“It was a good week for the youth team lads. Conceding in the last minute to draw is always hard, but the bigger picture looks good!”
Grimsby Town youth team coach Callum Lester
Neil Woods’ Grimsby Town youth team ensured they remained top of the EFL North East Youth Alliance table at Christmas with a 2-2 draw away at Doncaster Rovers.
The young Mariners extended their unbeaten league run to eight games, thanks to a goal from Jock Curran and a Kyle Richardson penalty.
Town started with Ollie Battersby in goal, and a back four of Joe Starbuck, Mattie Pollock, Tom Jamieson, and Ollie Saunders.
Brandon McPherson (Luis Adlard 62’), Jock Curran, Kyle Richardson, Conley Poynter, and Lennon Stead (Cameron Painter 62’), made up the midfield five, with Rumarn Burrell as the lone striker.
Town got off to a great start in the freezing wind as Curran connected onto Burrell’s through ball to slot past the goalkeeper and make it 1-0 on four minutes.
And McPherson almost doubled the Mariners’ lead with a powerful effort, but the Doncaster goalkeeper made a good save to deny the winger.
Doncaster then got a grip of the game towards the end of the first half, and had some long spells of possession but didn’t do too much to trouble Battersby in the Town goal.
McPherson broke into the home side’s box at the beginning of the second half before being fouled, and Richardson calmly dispatched it from the spot to give Town a 2-0 lead.
But the home side responded well, scoring with a glancing header from a wide free-kick to make it 2-1 on 70 minutes.
Town continued to stamp their authority on the game, though, with Poynter hitting the woodwork twice in quick succession, and Burrell being denied by a good save by the goalkeeper, and Adlard also going close.
But Doncaster made it level in the 93rd minute with a long-range effort to make it 2-2 and deny Town of all three points.
The Mariners welcome Bradford City to Cheapside in the Youth Alliance Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday (1pm).
Photo credit: Anne Boyers.
Updated 12:31 - 17 Dec 2018 by Adam Smith