Our Under 18’s were back in action at the weekend in the first game of the New Year. They made the short trip to face local rivals, Lincoln City. Ty-Rhys Paul-Jones and Alex McMillan were the only second years to feature in the line-up, in a squad that also included under 16’s, Joe Starbuck and Lennon Stead.
The Young Mariners started well, with Burrell and Buckley creating several early chances. The Imps responded and the Mariners found themselves on the back foot, having to work hard to defend a plethora of crosses from reaching a Lincoln player, both Jamieson and Pollock wining key headers and goalkeeper Battersby making an excellent reaction save. The Young Mariners managed to hold out, and were rewarded with a BURRELL goal after a sublime pass from Pollock on the thirty-minute mark. Town bagged a second five minutes later after some excellent link-up play between Burrell and Buckley led to WALKER tapping the ball in to give the Young Mariners a 2-goal advantage at half-time.
HALF TIME: Lincoln City 0 - 2 GTFC U18's
The Mariners carried continued the second period in much the same vain, with Buckley, Burrell, Paul-Jones, and Walker all firing at the Lincoln goal. Second Year, Alex McMillan came on to bolster the town defence at 65 minutes. By this point, the Young Mariners were in the driving seat, and only an excellent display from the opposition Goalkeeper kept Town at bay. But he could only do so for so long, as BURRELL found the net for a second time to send the Young Mariners 3 – 0 up on the seventieth minute. This was quickly followed by another goal, this time from RICHARDSON, who fired home from close range. The rout was completed by a superb long-range volley from CURRAN. The Under 16’s duo of Starbuck and Stead both made appearances in the later stages of the game, and gave a good account of themselves in the remaining minutes. The referee blew his whistle soon after the substitutions to give the Young Mariners their first win of the New Year.
Academy Manager Neil Woods was pleased with the result and particularly his sides second half display, adding: "it was very pleasing to see such a young squad with the likes of Mattie (Pollock), Joe (Starbuck) and Lennon (Stead) all involved as we start to develop a picture of what we will look like next season. Neil also picked out forward Rumarn Burrell for his constant endeavour and work ethic which was rewarded with his two goals.
Town's youngsters headed back to Grimsby in jubilant spirits with a full three points in the bag and a clean sheet.
FULL TIME: Lincoln City 0 - 5 GTFC U18's
1. Battersby, 2. Hawkes, 3. Saunders, 4. Curran, 5. Pollock, 6. Jamieson, 7. Paul-Jones, 8. Richardson, 9. Burrell, 10. Buckley (C), 11. Walker
12. McMillan (Hawkes - 65 Mins) , 14. Powles, 15. Poynter, 16. Starbuck (Paul-Jones - 80 Mins), 17. Stead (Walker - 75 Mins)
NEXT UP vs. Mansfield Town (H) – Sat 27th Jan, 11:30am.
Watch the goals.