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Pretty in Pink
By: Rob Sedgwick
GRIMSBY continued their impressive FA Cup form, taking another League One scalp. The Mariners defeated Plymouth 5-1 in Round 1, and they could have managed a similar rout of Cambridge today, had they taken their chances.
As it was Town only scored one, conceded late, and needed a second goal by Kahn in injury time to record a trademark late victory away from home.
The result means Grimsby Town's name sits alongside the biggest clubs in English Football in the bag for Monday's FA Cup Third Round draw and a potentially very lucrative tie, as well as substantial prize money if they progress further in the competition.
Gavan Holohan and Brendan Kiernan replaced Andy Smith and Bryn Morris, in the game's only changes as Town reverted to playing with a back 4.
After a quiet start, Grimsby, playing in pink, grew in confidence and created the first chance when Kiernan fired over. Kiernan continued to look dangerous and flashed another ball across the box that nobody managed to get on the end of.
Grimsby almost scored an own goal at the other end when Green's header struck the bar with Crocombe nowhere near it, then Waterfall did well to charge down an effort by Knibbs.
Kiernan again had another chance but fired over from 20 yards after a good Town spell.
The Mariners were growing in confidence and did not look at all a division below Cambridge.
After the break, Knibbs should have done better when he was allowed to get a shot in but fired high and wide. McAtee, who was playing a greater role as the game progressed, then had a deflected shot tipped over the bar by Mannion.
Town continued to look more dangerous and Holohan had a shot saved before Grimsby drew first blood. Kiernan played a ball in from the right, from which Holohan once again had a shot saved, but this time Khan was well-placed to tuck in the rebound.
McAtee then had a great chance to put Town up when he was played through but was denied by the 'keeper. Holohan then a long-range shot which looked goalbound albeit saveable but Kiernan backheeled it wide of the post.
McAtee at this stage looked like he was running on empty, but still found the strength and power to play his part and he literally gave 110% as he discovered his second, third and fourth winds. Hurst kept the 11 players on the pitch, for which he might have received criticism, as Cambridge made changes and levelled the game when out of the blue a looping header from substitute Smith wrongfooted Crombombe who couldn't race across his line quick enough to stop the balling dropping in the bottom corner.
Holohan, who could have had a hattrick on another day, then had a perfect chance to grab the winner when Amos's shot was saved and fell to him but he blasted over from close range with the goal at his mercy.
Town though had the last laugh when Simmonds came on to replace McAtee and sent Kahn through. The Town makeshift forward made no mistake then slotting past the 'keeper to send the 600 supporters at that end of the ground into football heaven.
It was another fairytale finish. 2022 has seen some amazing games, especially away from Blundell Park, and Town's regular travelling supporters have yet another wonderful memory to look back on.
The Mariners make the journey to AFC Wimbledon's new stadium for the first time next Saturday, hoping to transfer their Cup form into league points.
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