Youth Team Win Again To Go Top

Our Young Mariners moved to the top of the league as they beat Huddersfield Town 3-1 at Cheapside.

A Harvey Tomlinson brace came after Will Hodgson’s opener for Town’s U18s, with substitute Hazeem Bakre replying for the Terriers.

Both teams came into Wednesday afternoon’s match fresh from a weekend victory after our success over Mansfield and Huddersfield’s derby win against Bradford City.

But it was the home side who made the best start and they took the lead when midfielder Hodgson struck just before the half-hour, then doubled their advantage through Tomlinson.

The visitors rallied after the break and Bakre pulled a goal back but Tomlinson had the final say with his second of the game.

Grimsby started the day level with previous Youth Alliance North-East division leaders Lincoln City on 13 points, knowing they would replace the Imps at the top if they avoided defeat.

One change was made to the Town line-up following Saturday’s fine victory, with Harry Milner coming in for Brook Dennis, who was named on the bench.

The Young Mariners were on the front foot in the early stages and Shakeel Brown won the first corner but saw his delivery from the left headed clear, before a follow-up shot went over the bar.

Huddersfield goalkeeper Michael Acquah dived to his left to save a 20-yard strike from Hodgson, then he was called into action again on seven minutes to make a stop after Brown ran down the left, cut inside and shot from 20 yards.

A foul on Tomlinson brought a free kick in a central position, 30 yards from goal, although his chip into the penalty area was headed clear before Alex Markham could get to it.

Soon afterwards, a pull-back from Tomlinson was cleared at the near post, before Milner got down the right and fizzed a low cross-shot which was just too far ahead of the sliding Edwin Essel for the striker to make contact at the far post.

Huddersfield started to play their way into the game around the 20-minute mark and there was an opportunity for Ajay Weston to break the deadlock in favour of the West Yorkshire side but his low effort from the left side of the penalty area rolled just wide of the far post.

A tricky run by Hakeem Sandah then saw him create a chance on 26 minutes but his shot also narrowly missed the target.

Two minutes later, the Young Mariners took the lead when a mistake in the Huddersfield defence gifted HODGSON the ball inside the box and he kept his composure to work an opening for a shot before beating Acquah.

The goal shifted the momentum back Town’s way and they made it 2-0 on 34 minutes. Milner was the architect as he ran down the right before playing a low ball to the near post, where TOMLINSON was on-hand to finish.

The away side looked to get themselves back into the game before the interval and they went close when Weston crept in at the far post to meet a right-wing cross but his low volley back across goal went just wide.

A foul on Sandah gave the Terriers a free kick in a shooting position on 43 minutes but Town keeper Dec Dennis was not called upon to make a save as Michael Stone’s 25-yard effort flew over the bar.

Huddersfield made a double-substitution at half-time as Bakre and Tyrese Sanusi joined the action and an away corner two minutes after the restart was headed away by Harry Thorpe.

Tom Zerboni had Grimsby’s first opportunity of the second half when he cut inside from the left but he could only fire wide of the far post.

Henry Moore saw a header blocked from a Hodgson free kick, then another effort from Zerboni was blocked after a good switch by Hodgson.

The visitors got themselves back within one goal on 52 minutes, as a low ball from the left was not dealt with and BAKRE was left on his own to tap into the net at the far post.

Joseph Johnson was spoken to by the referee after a foul on Brown near the halfway line, then Dennis got down to make a good save as he pushed a curling strike from Huddersfield captain Tom Iorpenda away for a corner.

Iorpenda was involved again when he sent a 25-yard shot high over the bar, then Sanusi beat Zerboni down the away right and went down after cutting into the box, although the referee waved play-on.

Louis Boyd and Brook Dennis replaced Essel and Brown in the Town attack on 63 minutes and soon afterwards, Moore had to hook clear at the near post for a throw-in after a low cross from Johnson.

The Young Mariners regained their two-goal advantage five minutes later, after Hodgson’s ball found Boyd on the left. He pulled it back for TOMLINSON, who steered a finish past Acquah from 12 yards.

Town went in search of a fourth goal and a powerful strike from Harry Thorpe was parried by the keeper, before Brook Dennis was unable to generate enough power on his attempt when the ball was played back into the box.

The visitors made a triple-substitution with 19 minutes to go and they won a free kick moments later, although Moore was in the right place to head it clear and the centre-back was also first to a follow-up cross from the right.

No action was taken when Tomlinson went down under a challenge inside the Huddersfield box, then Sandah cleared the bar with a 20-yard shot at the other end.

Grimsby almost stretched their lead further on 76 minutes when a fierce drive from Thorpe bounced back off the post after excellent work by Milner to keep the ball in play on the right.

A Milner cross was then cut out for a corner but the hosts were unable to turn it into a chance in front of goal, then keeper Dennis got down to his right to stop a shot from Sanusi.

A low effort from Brook Dennis squirmed through the hands of Acquah for a corner but the ball was cleared after it had initially been played short from the flag.

As the clock ticked down, Huddersfield were pressing for a second goal which would have led to a nervy ending for the hosts.

But Town were defending well, with Markham and Thorpe both making clearances from free kicks played into the box.

At the other end, Cameron Gardner, who had come on for Milner, forced keeper Acquah into a good save as the game moved into added time, before the rebound was struck against the post from a narrow angle by fellow late substitute Charlie Clements.

The final attack of the game saw Gardner win a corner after linking up with Boyd on the right and as the flag-kick was cleared, the referee blew for full-time to confirm another excellent victory for Town’s youngsters.

Town: Dec Dennis, Harry Thorpe, Tom Zerboni, Aaron Braithwaite, Alex Markham, Henry Moore, Harry Milner, Will Hodgson, Edwin Essel, Harvey Tomlinson; Subs used: Louis Boyd, Brook Dennis, Cameron Gardner, Charlie Clements; Sub not used: Billy Bradley


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