Youth Team Report | Grimsby Town 0-3 Lincoln City

Grimsby Town finished their Youth Alliance league regular season with a home defeat by a strong Lincoln City side on Good Friday.

The Young Mariners were showing the effects of a busy schedule which has seen them play 10 games in less than a month and they went in at half-time 2-0 down to a sharper Imps outfit.

Carter Ford put the visitors ahead in the clash at Cheapside, then his low cross was converted by Jersey Lopez to double their advantage on the half-hour.

Town showed plenty of fight after the break but they fell further behind when Gbolohan Okewoye added a third Lincoln goal.

And the result left Grimsby waiting on the outcome of other games to find out whether they would finish in the top or bottom half of the Youth Alliance North East table before the division splits into two Merit Leagues for the remainder of the campaign.

Three changes were made to the starting XI and more alterations came on the bench following Tuesday’s last-minute home loss to Bradford City, with five of the squad going out on loan since then and others picking up injuries.  Callum Storr, Alfie Foy and Mamadu Jalloh were the ones to come into the team, replacing Finley Axcell, Shakeel Brown and Cameron Gardner.

Town began the day fifth in the 11-team table, a point ahead of both Lincoln and Bradford, meaning a win would ensure a top-half finish and a place among the championship group for the post-split fixtures, while a draw or defeat would leave them relying on other results.

An early Jalloh cross from the left rolled past the far post, then a foul by Henry Burt gave the visitors a free kick midway inside the Town half.  Lopez’s delivery into the penalty area was headed wide by Russell Berko.
Jack Collins sent a low effort wide on eight  minutes after winning the ball and cutting inside from the right.

Zane Okoro won the game’s first corner for Lincoln three minutes later but the ball from the flag was confidently claimed by Grimsby goalkeeper Seb Auton.

The deadlock was broken on 14 minutes and it was the away side who took the lead.  A long-range strike by Okoro bounced back off the crossbar and after the ball was not cleared, it eventually fell for FORD to score from close range.

Lincoln had looked the sharper of the two sides in the early stages but Town had an opportunity to respond with a free kick midway inside the away half on 20 minutes.  Harry Shipstone’s delivery into the box found Grayson Giles but his header dropped just wide.

Ford lifted a shot over the bar at the other end after Okoro had created an opening through the middle, before Auton made a great double-save from Kelly Fombad and Lopez to keep the deficit at one goal.

A corner from the Lincoln right was cleared, before a foul on Shipstone gave Town a free kick on the right.  The ball was played from it to Jalloh and his cross found Collins, who headed wide.

Giles shot at Lincoln goalkeeper Zach Marsh soon afterwards but when the second goal came on the half-hour, the visitors extended their lead.  This time, Ford was the provider as his low cross picked out LOPEZ and he beat Auton from inside the box.

A first-time strike by Okoro was deflected over the bar for a corner as the away side continued to threaten, then Town were forced into a change when Henry Burt went down with an injury.  He was replaced by Kian Hawley.

Good defending by Fombad saw him get the better of Collins as the Town attacker aimed to create an opening inside the box, before Giles fired over the bar from a narrow angle at the near post as the hosts looked to get themselves back into the game before half-time.

Fombad headed clear from a Jalloh cross, before Giles won a corner at the end of a good move down the right.  The flag-kick went through to Jaxon Blankley at the far post but he could only turn it onto the top of the bar from a narrow angle.

Shipstone tried his luck from distance in the third added minute before the break but his shot went over the bar, leaving the visitors with a two-goal cushion heading into the second half.


Fortune Onoh and Kristian Catchpole replaced Jalloh and Brown before the restart and Auton was forced into early action to deny Okewoye.  The resulting corner was headed clear.

Collins saw a shot blocked after a strike by Giles deflected into his path, then good defending by Finn Abraham saw him block a shot by Okoro for an away corner.  The flag-kick was headed clear by Abraham.

Catchpole sent a low shot through to keeper Marsh, before a strike by Storr was blocked after a great through-ball from Catchpole had created an opening for Collins.

Shipstone got back to clear after Okewoye had worked his way into the box from the left.

But Town could do nothing to stop the midfielder when he attacked from the left again soon afterwards, as OKEWOYE beat Auton with a low shot across goal from a narrow angle to make it 3-0 on 62 minutes.

Louis Nesbitt replaced Okewoye after he picked up an injury following the goal, then Tom Rennardson replaced Collins for the home side on 67 minutes.  Giles was then off-target after running onto a ball over the top.

Lopez won a corner for Lincoln two minutes later and it led to defender Charlie Carlisle shooting wide from 20 yards.

A stoppage came for Lopez to receive treatment before he was replaced by Dakara Wifa, with Orin Aldridge making way for Kye Perkins at the same time in a double-substitution for the away side.

Hawley headed wide from a Shipstone free kick soon afterwards as Town looked for a way back into the contest, before Auton gathered the ball at his near post after Ford had met a cross from Wifa.

Daniel Van Der Puve replaced Berko on 77 minutes in Lincoln’s latest change, then a pull-back from Rennardson was cleared at the near post.

Marsh dived to tip a low effort from Giles around his post for a corner but Shipstone’s delivery from the flag was cleared after it had been headed back across goal by Onoh.

A strike by Okoro was blocked at the edge of the box on 84 minutes, before another Giles shot was blocked and Rennardson’s rebound ricocheted over the bar.

A Storr cross was claimed by Marsh as the game moved into added time, before a Nesbitt cross was headed away at the other end.

That proved to be the final opportunity of the encounter, with Lincoln claiming a deserved three points.

The Young Mariners will now await their Merit League fixtures for the final month of the season.

Town: Seb Auton, Callum Storr, Jaxon Blankley, Alfie Foy, Finn Abraham, Henry Burt (Kian Hawley, 35), Henry Brown (Kristian Catchpole, 46), Harry Shipstone, Grayson Giles, Jack Collins (Tom Rennardson, 67), Mamadu Jalloh (Fortune Onoh, 46)
Sub not used: Hayden Rogers

Lincoln: Zach Marsh, Orin Aldridge (Kye Perkins, 73), Kelly Fombad, Charlie Carlisle, Noah Simmons, Denny Oliver, Jersey Lopez (Dakara Wifa, 73), Gbolahan Okewoye (Louis Nesbitt, 62), Carter Ford, Zane Okoro, Russell Berko (Daniel Van Der Puve, 77)
Sub not used: Matthew Quill



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