Twice the Grimsby Town youth team have visited Park Avenue and twice they’ve come away with a win against Louth Town.
The Mariners won 2-0 fairly comfortably last pre-season and recorded a 2-1 victory on this occasion.
The game started off with a bang as both sides scored in the first six minutes. Jamie Raynor broke the deadlock on four minutes heading in from close range once Matt Kennedy’s corner from the left caused havoc in the six yard box.
Less than two minutes later Grimsby were back on level terms thanks to good link up play by Lee Wattan and his strike partner, Sam O’Malley.
Wattan played a defence splitting one-two with O’Malley and slotted the ball past Ian McTaggert to equalize.
Wattan fired a couple of chances over before McTaggert pulled off an impressive double save. Wattan beat the offside trap and was through on goal when McTaggert saved at his feet – McTaggert then did very well to save the follow up by O’Malley.
Towards the end of the half Callum Walker’s low cross found its way to Caine Winfarrah and his shot flew narrowly off target.
Soon afterwards it was half time and apart from the early goals there hadn’t been much action to speak of.
Ben Smith came on for McTaggert to play in goal for Louth for the second half.
Town improved after the interval and Raynor came close twice in quick succession. First Josh Venney blocked his powerful drive and next he headed Danny Stevens cross from the right inches wide of the far post.
Wattan and O’Malley are a lethal strike duo and were causing Town all kinds of problems in the final third. Wattan ran onto a long ball over the top and was thwarted by a magnificent sliding challenge from Luke Burton. O’Malley, who was looking equally menacing, fired marginally wide from the edge of the box and forced Smith into a fine catching save.
Grimsby took the lead on 71 minutes through Callum Walker.
Wattan’s electric pace took him clear of the defence and he passed to O’Malley whose shot was blocked by Ross Brown. The ball deflected sideways to Callum Walker and he blasted in the rebound.
As soon as Town conceded Daryl Clare brought on no fewer than nine substitutes. Nat Walton, Craig Dalton, Nick Manders, Mike Armstrong, Sam McSpadden, Paul Coulam, Rocky Rawlings, Frazer Findlay and Chris Ella replaced every outfield player except Stevens.
Wattan almost scored again as he intercepted Armstrong’s attempted pass to Dalton and blazed just wide of the left post.
The young striker continued to make a nuisance of himself and looked poised to score until Walton denied him with an excellent tackle – similar to Burton’s earlier.
Substitute Matty Dale volleyed Chris Burgess’ deep cross over before both sides hit the woodwork in stoppage time.
Rawlings’ drive from distance clipped the outside of the right post and went behind for a goal kick.
Moments later Wattan was in at the other end and was unlucky to see his effort cannon off the left post.
At full time Grimsby were 2-1 winners and deservedly so. The young lads played some brilliant football, moved the ball around quickly and were exciting to watch.
They attacked in a direct manner with short, crisp passing and always looked dangerous going forward.
Every one of them has got bags of potential and could be promoted to the first team one day.