Match report: Town U18s secure comfortable cup victory over Walsall
Grimsby Town U18s eased their way through to the second round of the FA Youth Cup with a convincing victory over Walsall.
Goals from Louis Boyd, Will Hodgson and a Harry Milner double secured the Young Mariners a 4-0 win at Blundell Park.
Neil Woods’ side came into the game looking to bounce back from their 3-0 defeat at Doncaster Rovers in the EFL Youth Alliance League on Saturday.
The visitors enjoyed the better of the early stages and had the first shot on goal through Jack Shaw, who curled his effort just wide from 20 yards on 11 minutes.
Despite their slow start to the game, Town took advantage of their first real opportunity on 24 minutes when Milner broke free of his man down the right and sent a low ball across the six-yard line, where Boyd was on-hand to apply the finish.
Walsall responded well to going behind and Ronan Maher had a couple of chances to level things up, with Dec Dennis making a smart save with his feet to deny the attacking midfielder.
They were soon punished for not taking their chances, though, as the Mariners doubled their lead through Milner, who latched onto Brook Dennis’s ball and kept his composure to make it 2-0 on 36 minutes.
The two-goal advantage helped Town come on stronger towards the end of the half and they preserved that lead up until the interval.
The hosts emerged from half-time full of confidence and got off to an excellent start when they earned an early penalty.
Defender Noel Angafor was adjudged to have blocked a Milner shot with his arm, before Hodgson stepped up to send Jenson Kilroy the wrong way seven minutes into the second half.
Shakeel Brown dragged a low shot wide on the hour-mark after good play by Boyd to cut inside from the right, before the winger also had a chance to make it 4-0 but he could only fire wide.
The fourth goal did eventually arrive, though, as Milner made his way into the box from the right and sent a low finish past the keeper into the far corner of the net.
Despite the scoreline, Walsall continued to push forward in search of a consolation goal and Jonas Makuna’s curling effort forced Dennis into a decent save and the ball went behind for a corner.
The keeper made another excellent stop to deny Maher and preserve his clean sheet in injury-time, with Town seeing the remainder of the game out to claim a 4-0 victory and their place in the second round of the competition.
The side’s focus now switches to another cup tie, as they travel to Fleetwood Town for an EFL Youth Alliance Cup group match on Saturday.