Grimsby edge past Doncaster in EFL Cup first round


Jordan Cook was the match winner for League Two Grimsby Town, as his first half strike gave The Mariners a gritty 1-0 victory over Doncaster Rovers of League One.

Town boss Michael Jolley made wholesale changes to the team that drew 1-1 with Bradford at the weekend. No fewer than seven changes were made, with the likes of Mattie Pollock, Liam Gibson, Sebastian Ring, Jordan Cook and Charles Vernam making their first starts of the season.

Rovers boss Darren Moore also gave opportunities to the likes of Alex Kiwomya, Seny Dieng, Cameron John, Ali Crawford and Niall Ennis, who all came into the starting lineup.

The game got off to a slow start, lacking in tempo early on before the visitors started to wrestle control of the game.

Doncaster were dominating possession and creating half chances. Grimsby goalkeeper James McKeown did well to parry Kieran Sadlier’s 20th minute effort round the post, before defender Cameron John prodded wide from the resulting corner.

Just before the half hour mark, on-loan Wolves striker Niall Ennis was unable to get control of the ball and ended up firing a presentable opportunity wide.

Rovers would be made to pay for their early profligacy in front of goal, as the hosts went ahead on 40 minutes. Grimsby striker Moses Ogbu pounced on an error by Rovers midfielder Ben Whiteman and fed the onrushing Jordan Cook to slot beyond goalkeeper Seny Dieng.

No sooner had play got underway then Grimsby stopper McKeown kept Sadlier at bay with a stunning save, somehow turning the midfielders effort over from point blank range.

At the other end, The Mariners were offering more of a threat, with goalscorer Cook and Charles Vernam testing visiting goalkeeper Dieng just before the break.

Doncaster will have felt hard done by at the interval as the hosts headed in with a 1-0 lead, somewhat against the run of play.

The second half was a more even affair as Rovers lost the impetus a little, and the much changed Mariners settled into the system they were playing.

Kieran Sadlier was still proving Doncaster’s biggest threat, heading wide from a corner and again testing McKeown from distance. At the other end Jordan Cook and Harry Davis missed half chances to double the lead.

There was one final scare for the Mariners late on as Ennis’ close range effort in the 89th minute was well blocked by the Town defence.

Four minutes of injury time came and went without concern for Michael Jolley’s men, who ran out 1-0 winners to seal a first League Cup victory since 2008. The Mariners will now face Sol Campbell’s Macclesfield at home in round two.


Grimsby Town – McKeown, Gibson (Hessenthaler), Pollock, Davis, Hendrie, Ring (Green), Hewitt, Cook, Wright (Cardwell), Ogbu, Vernam

Unused substitutes: Russell, Painter, McPherson, Hope

Doncaster Rovers – Dieng, Halliday, James, Anderson, Sadlier, Whiteman (Sheaf), Crawford, Blair (May), Kiwomya (Taylor), Ennis, John

Unused substitutes: Lawlor, Gomes, Blaney, Longbottom


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