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Rovers Development 0 Grimsby Town reserves 4

20 March 2018

Andy Williams and Issam Ben Khemis continued their returns from injury as they featured for the Development side against Grimsby Town reserves at Cantley Park.

Malik Wilks’ 14th minute opener and a brace from Sikiri Dembele saw the visitors take a 3-0 lead into the break, before Wilks put the seal on things with the Mariners’ fourth just after the hour mark.

The visitors immediately threatened Ian Lawlor’s goal, and inside the opening 15 minutes they got their reward.

Persistent pressure from the Grimsby frontline eventually saw the ball fall to Wilks in the area, and he slotted the ball under Lawlor to hand the visitors the lead.

It could have been two just moments later as Dilliang Jaiyesemi broke forward and cut onto his right foot, looking to cross in for Scott Vernon at the back post. His cross deflected off Cameron Baldock-Smith, and Lawlor had to be alert to tip the ball behind for a corner.

Lawlor was called into action not long after as Charles Vernon collected the ball from Dembele, but the striker saw his shot palmed over by the Irishman.

The Rovers’ keeper was being kept busy as he next denied Wilks from extending the lead, with the forward’s low drive this time being held by Lawlor.

Dembele was next to try his luck for the visitors who were enjoying the majority of the ball, but the winger’s effort was dragged just wide of the far post.

It would not be long, though, before Dembele did get on the scoresheet, as Mitch Rose beat the offside trap before squaring to Dembele, and he had the simplest of tasks to slot into the open goal.

Two minutes later the game was effectively ended as a contest, with Dembele going down under the challenge of Baldock-Smith after cutting inside, and he picked himself up to send Lawlor the wrong way and give the Mariners a three-goal lead at the break.

After the interval, it was more of the same, with Grimsby causing Rovers all sorts of problems at the back.

Wilks was denied twice in quick succession by Lawlor after working his way into the area, before substitute JJ Hooper hit a post not long afterwards.

Williams and Alfie May both had half-chances down at the other end as Rovers looked to force their way back into the game, but Mariners’ keeper Ben Killip was otherwise rarely troubled.

Just after the hour, the game was up for Rovers, as Ollie Battersby’s ball across the area was collected by Wilks, and he cut inside onto his left foot before delightfully curling over Lawlor to secure the win.

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