Youth Team Beat Mansfield

Our youth team earned an impressive 4-1 home victory over Mansfield Town in their latest league match.

On a warm and sunny lunchtime at Cheapside, the Young Mariners took control as Will Hodgson and Harvey Tomlinson both struck brilliant free kicks.

Despite working hard throughout Saturday’s EFL Youth Alliance clash, the visitors initially struggled to create clear chances, although they halved the deficit when Jakub Kruszynski made it 2-1 just before the break.

Hodgson scored again just after the hour to restore Town’s two-goal cushion, before Tomlinson completed his own brace in style with a stoppage-time chip to round off the scoring.

Grimsby started brightly, with a Tom Zerboni cross from the left cut out after an overlapping run, then a cross from Harry Thorpe on the opposite flank was caught by Stags goalkeeper Theo Avery.

Kruszynski showed an early threat for the away side when he beat Zerboni down their right and cut inside, although his low ball was cleared after it had been helped on at the near post.

At the other end, a shot from Tomlinson was deflected into the side-netting for a corner after a well-worked free kick was played low down the left by Shakeel Brown. The flag-kick was headed out as far as Hodgson but his looping header from 18 yards was caught by Avery.

Another corner followed on nine minutes but this time, Alex Markham’s downward header went through to the keeper.

Edwin Essel was the next to have an opportunity for the men in black and white after he showed good persistence to block a clearance from Avery, who had raced out of his penalty area. The ball ricocheted off the attacker and he chased it down but his attempt from a narrow angle was blocked for a corner.

Town kept attacking and another corner came on 14 minutes, which led to a shot by Zerboni being blocked at the near post after Brown had played the ball short from the flag.

The home side only had to wait another three minutes to break the deadlock, with a free kick 25 yards from goal and right of centre awarded after Essel was brought down. HODGSON stepped up to take it and he sent a superb strike past Avery and into the far corner of the net.

Essel made good progress after being put through down the right by Aaron Braithwaite on 20 minutes as Town continued to play some excellent attacking football, although his cross was caught by the keeper.

A penalty shout came from Brown after he did well to win the ball and make his way into the box before going down, but his appeal for a push was waved away by the referee.

Instead, it was another free kick which brought the Young Mariners their second goal just before the half-hour. TOMLINSON was fouled on the left edge of the area and he got up to beat Avery with a great shot which bounced off the underside of the crossbar into the net.

Town were now looking comfortable and another Tomlinson effort was blocked from close range after a Brown corner from the left.

Mansfield were rarely seriously threatening at the other end, although they did win a corner on the left on 33 minutes, which led to another. This time, a deep cross was headed clear after the ball had been played short from the flag.

Another Grimsby shooting chance came three minutes later after Brook Dennis was brought down 20 yards out to unfairly end what had been a strong run through the middle. This time, Brown stepped up but his bid to make it a treble of first-half goals from free kicks was thwarted by a good save from Avery, who dived to his right to tip the ball away for a corner.

Mansfield’s Charlie Carter fired over the bar from distance at the other end, before the away side got themselves back into the contest a minute before half-time. After captain Taylor Anderson did well to keep the ball in play with a header on the right touchline, the attack led to KRUSZYNSKI working an opening on the edge of the box before drilling a low shot past Dec Dennis in the Town goal.

That meant the hosts went in at the interval with only a narrow lead and after the restart, they set off in search of getting their two-goal advantage back.

Essel cut inside after a promising run down the left but could only send his low ball out for a goal kick, then a push on Tomlinson brought a free kick on the left side of the box. His shot was blocked but Town retained possession and worked the ball back to win a corner. Tomlinson’s delivery was punched clear.

Thorpe became the first to see a yellow card when he was booked on the hour for a foul after some nice link-up play between Mansfield’s Finn Flanagan and Kruszynski. The free kick from the left edge of the penalty area was played short to Charlie Carter and he aimed to place a shot towards the far post but keeper Dennis got down to push the ball away. The offside flag then went up from the rebound.

Two minutes later, it was 3-1 to the Young Mariners. Substitute Harry Milner, who had replaced Brook Dennis, played a ball to the far post which was headed back across goal by Brown and HODGSON was in the right place to finish for his second goal of the game.

Kruszynski fired over the bar after coming inside from the right as Mansfield looked to cut their deficit once again, before a cross from Darien Wauchope on the left was cleared by Zerboni.

The away pressure continued with a corner after a great tackle by Markham on Louis Bonser but no further danger came from the flag.

A triple-substitution was made by the visitors on 65 minutes as they kept looking for a way back into the game.

But a period of Grimsby pressure followed, starting with a Zerboni long throw which was cleared after Markham had won the initial header.

A teasing low cross from Milner was sent over the bar for a corner on the right and Tomlinson’s ball from it was headed behind for another, which was eventually cleared.

Then, Milner set off on a driving run down the right before hitting a low cross which was helped on at the near post but the ball was gathered by keeper Avery.

Louis Boyd and Cameron Gardner were sent into the action in place of Brown and Essel for the closing stages of the game, before a free kick from Flanagan on the Mansfield right was headed away by Markham and a follow-up effort went high and wide.

Markham was involved again when he put in a good challenge to stop Kruszynski on 88 minutes, then Flanagan was booked for bringing Tomlinson down after good work by Boyd on the home left. Tomlinson sent the free kick wide of the near post.

Hodgson got a vital foot in to send the ball back to Dennis in the Grimsby goal after Noah Aynsley-Johnson had gone through the middle as the game moved into stoppage time.

And there was still time for extra gloss to be added to the scoreline as TOMLINSON got the ball out on the right and produced a moment of magic as he looked up and sent a measured chip over Avery, with the ball left resting in the far corner of the net.

That completed a fine performance from the Grimsby youngsters, who ran out deserved winners.

Town: Dec Dennis, Harry Thorpe, Tom Zerboni, Aaron Braithwaite, Alex Markham, Henry Moore, Edwin Essel (Cameron Gardner, 75), Will Hodgson, Brook Dennis (Harry Milner, 60), Shakeel Brown (Louis Boyd, 75), Harvey Tomlinson

Subs not used: Billy Bradley, Henry Burt


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