“It's great to head into the Christmas break with this result. The lads deserved it, and have had a great first half of the season!”
Grimsby Town youth team coach Callum Lester
Brandon Buckley’s first-half header was enough to book Grimsby Town U18s a place in the EFL Youth Alliance Cup semi-finals as Neil Woods’ side beat Bradford City 1-0 at Cheapside.
Town started with goalkeeper Ollie Battersby, and a back four of Tom Jamieson, Mattie Pollock, Emil Powles, and Ollie Saunders.
The Mariners’ midfield five consisted of Brandon McPherson (Joe Starbuck 60’), Jock Curran, Kyle Richardson, Brandon Buckley (Cameron Painter 85’), and Conley Poynter, with Rumarn Burrell up front.
The game got off to a tight start, with both sides having their fair share of possession, but not really creating many clear-cut goal-scoring opportunities.
But Town grew into the half, with the Bantams goalkeeper making three good saves in quick succession to deny Burrell, Buckley, and McPherson.
But Buckley finally broke the deadlock on 40 minutes as he headed home from Burrell’s cross to give Town a 1-0 lead at the break.
The visitors grabbed control of the possession in the second half, with Battersby making a superb save, following a one-on-one, to keep Town in the lead.
And the Bantams continued to dominate possession, but Town looked quick on the counter-attack, with the Bradford goalkeeper there again to make two good saves to keep out Buckley and Burrell.
Town saw the game out well to seal the 1-0 victory, and put them in the EFL Youth Alliance Cup semi-finals for the second time in two years.
The Mariners will now face Bury in the semi-finals at Cheapside on Saturday, January 12 (11am).
Photo credit: Anne Boyers.
Updated 10:07 - 20 Dec 2018 by Adam Smith