Grimsby Town delivered the Cup shock of the season as they stunned Premier League Southampton with a 2-1 victory. Gavan Holohan scored two penalties to give Paul Hurst and his team a night to remember, as the Mariners reached the quarter-finals for the first time since 1939.
More than 4,000 Grimsby supporters made the 480-mile round trip to St. Mary’s, with the club shop selling an impressive 1,200 Harry the Haddock inflatables. Initially, Southampton had banned the blow-up fish, but eventually backed down.
The travelling fans gave their side tremendous backing and made St. Mary’s their own, with the home support looking on in dismay. Ruben Selles’ team attempted to fight back after Duje Caleta-Car got a goal back, but they didn’t deserve anything more.
Grimsby may be 16th in League Two, 64 places below their opponents, but they had already beaten teams from higher divisions in each round of the Cup this season, including Championship Luton Town. With Southampton making nine changes, Grimsby sensed an opportunity.
The away end was filled with bouncing Haddocks, as Saints wasted good openings and looked lacking in the final third. Things got worse for them late in the first half when Josh Emmanuel slipped through the net down the right wing and Lyanco ducked to head the ball clear but instead made contact with his right arm. Holohan stepped up and scored his first penalty.
Five minutes into the second half, Southampton’s night got even worse when Danilo Orsi crumbled in the box and Holohan scored his second penalty. Ruben Selles responded by bringing on James Ward-Prowse who soon reduced the deficit with a looping corner to Caleta-Car who volleyed home from close range.
Despite a late effort from Kyle Walker-Peters that fizzed past the far post, Grimsby held on for a memorable victory. The win has left many wondering what Wembley’s policy is on Harry Haddocks!