RUGBY TOWN: Unlucky Youth Team knocked out of FA Cup in extra time

Fortune doesn't favour brave Butlin Road youngsters at Grimsby

Wednesday, 6th November 2019, 5:25 pm
Updated Wednesday, 6th November 2019, 5:26 pm
Rugby Towns FA Youth Cup team at Grimsby where they were cruelly knocked out of the competition in extra time Pictures courtesy of Joel Ernest Photography

Rugby Town’s FA Youth Cup adventure was ended in cruel fashion at Blundell Park last Friday, when hosts Grimsby Town grabbed an extra-time winner in the First Round Proper of the competition.

Valley’s youngsters had performed superbly in a goal-less opening 90 minutes against Football League opposition, but Luis Adlard’s strike eight minutes into the first-period of extra-time meant it was heartache for Liam O’Neill’s charges.

Town’s Academy boss reflected on the defeat: “It’s gutting to be honest. We totally dominated the first half and a significant portion of the second too, but despite some sustained pressure we just didn’t take our chances at critical times.

Academy boss Liam O'Neill at the Grimsby game

“It was an even more impressive achievement to be 0-0 at the end of normal time considering we had lost three influential players to injury during the game, and then to concede a goal after a fortuitous ricochet played in their striker was totally undeserved.”

Grimsby’s solitary goal meant Rugby missed out on another EFL challenge at Crewe in the next round, after four straight away victories in the qualifying stage had seen them record the club’s best ever performance in the competition.

O’Neill concluded: “I’m so proud of this group of players. They have matched a League Two club toe-to-toe and I would challenge anyone who was there on the night who didn’t agree that we were the better side, but unfortunately fortune didn’t favour us in the end.”