QPR U18 (1) – Grimsby Town U18 (2)

Puma Youth Alliance League Cup Final

Team: Putnins, Wright, Waters, Davenport, Harris, Olley, Ehmer, Smith, German, Sutherland, Parker
Subs: Bulmer, Bailey, Perring, Cox, Nanetti

The R’s first chance came from a free kick when Max Ehmer floated over a lovely ball into the box but somehow it evaded everyone. However, Rangers took the lead after 6 minutes when Josh Parker accelerated from the left wing, cut in and then placed the ball into the far corner from an acute angle. Aaron Waters was booked after a challenge close to the bye-line and Grimsby almost equalised from the resulting free kick. The visitors were coming more and more into the game and a neat pass to an overlapping player out wide left then brought out a very good save from Putnins and then under pressure, he also saved the follow-up effort.

‘Elvis’ Putnins made another fine double save after a free kick was awarded for handball. Grimsby were still looking very dangerous and after 42 minutes, with the R’s defence in disarray, they went close with a shot just over the bar. A minute or so later, another good opportunity was wasted when the ball was blasted wide. It was no surprise when they did equalise after 44 minutes, Kiel Thompson scored with a half-volley. Three minutes were added before the teams left the field at 1-1.

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Some great play by Antonio German when he chased what seemed to be a lost cause down the left wing. He then turned his marker and put over an excellent cross to no avail. But it was the Mariners who took the lead after 57 minutes through Freeman from 6 yards which was apparently his 22nd goal of the season. On the hour mark, Elliott Cox replaced Frankie Sutherland and his presence seemed to liven up the team. A good free kick from Max Ehmer into the box and Antonio German booted the ball into the side netting from close range. A defensive error let in Freeman who then burst through the middle but was pulled back on the edge of the box which saw Luke Olley receive his marching orders. The final change saw Daniel Bailey come on for Terry Smith in the 88th minute. Again three minutes were added and Danny Davenport was booked after an exchange with a Grimsby player.

The attendance was announced as 684 and the general consensus was that Grimsby deserved their victory. The U18’s have played a lot of football this season, two overseas tournaments plus all those league and cup games, could well of taken its toll. Well done to the Club for issuing a decent match programme for ¬£1.00 and the admission prices were certainly very reasonable.

Steve Russell