A new beginning started on a cold night watching Grimsby

By Lee Ryder on Jan 28, 11 09:17 AM

Now watching Grimsby Town's youth team on a cold winter's evening in front of row upon row of empty seats at St James' Park isn't everybody's idea of a Thursday night out - but for just over 1,000 Toon fans and the families and friends of the players at the heart of the action, you could say it means the world to those trying to make a dream become a reality.

Last night with the game drifting towards a penalty shoot-out the game was crying out for a last action hero, and in the shape of blond haired midfield dynamo Ben Sayer it got one.

Early observations of 17-year-old Sayer for us ageing hacks were that the Geordie lad looked and played like a young Alan Pardew with his hard working display catching the eye early on.

So perhaps it was fitting that the pick of the bunch on the night popped up with a winning goal he later confessed was actually meant to be a "cross", just like his performance it had been honest to say the least.

It may only have been the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup and it may have only been against Grimsby with the Mariners looking to prise some good youngsters and save some much needed cash to avoid further plight having tumbled into the Blue Square Bet Premier League.

There's a fair bet that maybe only 10% at the most from this Newcastle team will push on and become first team players too with Fraser Forster, Andy Carroll, Tim Krul and Kazenga LuaLua just a few of the names that have broken into the first team squad in recent years, while Phil Airey from last season's side is only just on the fringes.

Others will fall by the wayside, some will "find their level" at a Gateshead or a Blyth, or end up plying their trade in the Northern League.

However, one thing is for certain they won't forget their experience in the Youth Cup in a hurry, especially with the mighty Manchester United up next away for Joe Joyce's side.

Further progress will see excitement raised again in the latest group of young players especially if Man United are dumped out in the next round and the game ends up being at Old Trafford.

This set of players deserve a trip to OT though.

They ran themselves into the ground at St James' Park last night.

Both teams did and the sight of players needing attention for cramp was there for all to see in the closing stages.

That shows just how much they put into playing for the shirt.

It all started at a frantic pace which was kept up for the entire 120 minutes.

The first half was all Newcastle and Marcus Maddison went close twice in the opening 15 minutes.

Ryan McGorrigan was then slipped in by Dennis Knight, but steered his effort wide from 10 yards.

Maddison then cleverly turned Josh Marshall on 34 minutes, but screwed his shot just wide.
Maddison caused havoc again with another burst and eventually Spear applied a close-range finish at the Leazes End on 45 minutes.

On the hour Grimsby's Sam Mulready earned his side a penalty when he collided with Jak Alnwick.

Ryan O'Loughlin stepped up, but Alnwick saved it by diving low to his left.

However, Mulready did score five minutes later when his angled shot skidded beneath Alnwick.

That forced extra time, but Sayer grabbed the glory with a neatly-dispatched chip over Rob Peat with eight minutes left of extra time to set up a clash with Manchester United.


toonagain said:

never mind cold nights at grim-sby there none colder than this one... Andy Carroll to Liverpool, Its expected from DL and MA they HATE geordies and are just loving it. its also proved sheps position, sorry i mean padwho's postion! that KK AS and now AC all gone if Ranger comes in and scores 10-11 goals from now till end of the season he'll go in the summer. but most of all i was hoping AC would prove to me a man and just say no, he didn't want to go but if the BBC website is correct hes now gone and for what is current deal makes him a millionaire anyway. I'm embbaressed to be a geordie and embbarressed to be from gateshead aswell.


Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

Latest Premier League video


Email alerts

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

In association with


Follow my RSS feed


Follow me on

Lee Ryder's Twitter


Sponsored Links