March 1, 2023 12.00 pm This story is over 13 months old

Grimsby Town hoping to make history in FA Cup match

The Mariners will be on ITV this evening

By Local Democracy Reporter

Grimsby Town’s date with destiny is almost here, as North East Lincolnshire’s League Two outfit prepare for a potential history-making FA Cup 5th round tie with Premier League team Southampton on Wednesday evening.

It has been a fairytale journey in the FA Cup for Grimsby Town this season, smashing League One promotion hopefuls Plymouth Argyle 5-1 in the first round, before beating two other League One clubs – Burton and Cambridge United – to make it to round four.

The last 32 stage offered up stiffer competition in the form of Luton Town, who currently occupy a play-off place in the Championship, English football’s second tier below the Premier League.

Despite this major gulf in standings, Grimsby first held Luton to a 2-2 draw away at Kenilworth Road, before playing the southern-based team off the pitch and running out 3-0 winners in a memorable replay at Blundell Park.

This secured Grimsby Town’s spot in the FA Cup fifth round for the first time since 1996, and round five serves up yet another step up in difficulty.

On Wednesday evening, in front of the ITV cameras and millions of viewers at home, the Mariners face their sternest opposition yet as they look to go where no Grimsby team has gone since the outbreak of the Second World War.

Premier League side Southampton are Grimsby’s opponents for this FA Cup fifth round tie, with the winners booking a place alongside the likes of Manchester City in the quarter finals of the most prestigious cup competition in English football.

Over 4,000 tickets have been sold to Grimsby fans for this game, meaning you can expect a lot of noise from the away end of St Mary’s Stadium on Wednesday evening.

Southampton vs Grimsby Town will be shown live on ITV4 and ITVX, with the game kicking off at 7.15pm from St Mary’s Stadium on the south coast.

Mariners chairman Jason Stockwood published a column in The Guardian on Wednesday, saying the FA Cup holds significant weight for lower division clubs, both “emotionally and financially.”

Mr Stockwood praises the work going on both on and off the pitch at Grimsby, from offshore wind developments to the “quiet revolution” of the football club.

He said: “Today there is a quiet revolution occurring on and off the field in our unfashionable corner of north-east Lincolnshire in Grimsby.

“Our town is starting to reinvent itself as the home of the renewables industry and tilting its narrative away from a story of industrial decline to a low-carbon future and a community full of nascent solidarity and hope.

“On the football pitch, while the Hollywood owners of Wrexham continued to take the limelight (and TV money) in this season’s FA Cup, Grimsby Town have slipped almost unnoticed by the national media into the fifth round as the lowest-ranked team remaining.”

Harry Haddock

| Photo: Grimsby Town Football Club

A major talking point within this game has been the initial decision and subsequent reversal of a ban on Grimsby fans bringing inflatable haddock props to the game as per a local tradition.

Grimsby Town had requested fans be able to bring these inflatables to St Mary’s for the fifth round tie, but said Southampton turned down the request and warned of confiscation if any were found in the terraces.

However, the Saints have since reversed this decision and are now allowing Grimsby supporters to bring their floaty fish with them on what is sure to be a famous day for all involved.

MyLocal Lincolnshire is the new home of The Lincolnite. Download the app now