With lower than two minutes on the clock Michael Jolley regarded up on the heavens and shook his head in disbelief. The Grimsby supervisor had simply seen his defender Andrew Fox dismissed – with a little bit assist from the video assistant referee – for a poor deal with on Andros Townsend and confronted the prospect of enjoying virtually your entire match towards Premier League opposition with 10 males.
However having been to the wilderness of the Nationwide League and again since they final visited Selhurst Park in 2003, Grimsby are made from stern stuff and it took till the 86th minute for his or her resolve lastly to be damaged, by the substitute Jordan Ayew’s header from Jeffrey Schlupp’s free-kick.
For Jolley, the previous funding banker who started his teaching profession at Palace’s academy, it was a merciless option to lose however he will likely be extraordinarily pleased with the way in which his aspect caught to their job after such an early setback, with James McKeown making a string of fantastic saves to frustrate the hosts.
“The result’s extremely disappointing however we had been applauded off the pitch by the Palace supporters which says all the pieces about our efficiency,” mentioned Jolley. “It was a mammoth job with 10 males and we virtually acquired there. The gamers delivered a efficiency that Grimsby could be pleased with.”
This was the primary time these sides had met within the FA Cup since Grimsby beat a non-league Palace staff 1-Zero in 1908 and the presence of just about 6,000 visiting supporters who had made the journey from Lincolnshire definitely gave the tie further spice.
The house supervisor, Roy Hodgson,, who embraced warmly along with his reverse quantity earlier than kick-off, to his credit score, saved his phrase by naming a powerful aspect – albeit with 9 modifications from their win at Wolves on Wednesday – together with Andros Townsend and Wilfried Zaha in assault.
Grimsby, who got here into the match having seen their four-match successful streak finish at dwelling towards Mansfield on New Yr’s Day, had been seeking to attain the fourth spherical for the primary time in 19 years however noticed their probabilities seemingly evaporate contained in the opening 100 seconds. Townsend was going nowhere when he acquired the ball simply contained in the opposition’s half however an over-exuberant lunge by Fox caught the ahead on the shin. At first the referee, Martin Atkinson, allowed play to proceed earlier than reserving the transgressor when the ball went out of play.
It was solely then that he acquired the sign from the VAR and upgraded the punishment to a crimson card, with one Grimsby fan displaying his frustration by throwing one thing on to the pitch as Fox departed. All of the sudden the scale of their job had elevated exponentially. But regardless of Alexander Sørloth spurning two golden alternatives as Palace piled on the strain, Grimsby in some way navigated their option to the half-hour mark and even had a sniff of aim when their prime scorer, Wes Thomas, virtually discovered a manner via from Elliot Embleton’s move.
That they had McKeown to thank, after he reacted brilliantly to tip Martin Kelly’s drive on to the put up earlier than Palace’s left-back Pape Souaré limped off following a heavy problem. And, regardless of Palace mustering 14 photographs in complete, the guests made it to the break unscathed, if not at full energy.
The theme was no completely different within the second half because the hosts continued to press ahead however their struggles highlighted the recurring points for Hodgson’s aspect in entrance of aim. After Kelly was as soon as once more denied by McKeown, and Cheikhou Kouyaté hit the put up with a header, the ineffective Sørloth was changed by Connor Wickham, whereas Ayew, who scored his first aim for the membership within the victory over Wolves, was launched quickly afterwards.
Even then Grimsby may have snatched the win as they took benefit of Palace’s lack of leading edge to push ahead within the final 10 minutes, though Wayne Hennessey was by no means actually critically examined on his return to the aspect. However then got here the second sucker punch for Jolley and his courageous staff.
“It was attritional,” mentioned Hodgson. “We’d had a couple of probabilities earlier than we lastly scored the aim however you must give a variety of credit score to Grimsby, having misplaced a participant so early on.”