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Franklin Grimsby Town Shadows secure a place in the semi-final U19 EFL CEFA National Cup

IMG 1897

With a place in the semi-finals of the U19 EFL CEFA National Cup up for grabs this game always promised to be a cagey affair! 



Grimsby Town Shadows welcomed Burton Albion Trust to Franklin after being rewarded a home tie after their victory vs West Brom in the final 16.  

The Brewers sat top of their regional league, having only lost one game all season! The opening 15 minutes was a midfield scrap, with both sides trying to gain some initiative. Hall received the ball wide on the left and was taken down, in a heavy tackle to give Town a free kick midway in Burton's half. Evison delivered a delightful ball which tempted the keeper off his line. Baines rose highest in a crowded penalty area and cushioned his header into the top corner to give Grimsby a dream start.  


You might have thought this would have settled any nerves, but it had the opposite effect. Burton grew into the game and began to create a few chances whilst enjoying lots of the ball. Town was quite sloppy in possession and got deeper and deeper, allowing the Burton striker a sight on goal, but he could only find the side netting when one-on-one with Lowe. 

The striker would find the right side of the net on the half-hour mark, with Grimsby giving the ball away deep in their half, and a low cross was turned into the corner of the net to level the scores.  

Grimsby needed halftime and had two huge lets-off just before the break, firstly the Burton striker latched on to a flick-on but dragged his shot just wide of the post, which was a massive let-off for Town. Hodson then got back on the line to clear a low drive from the right. The scores at halftime were level, leaving Grimsby feeling like Burton were more likely to grab that second all-important goal if the second half was to continue in the same manner. 

Westerby tinkered with the tactics during the interval, and Grimsby started the second period slightly more comfortably. However, they were dealt a big blow at 54 minutes when the usually dependable Allenby let his man get the wrong side of him and had little option but to bring the Burton player down. The referee awarded a straight red card, and Grimsby had to play the remainder of the game with only ten men.  

After 10-15 minutes of Burton pressure, during which there was some resolute defending and a superb work rate from the Grimsby team, there was finally a respite. Wootton and Read chased down a loose ball and forced a heavy back pass, which gave Grimsby a corner from the left. Evison delivered another excellent set piece, and this time it was McSpadden who got up above his marker and headed the ball beyond the Burton keeper to put the ten men back in front!  

With 20' Burton changed their shape and went more direct. Grimsby stood firm, and when the defensive line was breached Lowe in net was quick off his line on a few occasions to smoother the Burton attack. 

As the clock wound down to five minutes, Grimsby were handed a huge boost, with Burton’s number 14 receiving his second caution to level the sides up at 10v10. Town professionally wound down the clock high in Burton’s territory, eager to ensure the contest didn’t go to penalties with a late Burton equaliser. 

The full-time whistle went to a more relieved style of celebration than joyous. Grimsby worked their socks off against the odds and booked their place in the semi-final and last four of the prestigious U19 National competition.