Grimsby Town’s FA Cup fairytale came to an end at the hands of Brighton, who proved a bridge too far for The Mariners.
Paul Hurst’s Grimsby had a successful jaunt to the south coast in the previous round, but they could not repeat the result that saw them topple Southampton to reach the quarter-finals.
Grimsby‘s game plan would have been to keep the Premier League side quiet early on, but that was tossed out of the window on six minutes when Deniz Undav put Brighton in front.
Brighton operate three divisions above Grimsby, and the gulf in class was evident as The Seagulls controlled the tempo of the match.
Grimsby went into the break with hope as they trailed by one goal, but they were undone on 51 minutes as Evan Ferguson showed real class to control a high pass, spin and convert a low shot beyond Max Crocombe.
The second goal lifted the pressure, and Brighton turned on the style in the final half an hour.
Ferguson helped himself to a second on 70 minutes when breaking into the box and finishing with authority, Solly March stooped low to head home the fourth on 82 minutes and Kaoru Mitoma put some gloss on the scoreline with a fifth in injury time.
Tommy Doyle scored a goal worthy of winning an FA Cup quarter-final, as his late effort helped Sheffield United edge out Blackburn Rovers 3-2 at Bramall Lane.
Tommy Doyle of Sheffield United celebrates scoring his team’s third goal with team mate Sander Berge during the Emirates FA Cup quarter-final match between Sheffield United and Blackburn Rovers at Bramall Lane on March 19, 2023 in Sheffield, England
Image credit: Getty Images
While it was ecstasy for The Blades, it was agony for Rovers fans who saw their side lead on two occasions and get within 10 minutes of a trip to Wembley.
A penalty from Ben Brereton Diaz fired Blackburn in front on 21 minutes, but the home side were level shortly afterwards when Sam Gallagher diverted Max Lowe’s strike into his own net.
No punches were pulled as both sides approached the contest in a full-blooded manner, and Rovers went back in front on the hour mark when Sammie Szmodics capped a fine move with a neat finish.
Ollie McBurnie carried an attacking threat all day, and his clever turn and precise finish drew United level nine minutes from time.
Both sides pressed for the winner, and it was Doyle who found the key with a thumping 25-yard drive in the first minute of injury time.
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