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Town Close in On Wembley
By: Rob Sedgwick
GRIMSBY brushed aside the most significant obstacle in their path to Wembley on Tuesday night when they overwhelmingly beat FA Cup kings Luton Town 3-0 in the FA Trophy at Blundell Park. Town now have to beat either Dartford or Halifax over two legs to get to the national stadium for the final.
Both sides picked strong teams, reflecting the fact that the tournament had reached the business end of the competition with prize money and gate receipts mounting as well as the lure of a Wembley final.
Town raced in to an early lead with a Devitt free kick from the far touchline eluded everyone (possibly grazing Hannah's head) and went straight into the net.
Grimsby went on to dominate the rest of the first half but without coming very close to scoring. Luton were well contained and rarely troubled Town.
After the break Luton threatened a bit more and both sides had chances for the second goal. Andy Cook looked to have been unlucky again when he hit the crossbar for the second game running, but shortly afterwards he was on the scoresheet. Brodie won a free kick on the edge of the box and Cook blasted it through the wall for Town's second set piece goal. Marshall soon put the game beyond doubt with a heavily deflected third and Town coasted to the final whistle.
Grimsby have beaten Luton 7-1 on aggregate this season at Blundell Park, a repeat of the famous score from the Bonetti season.
The one downside of the win is fixture congestion. Town now have to fit in 21 fixtures in 11 weeks of the season if they get to Wembley. The two semi-finals mean Woking away and Ebbsfleet at home both have to be rescheduled, and with plenty more rain and snow forecast over the next few weeks Grimsby will have to pray that effects are minimal on their games.
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