Grimsby Town 3-1 MK Dons REPORT as Mariners book place in FA Cup Second Round draw

Grimsby Town are through to the second round of the FA Cup for the first time since returning to the Football League.

Kieran Agard put MK Dons ahead at Blundell Park, before goals from Elliot Embleton, Wes Thomas and Charles Vernam inspired a superb second-half comeback.

And that’s how it finished as the impressive Mariners won their first cup tie since 2013/2014.

In the aftermath of three straight defeats, Michael Jolley made four changes ahead his first FA Cup tie as a manager.

Harry Davis returned from injury, with Harry Clifton, Vernam and Sunderland loanee Embleton also selected.

With less than five minutes on the clock, Jake Hessenthaler hit a snap-shot over the crossbar, from a corner, while the advancing Rhys Healey tried his luck from 40 yards at the other end.

Further attempts were few and far between, although double Player of the Month – James McKeown – had to be on hand to deny Agard on the counter.

An opener soon came, though, and it was Agard who took advantage to pick-pocket Danny Collins and slot past McKeown, yet replays suggest the ball went out of play.

Action from the FA Cup First Round tie between Grimsby Town and MK Dons
(Image: Jon Corken)

Town responded to that setback, enjoying some promising moments of their own as the opening 45 minutes wore on.

Embleton saw two attempts saved by Lee Nicholls, and with the rain starting to fall, it was the home side who looked more likely.

But, ultimately, they remained a goal down when the half-time whistle sounded.

No sooner than five minutes after the restart, Town were back on terms, and it came in some style as Embleton played a neat one-two with Ben Pringle before curling into the top corner. Game on.

Action from the FA Cup First Round tie between Grimsby Town and MK Dons
(Image: Jon Corken)

Jolley’s men continued in the same vain as they sought a place in the next round.

And it wasn’t long before they had one foot in the draw, with Thomas chesting down in the box, before turning smartly and prodding beneath Nicholls.

Just as though you would expect Town to have to do some defending, Vernam put the tie beyond doubt with a clinical, first-time finish.

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