Grimsby Town 4 Tamworth 1GRIMSBY Town moved into the semi-finals of the FA Trophy with a victory over Tamworth at Blundell Park.
Lenell John-Lewis gave the Mariners the lead, before Oumare Tounkara marked his full debut with a goal to put the hosts in control at half-time.
Tamworth started the second half well and pulled a goal back through Nick Chadwick six minutes in.
From there, the visitors looked the more likely to complete the comeback as they put pressure on the Town goal.
But any home nerves were eased when Paddy McLaughlin restored Grimsby’s two-goal advantage with 20 minutes to go.
And substitute Andy Cook added extra gloss to the scoreline when he made it 4-1 in stoppage time.
Three changes were made to the Town side that ended Cambridge’s 100 per cent home record with a 2-1 away victory in midweek.
Sam Hatton came back into the XI in place of Paul Bignot at right-back , while McLaughlin replaced Scott Neilson on the left wing and there was a first start for striker Tounkara in place of Ross Hannah.
James McKeown started in goal, with Hatton, Shaun Pearson, Clayton McDonald and Jamal Fyfield in defence.
Alex Rodman, Craig Disley, Scott Kerr and McLaughlin were the midfielders, with Tounkara joined in attack by Lenell John-Lewis.
Hannah was named among the substitutes, along with Aswad Thomas, Joe Colbeck, Cook and Andi Thanoj.
Tamworth named former Everton striker Chadwick in their starting line-up, while ex-Aston Villa and Walsall attacker Darren Byfield added extra experience.
Town kicked off attacking the Pontoon Stand end and they had the first sight of goal when John-Lewis stretched out to connect with a ball on the edge of the box but could only prod his first-time shot wide.
A spell of Tamworth possession then led to Jack Evans shooting well over the bar after cutting in from the right.
Tounkara sent a deflected shot through to visiting keeper Cameron Belford on eight minutes, before John-Lewis diverted a drilled shot by Hatton over the bar seven minutes later.
Tamworth won a corner on the left soon afterwards but the delivery from Evans went straight to McKeown.
The Mariners took the lead on 18 minutes with a simple but well-worked goal. Tounkara took the ball midway inside the Tamworth half and advanced before sliding it through for strike-partner JOHN-LEWIS, who applied the finish into the bottom corner of Belford’s net.
Byfield and Tony Capaldi worked an opening down the left as Tamworth looked to reply but after cutting back into the box, the left-back could not pick out a team-mate.
Lloyd Kerry was booked for a foul on Kerr on 23 minutes, then a free kick two minutes later gave Town another chance to get the ball into the danger zone, although Kerr’s delivery was poor.
Another free kick came for a foul on Rodman on the right but McLaughlin’s ball towards the far post was dealt with by the Tamworth defence.
Fyfield brought Kerry down to the right of the Town box and the defender was booked for the foul but the resulting free kick was headed clear by McDonald.
A long ball down the line found John-Lewis on 32 minutes and he tried to lift it over the advancing Belford but could not get enough height on the shot.
Tamworth were beginning to come into the game, with big striker Justin Richards causing problems.
A corner from the left had to be headed away by Hatton at the near post, before McKeown was able to watch as a long-range shot from Byfield went wide.
The Mariners had been under some pressure but they eased that by doubling their advantage six minutes before the break. A through-ball from McDonald found TOUNKARA and he calmly pushed a side-footed volley past Belford to make it 2-0.
The visitors looked for an instant reply when they won a free kick in a central position, 30 yards from goal. Midfielder Gavin Mahon drilled a low shot from it but McKeown got down to make a comfortable stop.
McLaughlin was yellow-carded for a foul in an almost identical position two minutes before the break and this time, Capaldi’s free kick was headed away by McDonald.
The Mariners went straight down the other end and won a corner through Tounkara but nobody could connect with the ball from the flag.
Two added minutes were played at the end of the half and with no further chances, the hosts remained in command of the tie at the halfway point.
Colbeck replaced Rodman for Town before the restart and an early corner came for the Mariners after good work by Tounkara. Kerr’s delivery was met by the head of McDonald but the ball held up in the wind and Tamworth scrambled it clear.
At the other end, a Byfield shot deflected away for a corner on 50 minutes but the referee spotted an infringement as the ball came in from Capaldi and blew for a Town free kick.
Another Tamworth corner from the right was headed away by Pearson as the away side kept up their pressure.
And that pressure eventually told when a driven cross from the left fell for CHADWICK and he swept the ball past McKeown to halve Town’s advantage.
Chadwick sent a header wide after a Kerry cross from the right on 56 minutes as the visitors continued to grow in confidence.
Tounkara was the next to threaten for Grimsby, as he skipped past an attempted challenge on the right and smashed a shot from distance that keeper Belford did well to push away from his goal.
A shot from Richards was blocked by Pearson as Tamworth looked the more likely to get the next goal.
Colbeck was booked for a trip in a central position, 25 yards from the Town goal, with 65 minutes on the clock. Richard Baker’s shot from it curled just over the bar.
Town had looked to be under pressure for much of the time since the interval but they restored their two-goal cushion with 20 minutes to go.
John-Lewis beat the offside trap to get onto a through-ball and hit a shot that was pushed out by Belford. Tounkara could not control the rebound but the ball fell for McLAUGHLIN, who steadied himself and rifled right-footed into the net.
McLaughlin was fouled to bring about a Town free kick to the left of the Tamworth box two minutes later and Kerr’s delivery was headed behind for a corner on the opposite side. This time, Pearson headed over the bar.
Tounkara beat an offside trap to win a corner on 77 minutes and after McLaughlin’s delivery was half-cleared, Kerr returned the ball into the box but John-Lewis could only head over the bar.
A foul on the lively Tounkara gave the Mariners a free kick just to the left of the visitors’ penalty area two minutes later and from it, Kerr’s driven shot was pushed over the bar by Belford for a corner.
Thanoj replaced Kerr before the flag-kick, which was eventually dealt with by the Tamworth defence.
A dangerous-looking cross from Evans had to be headed out for a corner by Hatton but again, the set-piece did not lead to a goalscoring opportunity.
COOK replaced John-Lewis for the closing stages of the game and he got himself on the score sheet in the third of four added minutes, finishing well after a good run and low cross from Fyfield.
That proved to be the last real action of the game and Town now return to league action when they host Southport on Saturday.