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Town win Penalty Thriller
By: Richard Lord
GRIMSBY TOWN are through to the third round of the Worthington Cup after their penalty win over Sheffield United. The game ended 3-3 after extra time, and Michael Jeffrey scored the penalty that puts the Mariners name into the hat for the next round.
Grimsby changed their starting eleven from the one which grabbed the win over Coventry on Saturday. Burnett replaced the suspended Willems and debutant Marlon Broomes stepped in for the Cup-tied Beharall. On 28 minutes the loan defender stroked home a deep ball from a Campbell corner after Rowan was clattered in the box. The youngster was taken off in an ambulance and Jeffrey was his replacement.
The match was constantly spoiled by a rather inept referee who chose not to play advantages and annoyed both sets of fans with some questionable decisions. But the entertainment was not to be marred, as Devlin equalled things up with a deflected free kick after half time.
This awoke the Blades as they began to get a hold of the match. On 66 minutes Devlin was once again at the heart of United's attack, and he slid the ball across the box for Ndlovu to score from two yards.
But the Mariners fought valiantly for the deserved equaliser, and that came after an excellent decision from the referee. The match official may have been conned into the free kick which resulted in Devlin's goal, but he was not fooled by the dive by a United defender when he lost possession on the edge of his own box. Bradley Allen, who came on for Burnett just a minute earlier, swept the ball across the exposed Blade's goal and Tracey was helpless as Jeffrey poached from one yard out at the far post.
The game continued to flow from one end to another, and towards the end Grimsby could have been given a penalty. Campbell twice attempted to cross the ball as he raced towards the by-line and as he attempted the third, his ankles were clipped by Ulahnbeek. Despite the Scotsman's protests, the referee played on, much to the distress of the Town fans. Ulahnbeek then wrestled Campbell to the ground and both were booked for their actions, for Ulahnbeek it was his second yellow and he headed for the tunnel.
In extra time the ten men of Sheffield United battled and finally got a third goal they had been threatening. Cameroon international Patrick Suffo found room out wide in the Town box and his driven shot across the goal cannoned back in off the far post to restore the Blade's lead.
But just three minutes from a cup exit, Allen grabbed another equaliser after a fortunate deflection. Penalties ensued and during the break Blade's manager Neil Warnock was seen protesting with the match officials.
After regular penalty-taker Pouton saw his effort saved, Coyne came to Town's rescue with a similar save to deny United a lead. Groves tucked away Town's second, and United hit the bar with theirs. Jevons scored his penalty to put Grimsby 2-0 in front, but United hit back. Gallimore then fired in from the spot, as did United, but it was left to Jeffrey to score the decider, which put an end to a thoroughly entertaining evening's match.
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