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Under 18s: Grimsby 1-0 Notts

24 January 2017

Notts County's under 18s fell to a 1-0 defeat against Grimsby Town on Saturday morning.

Goalkeeper Curtis Hall had saved a penalty but was beaten by Brandon Buckley as the Mariners claimed all three points.

Grimsby had the better of the chances throughout the game and began when their striker dispossessed Nathan Cobain and raced towards goal before dragging his shot across the target and wide.

Hall denied the number nine again with a smart save at the attacker's feet before Grimsby's stopper did the same to Remaye Campbell at the other end.

Campbell then had a goal chalked off for a foul as he headed home from a corner.

The hosts had a great chance to take the lead when Hall felled an attacker in the area but the goalkeeper made amends for the foul, saving the penalty and the rebound.

But the Mariners got their goal in the 75th minute when a cross from the left wasn't claimed by Hall, allowing Buckley to steal in and convert after his initial effort hit the post and rolled along the goalline.

Head of academy coaching Dan Leivers was disappointed with the result, saying: "We don't take any game lightly but we see all our games as winnable - that's how approach every Saturday.

"To come away with a loss isn't great but more importantly our performance didn't warrant a win either.

"In the first half it was pretty even, although we felt we had more of the ball and looked the better side.

"Although we were on top, we didn't create many clear chances, which is unlike us when you look at the games across the season.

"This allowed Grimsby to take the game to us a little more in the second half and resulted in them putting us under pressure and threatening more. They had pace up front which was causing us problems and we gave away a penalty which Curtis Hall, our standout player on the day, saved well."

In a tight game Leivers was not happy with the goal his side conceded.

He said: "We gave the ball away in the middle third and didn't defend properly to stop the cross or clear the ball, eventually leaving their attacker with a tap in.

"For the rest of the game we were disappointing, not really creating clear chances and not playing with our usual attacking threat."

With a number of players featuring for the reserves in midweek and the squad hit by illness and injury, Leivers was forced into playing a number of under 16 players but he was pleased with their contribution.

"We've had a busy schedule since returning from Christmas and with a number of players playing 90 minutes for the reserves on Tuesday and training with the first team.

"We rested Dominic Brown-Hill and Tamar Clayton-Naute to give them a better chance to perform this week in first-team training and the reserve game.

"Sam Osborne was away with the first team and we were missing Peter Dearle, Declan Dunn and George McCartney - we were down to the bare bones.

"However, I believe we have the ability and depth in the squad, including our under 16s, to still go out and be competitive.

"I was pleased with the contribution of a number of players, including Tyreece Kennedy-Williams at left back and Harry Hammett, who came on for the last 30 minutes up front.

"Hopefully the rest for a few of the players will pay off for them and those who underperformed will learn from their mistakes and improve."

Notts: Hall, Richards, Kennedy-Williams, Ebanks, Cobain, Bugg, Towers, Howes, Campbell, Robinson, Gibbons.

Subs: Tomlinson, Fisher, Brown-Hill, Clayton-Naute, Hammett.

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