Grimsby Town youth team slipped to second-place in the EFL North East Youth Alliance as they lost 3-0 to Doncaster Rovers U18s at Cheapside.
The young Mariners were two points clear of second-place Doncaster ahead of the game, but were leapfrogged by Rovers, who still have a game in hand, after the defeat.
Goalkeeper Ollie Battersby returned from injury, with a back four of Tom Jamieson, Mattie Pollock, Emil Powles, and Ollie Saunders.
Joe Starbuck (Brandon McPherson 60’), Jock Curran, Kyle Richardson (Cameron Painter 75’), Brandon Buckley, and Conley Poynter (Luis Adlard 70’) made up the midfield, with Rumarn Burrell up front.
Town started the game brightly with some strong possession, playing mainly in the Doncaster half.
Burrell went close after cutting in from the wing, but his shot was palmed away by the Doncaster goalkeeper.
And Town came close again immediately after, but Pollock’s header from the corner went wide.
Buckley also came close to breaking the deadlock, but his long-range effort drifted just wide of the mark.
But, against the run of play, it was the visitors who got themselves ahead after a scramble from a corner.
And they doubled their lead when a defensive mix-up saw their striker break free and slide past Battersby to make it 2-0.
The Mariners came out strong in the second half, and looked determined to get back into the game.
Town applied plenty of pressure, and went close several times but couldn’t get the all-important breakthrough.
But Doncaster eventually regained control of possession, and added a third when an unmarked man found space in the box to slot home and make it 3-0.
Town, who are now winless in three, are back in action away at Huddersfield Town on Saturday, April 13 (11am).
Image credits: Anne Boyers.