FA Youth Cup
Derby 4 - 0 Grimsby
A dominant display by a strong Derby side got its rightful reward of a place in round 4 of the FA Youth Cup in partnership with Pepsi with a victory over Grimsby at Pride Park last night
Although the Mariners looked from the moment that the draw was made a good opportunity to make progress in the competition the Rams have fallen at the first stage in the last 3 seasons, with defeat against non-league outfit Chester-Le-Street last term particularly vivid in the memory.
Terry Westley had the undoubted bonus of being able to call on the services of first team squad men Lee Holmes and Nathan Doyle, with the rest of his starting line-up having figured on a fairly regular basis for the reserves this season.
Holmes first tested Robert Murray in the 3rd minute with a testing cross and Chris Turner fired over from distance 3 minutes later, but Peter Bore,for the visitors enjoyed the first real chance of the night.
With 7 minutes on the clock he worked his way through the home defence but as Derby keeper Ben Kirby came out his touch let him down and the opportunity was gone.
The Rams kept probing away and took the lead on 32 minutes as captain Danny Martin powered home a free kick from the edge of the box.
Giles Barnes tested the keeper and Martin failed with a second free kick and as a result the hosts went in at the break a solitary goal up, although Danny North wasted a gilt-edged opportunity for Grimsby 3 minutes from half time shooting over from a position where he should at least have brought a save out of the keeper.
If the visitors thought that they were still in with a chance at the beginning of the second period a burst of 3 goals in 11 minutes quickly removed the idea.
It began with a close range finish from Lionel Ainsworth on 47 minutes after Murray had failed to hold a cross from his right,
It was Ainsworth again who made it 3 eight minutes later. His crisp right foot finish superbly complimenting the left foot cross from Holmes who had tormented his opponents all night long.
Barnes completed the rout on 58 minutes with a peach of a shot from 25 yards out.
With the tie effectively dead Holmes and Doyle made way for less experienced replacements.
It made little difference. Grimsby knew they were beaten and the remaining chances belonged to the home team.
There will undoubtedly be bigger challenges for the Derby youngsters if they are to progress in this competition, but after the trials of the last few seasons this performance and result will do nicely.
Derby: Kirby, Doyle (Booth 64), Nyatanga, Turner, Young, Martin, Kemp, Wilkinson, Ainsworth, Barnes (Stockley 72) Holmes (Richards 64)
Subs: Llewellyn, Atkins
Grimsby: Murray, Ward, Britten, Hanslip, Higgins, Chamberlain, Taylor (Shahin 33), Ashton, Cooper, North, Bore (Would 75),
Subs: Drury, Watts, Grant.
Referee Mr M Lever