Sam O’Connor netted a second half hat trick as Hull City Juniors cruised to a 6-0 victory over Grimsby Town at Cheapside on Saturday.
Billy Russell made just one change to the starting line up following the 3-1 win against Chesterfield two weeks earlier. Jake Buckle came in on the left side of midfield with Will Annan switching to the right, which allowed Jake Rose to drop to right back and Josh Clackstone to move to centre back to replace the omitted Max Clark.
The Tigers were ahead by the 5th minute when O’Connor laid the ball off for Ryan Fallowfield to drill a right foot shot into the bottom corner from just outside the box.
The 13th minute proved not to be an unlucky one for City as they doubled their lead. Buckle’s corner was met at the near post by Clackstone and his header went in off a Grimsby player.
O’Connor then had a header saved by Mariners keeper Callum Bastock before the host’s best chance of the opening period fell to Sam Loughran but he put a free header wide from Tom Charlesworth’s free kick.
Devonte Morton headed well wide from a Leon Dawson cross but the City striker made no mistake in the 38th minute when he latched onto Annan’s through ball, beat a couple of defenders and tucked his shot low past Bastock from close range.
City almost added a fourth before the break when Morton’s shot was parried by Bastock and from Buckle’s cross O’Connor’s header was pushed over the bar by the Grimsby keeper.
Half Time: Grimsby Town Juniors 0 Hull City Juniors 3
City were immediately back on the offensive after the interval with Annan firing over, Morton shooting straight at Bastock and Rose sending his shot past the near post.
The Mariners were unlucky not to pull a goal back when Callum Robinson unleashed a right foot shot from outside the box which was superbly tipped onto the crossbar and over by Rory Watson. The resulting corner fell to Robinson but he sent his volley over the bar.
A Rose cross then picked out O’Connor to round the keeper only to see his shot cleared off the line by Will Appleby, before the City striker sent a right foot shot inches past the post.
It was a case of third time lucky for O’Connor as he put City four up in the 67th minute. Substitute Dan James did well on the right and he pulled the ball back for the Irish youngster to fire into the bottom corner.
Robinson fired high and wide as Grimsby looked for a reply but O’Connor had a header saved and Ben Hinchcliffe headed wide from Dawson’s cross before City added a fifth in the 78th minute. Annan and Eoghan McCawl started the move and Rose crossed for O’Connor to head over Bastock and into the net.
The Grimsby keeper made a good save to keep out a James shot with his foot but City brought up their half dozen in the 82nd minute. James’ through ball sent O’Connor into the box where he was tripped by Josh Sunter. The City striker calmly converted the penalty to complete his hat trick.
O’Connor could have taken his personal tally in the game to four in the closing minutes when released by Annan’s pass but Bastock was quickly out to block his shot.
Grimsby Town: Callum Bastock, Will Appleby (Josh Sunter 78), Caine Winfarrah, Tom Charlesworth (Matthew Dale 78), Hamish Falconer (Lewis Bemrose 46), Ellis Humble, Paul Walker, Josh Venney, Sam Loughran, Lee Wattam, Callum Robinson.
Sub Not Used: Jack Pearson.
Hull City: Rory Watson (Joe Walker 64), Jake Rose, Leon Dawson, Ryan Fallowfield, Josh Clackstone, Alex Penny, Will Annan, Eoghan McCawl, Sam O’Connor, Devonte Morton (Ben Hinchcliffe 67), Jake Buckle (Dan James 46).
Sub Not Used: Mitchell Langton.