Grimsby Town are out of the EFL Trophy after suffering a 3-0 defeat in their final group game at Hull City.
A first-half double from Martin Samuelsen, plus James Scott’s brilliant second half strike, knocked the Mariners out of the competition in the first Humber derby since 1998, leaving Ian Holloway’s side fighting on just the one front now in the league.
In among the six changes from their last run-out in the Trophy seven days previously, there was a welcome return to the line-up for Max Wright after recovering following his recent injury.
Owura Edwards was also back in the squad as he was named on the bench, while Sean Scannell was given another chance to prove himself from the start after being hauled off early on by his manager the previous week.
It proved to be an eventful opening couple of minutes for the returning Wright, with the academy graduate almost finding himself through on goal before his touch let him down at the vital second, before he became the first name into Darren Drysdale’s book after a hefty challenge on Daniel Batty.
That was as bright as the game got in the opening 20 or so minutes though, with very little to speak of for either side until the hosts moved up a gear.
They took the lead after 27 minutes, with the ball being played back to Samuelsen on the edge of the penalty area for the Norwegian to curl the ball superbly beyond the outstretched right arm of James McKeown and into the top corner.
Town threatened immediately to try and find a response, with Mattie Pollock flicking his header wide, but they simply had no answer as the hosts stepped on the accelerator.
Despite having three blue shirts surrounding him, Hakeeb Adelakun managed to weave in and out and force his way past Ludvig Öhman before chipping the ball up to the back post, where Samuelsen was on hand to head home his second.
McKeown and Holloway protested, but replays showed the winger was onside, and a tough job for Town had now become near-impossible.
They fought to try and find some kind of way back into it, with Scannell firing over after turning his defender nicely, but their chances of qualifying from the group had near-enough faded away.
Holloway switched things around at the break as Town reverted to four at the back in order to try and wrestle back some control in midfield, although Hull went close to extending their lead when Tom Eaves headed wide from a quickly-taken free-kick.
The visitors went close shortly after as Luke Spokes’ corner was turned just past the post by a Hull defender as Matt Green looked to turn it home, but it proved to just be a short break for Town’s defenders as Hull once again stepped things up.
Thomas Mayer almost made an instant impact after coming off the bench as he forced McKeown into a smart save, before fellow substitute Scott teed up Samuelsen for a chance at the hat-trick, only for the winger to put his effort wide.
Wave after wave of Hull attacks pressed the Mariners back, with Mayer proving a…
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