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Another League One Scalp
By: Rob Sedgwick
GRIMSBY reached the fourth round of the FA Cup with their third consecutive defeat of a League One side in the competition, Burton Albion being the latest scalp. The Mariners had to withstand a lot of pressure in the early part of the game, where they were penned into their own half.
Brendan Kiernan replaced Luke Waterfall in the only change which meant Harry Clifton started as captain in his 200th game for the club.
A combination of strong defending and Burton's lack of ability in difficult conditions limited the away side's attempts on goal to just one save which Max Crocombe has to make when Oshilaja could only manage a tame shot straight at the Grimsby 'keeper. Burton won a succession of corners and long throws and Town has to dig deep to withstand the barrage.
At the other end, a rare Grimsby breakaway resulted in McAtee misplacing a pass from a good position and Town also had a McAtee free kick which struck Maher in the face and was deflected wide.
Town, attacking the Pontoon, were much improved after the break, and came into the game more. McAtee had an early chance when a ball over the top beat gave him a clean run on goal, but he slipped on the surface. Khan then created an opportunity for Kiernan whose shot went agonisingly across the face of the goal and narrowly wide.
Captain Harry Clifton then sent the crowd wild when Efete crossed and the midfielder's blast took a deflection and put Town 1-0 up. Was it written in the stars? McAtee could have added a second after good play by Khan created a chance on goal but McAtee's shot was saved and the rebound was cleared.
Grimsby looked to have won a clear penalty towards the end of the game when Morris was barged to the ground but the referee decided it wasn't a penalty, somewhat inexplicably.
In the end, it didn't matter as Town fairly comfortably negotiated their way to the full-time whistle.
Town have defeated three sides in the league above and Burton had only one shot on target in the whole game, although that doesn't tell the whole story as the Mariners were under intense pressure at the start of the game. Plymouth and Cambridge were also well beaten by Paul Hurst's side, but this was game was more about the defence than the attack.
All eyes will now be on tomorrow's draw (the first time for over 20 years when Grimsby have been in it) when most fans will be hoping for something a bit bigger than another League One team. With not many lower league teams remaining, Grimsby are likely to draw a bigger fish - but which one?
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