YOUTH TEAM REPORT | Grimsby Town 3-0 Notts County

Three first-half goals gave our youth team a comfortable home victory over Notts County on Friday.

Midfielder Harvey Cribb bagged a brace either side of a close-range strike by Grayson Giles as the Young Mariners earned maximum points from the EFL Youth Alliance league clash on the 3G pitch at the Bradley Football Development Centre.

The game was Town’s second of the week after a narrow 1-0 away defeat at Burton Albion on Tuesday and they bounced back in style, seeing out the second half to cap their win with a clean sheet.

Notts striker Alex Li had the first chance of the afternoon on two minutes but fired over the bar from the edge of the penalty area.

Grimsby took the lead a minute later, when a low cross from Charlie Clements on the right picked out CRIBB and he sent a neat finish past goalkeeper Josh Murtagh and into the net from 12 yards.

A foul on Giles gave the home side a free kick just outside the box, although Shakeel Brown’s shot was just too high and landed on the roof of the net.

A run by Lewis Greenfield down the away left was stopped by Shakeel Brown, with Callum Storr completing the clearance,  before a shot by Li was blocked and a follow-up effort from Jonny Gilbert flew off-target as Notts attacked again.

Shakeel Brown won a corner on 19 minutes when his right-wing cross was turned behind.  The ball was played short from the flag to Cribb but his cross went wide at the near post.

The Young Mariners doubled their advantage soon afterwards, with Shakeel Brown chasing down a long pass on the right and cutting inside before squaring for GILES to finish at the far post.

A low cross from Giles was cut out for a corner on 28 minutes but Town were unable to make the most of it, with an offside decision given as Jaxon Blankley sent a follow-up delivery into the box.

A cross from Gilbert was blocked by Storr for a corner at the other end but it also led to an offside flag, as Seb Auton remained untroubled in the home goal.

Town made it 3-0 on the half-hour, after Storr played an intelligent ball down the right for Giles.  He pulled it back to the edge of the box, where CRIBB ran onto it and placed a first-time strike into the bottom corner of the net.

Giles was denied by a good save from Murtagh at his near post after more neat build-up play and the striker went on to head wide from the resulting corner.

Alfie Foy was spoken to by the referee after a foul near the halfway line on 38 minutes, then Ryan Makings won a Notts corner on their right.  The ball was initially played short from it before being crossed into the box, where a Greenfield header was cleared.

Cribb volleyed wide from 20 yards as Town aimed to add to their score before the break, then good covering by Billy Bradley got the ball clear at the other end after a mistake in defence gave Greenfield an opening.

Notts’ Corey Durose was shown the first yellow card of the game for a foul just outside his own box as the clock ticked into stoppage time but Shakeel Brown could not capitalise from the free kick, which sailed over the bar.

That proved to be the last action of the first half, with Town taking a three-goal lead into the dressing rooms at the interval.


Ahri Chaddah replaced Durose for the visitors before the restart but Town had the first opportunity of the second half as Shakeel Brown’s low effort struck the post.

Harrison Hazard then volleyed over the bar at the near post from a Makings cross, before Henry Brown saw a shot saved by Murtagh after a cut-back by Clements as the game moved from end to end.

Tom Rennardson replaced Blankley in Town’s first change on 56 minutes, before Shakeel Brown was booked for a shirt-pull.  The resulting free kick was caught by Auton.

Yerim Zoko came on in place of Richie Ingham in Notts’ second substitution just before the hour.

Clements was inches away from adding a fourth goal from a flick after good link-up play between Rennardson and Henry Brown on the left, but his attempt clipped the bar before being cleared to safety.

Tom Daniels replaced Gilbert for the away side, before a shot by Giles was blocked and Clements sent another effort through to Murtagh.

Makings became the next to be booked after a push on Rennardson but Shakeel Brown’s free kick was headed away.

Harry Shipstone came on for Henry Brown in the black and white of Town on 70 minutes, before a Bradley header from a corner on the right was caught by Murtagh.

Hazard was booked for delaying the taking of a Grimsby free kick, then a foul on Shakeel Brown gave the hosts another chance to attack from the left.  The free kick was played short to Rennardson but his low cross was cleared.

Foy became the latest Town player to see the yellow card for a foul and Sam Edgington’s free kick was headed behind by Finn Abraham for a corner.  Zoko’s header from the flag-kick was deflected away for a throw-in.

Notts were pushing forward in search of a consolation goal but the home side were looking solid at the back and it had been a comfortable afternoon so far for Auton.

Rennardson missed the target with a low strike on 85 minutes, before Finley Axcell replaced Cribb in Town’s final change a minute later.

Zoko sent a weak shot through to Auton as the game moved into added time, before Clements won a corner, although Shakeel Brown’s delivery was caught by keeper Murtagh.

That proved to be the last meaningful action as the Young Mariners claimed a deserved three points.

They are back in action on Tuesday, with an away trip to face Hartlepool United.

Town: Seb Auton, Callum Storr, Billy Bradley, Harvey Cribb (Finley Axcell, 86), Finn Abraham, Alfie Foy, Shakeel Brown, Henry Brown (Harry Shipstone, 70), Grayson Giles, Charlie Clements, Jaxon Blankley (Tom Rennardson, 56)
Sub not used: Will Mitchell

Notts County: Josh Murtagh, Corey Durose (Ahri Chaddah, 46), Teddy Woolland, Richie Ingham (Yerim Zoko, 59), Connor Kitchen, Sam Edgington, Ryan Makings, Jonny Gilbert (Tom Daniels, 67), Alex Li, Lewis Greenfield, Harrison Hazard
Sub not used: Freddie Aves



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