Jordan Ayew makes Palace advantage count with winner against Grimsby

first_imgWith less than two minutes on the clock Michael Jolley looked up at the heavens and shook his head in disbelief. The Grimsby manager had just seen his defender Andrew Fox dismissed – with a little help from the video assistant referee – for a poor tackle on Andros Townsend and faced the prospect of playing almost the entire match against Premier League opposition with 10 men.But having been to the wilderness of the National League and back since they last visited Selhurst Park in 2003, Grimsby are made of stern stuff and it took until the 86th minute for their resolve finally to be broken, by the substitute Jordan Ayew’s header from Jeffrey Schlupp’s free-kick. 16 Woolford Reuse this content For Jolley, the former investment banker who began his coaching career at Palace’s academy, it was a cruel way to lose but he will be extremely proud of the way his side stuck to their task after such an early setback, with James McKeown making a string of excellent saves to frustrate the hosts.“The result is incredibly disappointing but we were applauded off the pitch by the Palace supporters which says everything about our performance,” said Jolley. “It was a mammoth task with 10 men and we almost got there. The players delivered a performance that Grimsby can be proud of.”This was the first time these sides had met in the FA Cup since Grimsby beat a non-league Palace team 1-0 in 1908 and the presence of almost 6,000 visiting supporters who had made the trip from Lincolnshire certainly gave the tie extra spice.The home manager, Roy Hodgson,, who embraced warmly with his opposite number before kick-off, to his credit, kept his word by naming a strong side – albeit with nine changes from their win at Wolves on Wednesday – including Andros Townsend and Wilfried Zaha in attack.Grimsby, who came into the match having seen their four-match winning streak end at home against Mansfield on New Year’s Day, were looking to reach the fourth round for the first time in 19 years but saw their chances seemingly evaporate inside the opening 100 seconds. Townsend was going nowhere when he received the ball just inside the opposition’s half but an over-exuberant lunge by Fox caught the forward on the shin. At first the referee, Martin Atkinson, allowed play to continue before booking the transgressor when the ball went out of play. 21 Wickham 8 Kouyate 11 Cook 4 Welsh Late Matt Ritchie penalty denies Blackburn shock victory at Newcastle The Observer 22 Embleton Crystal Palace Substitutes 10 Townsend Grimsby Read more 3 Ring 28 C Palace Off target 2 Grimsby 6 C Palace On target 2 Grimsby Read more (s 36′) 25 KaiKai 2 Ward 34 Kelly Goal attempts 27 Souare It was only then that he received the signal from the VAR and upgraded the punishment to a red card, with one Grimsby fan showing his frustration by throwing something on to the pitch as Fox departed. Suddenly the size of their task had increased exponentially. Yet despite Alexander Sørloth spurning two golden opportunities as Palace piled on the pressure, Grimsby somehow navigated their way to the half-hour mark and even had a sniff of goal when their top scorer, Wes Thomas, almost found a way through from Elliot Embleton’s pass.They had McKeown to thank, after he reacted brilliantly to tip Martin Kelly’s drive on to the post before Palace’s left-back Pape Souaré limped off following a heavy challenge. And, despite Palace mustering 14 shots in total, the visitors made it to the break unscathed, if not at full strength.The theme was no different in the second half as the hosts continued to press forward but their struggles highlighted the recurring issues for Hodgson’s side in front of goal. After Kelly was once again denied by McKeown, and Cheikhou Kouyaté hit the post with a header, the ineffective Sørloth was replaced by Connor Wickham, while Ayew, who scored his first goal for the club in the victory over Wolves, was introduced soon afterwards.Even then Grimsby could have snatched the win as they took advantage of Palace’s lack of cutting edge to push forward in the last 10 minutes, although Wayne Hennessey was never really seriously tested on his return to the side. But then came the second sucker punch for Jolley and his brave team.“It was attritional,” said Hodgson. “We’d had a few chances before we finally scored the goal but you have to give a lot of credit to Grimsby, having lost a player so early on.” 44 Riedewald Share on Pinterest Share on Facebook match reports 1 McKeown 15 Clifton Corners Share on WhatsApp GRI22CRY78% GRI CRY 14 Ayew Josh Brownhill magic sees Bristol City conjure upset over Huddersfield 22 78 (s 61′)center_img 7 Hessenthaler 23 Russell 7 2 31 Pollock 8 Rose (s 89′) Possession 30 Pringle 29 Wan Bissaka Lineups Match stats Share on Twitter 13 Hennessey 2 Hall-Johnson 7 Meyer Grimsby 6 Dann 39 Thomas Share via Email 18 Vernam (s 75′) 27 Hendrie Topics 11 Zaha 1 Speroni FA Cup C Palace 15 Schlupp 35 Woods Share on LinkedIn 9 Sorloth Substitutes 19 Fox 9 10 Fouls (s 68′) Share on Messenger 17 Cardwelllast_img read more