YOUTH TEAM REPORT | Grimsby Town 5-0 Harrogate Town

Our youth team made it two Merit League wins out of two with an emphatic 5-0 victory over Harrogate Town at Cheapside on Wednesday.

The Young Mariners were 4-0 up at half-time after Billy Bradley’s header opened the scoring and Grayson Giles struck twice either side of a close-range finish by Jack Collins.

Giles then went on to complete his hat-trick after the break, following in to tap home the rebound after Henry Brown was denied by goalkeeper Alex Mooney.

Grimsby keeper Seb Auton came back into the starting XI after featuring on the bench for the first team at Harrogate the previous evening.

His inclusion was the only change from the team that started Saturday’s 2-0 home success against Huddersfield Town, which marked the first of four end-of-season fixtures following the EFL Youth Alliance North East division’s split into two mini-leagues.

Giles sent a low shot just past the far post from Town’s first chance on three minutes, then Jaxon Blankley saw an attempt saved after Collins had linked up with Giles on the right to cross for Tom Rennardson.

An Alfie Lee cross at the other end took a deflection and went out for the game’s first corner, although the away side were unable to create a chance from it.

A foul on Rennardson gave Town a free kick on the left on 11 minutes but Blankley’s delivery to the penalty spot was headed wide by Fin Abraham.

Collins then won a corner on the right after a quickly-taken throw-in by Giles but Town were not able to profit from it and Harrogate broke through Josh Brodella.  He found Oliver Robinson but good covering by Blankley earned a throw-in.

A shirt-pull on Harry Shipstone brought another free kick, this time near the edge of the penalty area, although Giles was just off-target from it.

Mooney came off his line to make a block from Giles on 17 minutes, then he got down to make a stop from Rennardson as the Young Mariners continued to dominate the early stages.

Another corner followed after more good link-up play between Collins and Giles and this time, they made it count as BRADLEY met the ball from the flag to head home at the far post and break the deadlock.

A Brodella corner for the visitors was headed clear by Abraham, before Bradley got back to clear brilliantly off the line when a mistake in defence was taken advantage of by Jack Bray.

And soon afterwards, Harrogate were punished for not taking their chance as Town doubled their advantage on 25 minutes.  Good play by Renardson saw him find GILES with a through-ball and the striker clipped a neat finish into the far corner of the net from the left.

The away side’s latest corner was cleared by Alfie Foy, before a Brown cross at the other end was also dealt with and a centre by Lee from the away left dropped out for a goal kick.

Rennardson almost capitalised on a loose ball inside the Harrogate box on 32 minutes, before Giles cut inside from the right but Brown was unable to get on the end of his pull-back.

Town did not have to wait much longer for their third goal though.  Again, Rennardson was the creator as his low ball across the penalty area found COLLINS, who finished at the far post with 35 minutes on the clock.

Blankley fired just wide after working his way into the box as the hosts looked to add to their score before the interval.

Bray won a corner for the visitors on 40 minutes but Harry Hindle’s header from it was kept out by Auton.

And Town had their fourth goal two minutes later, after Collins beat Lewis Smalley on the right and pulled the ball back for GILES to slot past Mooney.

Adam Pow was caught offside on the Harrogate left as they aimed to pull a goal back, before a Bray header was cleared.

One added minute was played at the end of the first half, with the hosts taking a commanding lead into the dressing rooms at the break.




Charlie Carrick replaced Callum Storr for Town before the restart, while Cadarn Taylor came on for Marcus Etherington and Smalley made way for Oliver Nicholson in the blue of Harrogate.

Robinson sent a right-wing cross out for a goal kick in the visitors’ first attack of the half, before Rennardson had the ball taken off his toes as he shaped to shoot at the other end.

Mooney came off his line to stop Rennardson after the winger had been picked out by a great cross-field ball from Abraham, before Auton held a 20-yard effort by Nicholson.

Rennardson won a corner on the Grimsby left on 55 minutes but Bradley could not direct his header from it towards goal, then Nicholson stung the palms of Auton with a powerful effort from 25 yards.

A good challenge by Bradley stopped a run from Brodella at the expense of a corner, which was eventually cleared at the near post after Auton was first to the ball from the flag.

Town had to do more defending when Nicholson sent a free kick into the box from the away left but again, Auton was first to it and the ball was then cleared.

Foy was shown the yellow card for a robust challenge on Robinson on 62 minutes and soon afterwards, a Robinson cross from the away right proved just too far ahead of Bray for him to connect with a header.

Giles was denied by a good block from Hindle on 67 minutes, then a penalty appeal was waved away by the referee after Brown went down following a run into the box.

Rennardson created another opening soon afterwards but the ball ricocheted past the post for a corner, before Bradley stepped in at the other end in to stop Bray and ensure the ball went back to Auton.

Jayden Obarotimi replaced Robinson for the away side on 72 minutes, before Auton got down to stop an attempt from distance by Lee.

Town grabbed their fifth goal two minutes later, after Brown raced into the box through the middle.  His shot was saved by Mooney but the keeper could do nothing to prevent GILES from following up to complete his hat-trick with a tap-in from close range.

Carlo Midwinter, Elliott Smith and Kian Hawley were all sent on for the home side after the goal, with Collins, Brown and Giles making way.

Lucas Barnes shot straight at Auton at the end of a neat attacking move from Harrogate, before a defensive error gave Town a cheap corner on the right.  Shipstone’s delivery was headed over the bar by Bradley.

A Jack McClarin cross from the right was eventually cleared for a corner as the away side kept looking for a consolation goal, although the low delivery from the flag was cleared at the near post by Foy.

Auton then made a good block to deny Bray on 85 minutes but the offside flag had already gone up against the striker.

Blankley won a corner for the Young Mariners at the other end soon afterwards and it turned into another one when Rennardson’s cross was blocked.  This time, Shipstone sent the ball towards the far post but did not pick out a team-mate.

Bray fired wide of the far post as the game moved into stoppage time, with Harrogate still looking for a goal to take back to North Yorkshire.

But Town held firm at the back and Auton made a double-save from Obarotimi and Bray to ensure an excellent performance was further rewarded with a clean sheet to go with the three league points.

The Young Mariners are next in action on Saturday, when they travel to Notts County for their penultimate league game of the season.


Town: Seb Auton, Callum Storr (Charlie Carrick, 46), Jaxon Blankley, Alfie Foy, Fin Abraham, Billy Bradley, Jack Collins (Kian Hawley, 75), Henry Brown (Elliott Smith, 75), Grayson Giles (Carlo Midwinter, 75), Harry Shipstone, Tom Rennardson

Sub not used: Hayden Rogers


Harrogate: Alex Mooney, Lucas Barnes, Adam Pow, Harry Hindle, Marcus Etherington (CadarnTaylor, 46), Lewis Smalley, Josh Brodella, Alfie Lee, Jack Bray, Jack McClarin, Oliver Robinson (Jayden Obarotimi, 72)

Subs not used: Elijah Samuels, Frankie Shepherd


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