at full time as Grimsby find themselves in the hat for the quarter final after a thoroughly professional job in what was a potential banana skin of a tie.

Assistant manager Paul Shaw was thoroughly impressed with his side’s victory, and said, “These ties are always tricky, where a lot can go wrong and not a lot go right for you. We believed we had the strike power to win the game and that ultimately proved to be the case.

“It’s not every day you hit double figures for goals, so I’m incredibly delighted with the attacking output. Louth did not make it easy for us and punished us with two excellent strikes from our mistakes. It was brilliant for Beth to grab herself 4 goals after celebrating becoming the all-time leading Grimsby Town Women appearance maker, and there were further brilliant finishes from Alisha DeJonge, Jade Appels and Lily Jacklin. For the squad to all get minutes in their legs with some really impressive performances makes the job of choosing a squad next week even harder than it was before.

Fresh from scoring her first of the season, Mariner’s attacker Lily Jacklin said, “I’m delighted to get my first goal. I feel like I’ve been getting closer each week but it just hasn’t been falling for me. Playing with such incredibly talented players I knew I would get a chance and it was up to me to put it away.

“It wasn’t the prettiest of goals but I’ll definitely take it. You have to be in there to score them and I managed to fire it home. It’s great to repay the faith shown in me with a goal and an assist, and hopefully I can continue to give the coaches a headache when selection time comes around.”

The Mariners:  Jasmine Lacey, Harriet Dalton, Sophie Grey, Leah Wray, Hermione Clapham, Eden Pedersen, Danielle Brighton, Evie Revell, Jade Appels, Beth Wharton, Lily Jacklin

Substitutes: Olivia Kershaw, Alisha DeJonge, Ellie Wilson.

Mariner’s POTM: Bethany Wharton




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