Grimsby Town YTH 6 (Bryant 3, Peers, Wattam, Winfarrah) Yorkshire Amateur 0
A fine second half performance from Grimsby Town’s youth team saw them progress to the FA Youth Cup Third Qualifying Round after a comprehensive 6-0 win over Yorkshire Amateur at Blundell Park on Wednesday night.
Rob Bryant’s treble was added to by goals from Will Peers, Lee Wattam and Caine Winfarrah as the young Mariners booked themselves a trip to the winner of tonight’s clash between Vauxhall Motors and Curzon Ashton in the next round.
Adam Smith’s side were hit by injury before the game but added some continental flavour to Cleethorpes by maintaining the 4-2-3-1 formation that had served them well in recent weeks.
But it was the visitors who made all the early running. Terrence Ncube had the first shot on target, testing home stopper Harry Ashton from distance.
And second later the Yorkshiremen should have been in front. Sloppy play at the back allowed James Law to nip the ball away but he shot straight at Ashton when he just had the goalkeeper to beat.
It was taking the Mariners some time to find their rhythm but they forced two corners in quick succession with Ben Cuff and Bryant both unlucky to see volleyed efforts blocked inside the box.
There was another scare at the Town end as Ashton dropped a cross but Hamish Falconer was on hand to clear the lines with Ncube looking to pounce.
Law and Lewis Smith both tried their luck from range for their respective teams but it took a 39th-minute strike from Bryant to show them the way to goal.
And what a strike it was. The young forward picked the ball up 30 yards from goal and, with little else on, arrowed a right-foot effort into the far corner – there will be few finer goals scored at Blundell Park this season.
Now the young Mariners had their tails up and they looked for a killer second before the break. Bryant held the ball up well before slipping in the marauding Paul Walker on the right but the full back’s effort rolled just wide of the far upright.
The final chance of the half fell to Jack Griffin, who muscled his way beyond his marker but found visiting stopper Conor Houton out quickly to block the poked shot.
Amateur made one change at the break with Conor Gilboy replacing Callum Walker but it was the home side who made all the running in the second period.
Walker again burst down the right and crossed for Bryant but a defending foot managed to flick the ball away before the Town striker could connect.
The second wasn’t too far behind though and it again came from good work down the right by Walker, who crossed for Griffin to back-heel into the path of Peers to score with a left-foot finish from 12 yards.
Town were pouring forward now and Winfarrah forced Houton into a great save with a long-range shot and, from the resulting corner, Walker headed straight at the Amateur custodian from a matter of yards.
But the third goal did arrive shortly after and again the impressive Walker was involved. His header from a corner was partially cleared but Bryant was on hand to stab home the rebound and claim his second of the evening.
And still the Mariners looked for more goals. Josh Morrall was relishing his forays forward on the left and he crossed for Bryant but the striker missed his kick and the chance was gone.
Then the woodwork denied Bryant his hat trick. Griffin floated a ball over the defence and the Town striker took one touch to control before firing his effort past Houton, only to see it thud off the face of the crossbar.
There was no denying Bryant the match-ball when he was presented with a third chance to claim his hat-trick. Griffin had been finding pockets of space on the edge of the box all evening and he advanced, only to be tripped by Kyle Walters; Bryant calmly sending Houton the wrong way from the spot.
Town’s attacking intentions turned to the left now and Morrall began to bomb forward from full-back. His beautifully weighted cross was inch-perfect for Wattam to smash into the roof of the goal at the far post to make it five with 15 minutes remaining.
And three minutes later the Town defender was at it again, bamboozling his marker to get to the byline and square for the hard-working Winfarrah to tap into the empty goal from inside the six-yard box to make it an even half-dozen for the young Mariners.
Fittingly, the final chance on the night went to the visitors, who had played their part with an honest display. Ncube found space on the left and cut inside to fire a dipping shot that arced just over Ashton’s crossbar.
Grimsby Town: Ashton; Walker, Morrall, Falconer, Cuff; Smith, Wattam (Robinson), Winfarrah; Peers (Charlesworth), Griffin; Bryant (Loughran). Subs not used: Appleby, Burgess
Yorkshire Amateur: Houton; Booth, Maphosa, Price, Nelson-Walters; Tattler (Nelson), Walker (Gilboy), Stypik, Ncube; Law, Bland. Subs not used: Madden, Haynes