15 min Grimsby are struggling to get out, and a second Brighton goal looks inevitable. As I type that, Estupinan slips and gives the ball away, but Crocombe will now kick long, so presumably it’ll come straight back.
14 min Oh, Gabriel Martinelli has put Arsenal in front. They needed that after their midweek disappointment.
12 min Elsewhere, it’s Arsenal 0-0 Crystal Palace. Palace, remember, have no manager after Patrick Vieira was mercy-sacked to save him the shame of an Emirates kicking.
10 min Does anyone have players whose names they use in popular music songs because they fit or sound like the lyrics? I can’t help but sing Solly March Solly March Solly March Solly March to this bit of this stone-cold, steaming hot, complete and utter Nicky Banger.
8 min Grimsby will be concerned. Brighton are playing as they usually do, which is to say nothing’s being done to stop them, which is to say this could get messy.
GOAL! Brighton 1-0 Grimsby (Undav 7)
March and Gross probe down the right, the latter moving into the middle for Mac Allister, who tees up Caicedo. The shot is low, hard and swift, but too close to Crocombe, who parries to safety … only for Undav to follow up up and put in. He’s been disappointing in his time at the club so far, so really needed that.
6 min Good from March, who teases Glennon, crosses, through a small gap … and though Grimsby clear, he soon gets the ball back to go again…
5 min Grimsby counter and Green finds Efete down the right, but Dunk intercepts the cross and clears.
4 min Brighton do their usual thing, knocking the ball along the back three with which they build, looking to draw Grimsby onto them then pass into midfield. Grimsby, though, are refusing to engage high, so Dunk is able to bring the ball away. He tries to find Mitoma, but Efete is there to intervene.
3 min BBC have Jonathan Pearce commentating. That’s Jonathan Pearce of Sopranos fame.
2 min Brighton create straight away, Estupinan punching a typical ball into Mac Allister, who turns really well and feeds in Ferguson, but his second touch takes him a little wide and he can’t get the power to find the far corner before Crocombe dives to save.
1 min Away we go!
And now here come our teams!
I mentioned that Doyle winner – well, here it is.
Roberto De Zerbi is a cool cat – he’s not thinking about getting to Wembley, just the result today (yeah alright mate). He looks like he’s come straight from the klurrb too, none of that syoot and coat nonsense.
Sheffield United have indeed beaten Blackburn 3-2 – winning it with a bazzer – and are into the last four of the Cup!
I should also say, the winner was scored by Tommy Doyle, grandson of Mike – and Glyn. I wonder who he wants next.
Bit of Grimsby action. Harry Clifton looks a decent talent.
BBC interview Jason Stockwood and Andrew Pettit, chair and vice-chair of Grimsby. Both seem sound – they’re fans – and pay for their own tickets.
I’ve watched this a fair few times – imagine coming back to work after some time off, to this. Yes, Mr T.H.E. Man, if you’re reading that is a hint
I did not know that Paul Futcher, Grimsby legend and twin of Ron, was Danny Murphy’s uncle.
BBC open their broadcast with the Lighthouse Family. So…
Absolute scenes at Bramall Lane!
I’m really looking forward to seeing how Ferguson does, not just today but over the next bit. He looks remarkably complete for a centre-forward his age – I just hope Brighton can hang onto him beyond the summer.
Google reckon Brighton will have Gross at right-back, Mac Allister in front alongside Caicedo, and then March in his usual spot off the right, with Undav in behind Ferguson. All shall soon be revealed.
Something to read, obviously not about MEMEMEMEMEME … but I’ve been lucky enough to conduct a fair few interviews, and there’ve not been many during which I’ve had tears in my eyes throughout. But seeing how much this meant to Christopher and Max was so moving, and I hope other clubs see what can be done and do it.
Google reckon Grimsby will have three at the back and four in midfeld, but the way they announce their team on Twitter, it looks like the wing-backs are playing in defence. Most likely, though, the whistle goes and people run about.
As for Grimsby, they won 1-0 at Sutton in midweek and will, I think, go with a rarely seen 5-2-1-2 formation – yes, I know. Paul Hurst leaves out Amos, Morris, Lloyd and Taylor, bringing in Glennnon, Holohan, Khan and Orsi.
Elsewhere, by the way, Blackburn now lead Sheffield United for a second time. Follow that with John Brewin, here:
I’m guessing, but I think Roberto De Zerbi is going with Solly March at right-back,. But he might be shoving the so-far-disappointing Undav there – we shall see. Otherwise, though, there are three changes from the midweek, er, derby win that got Patrick Vieira sacked: Veltman in unavailable, so Undav comes in, while, Webster replaces Colwill at centre-back and Ferguson is preferred to Welbeck.
Brighton: Sánchez; March, Webster, Dunk, Estupiñán; Gross, Caicdedo; Undav, Mc Allister, Mitoma; Ferguson. Subs: Steele, Colwill, Welbeck Sarmiento, Enciso, Ayari, Van Hecke, Veltman, Buonanotte.
Grimsby: Crocombe, Efete, Waterfall, Smith, Maher, Glennon, Green, Holohan, Clifton, Khan, Orsi. Subs: Battersby, Pearson, Emmanuel, McAtee, Hunt, Morris, Amos, Taylor, Khouri.
On the 20th February 1983, Brighton visited Liverpool in the FA Cup. The hosts had gone 63 home Cup games without defeat, a run that went back to November 1974, so few at Anfield expected anything other than a 64th in the ground’s first ever Sunday game, Everton having been drawn at Goodison and played on the Saturday. Appetites must, though, have been whetted by the prospect of Graeme Souness and Jimmy Case reconvening for some real football men action.
In the event, though, Brighton won 2-1. Gerry Ryan put them in front, and though Craig Johnston then equalised, Case rammed home a terrific winner a minute later – after which Phil Neil missed a penalty – before the Seagulls binned Norwich and Wednesday to make the final.
Since then, they’ve made the last four once and the last eight twice, but they’re now a better team than they’ve ever been – they deservedly beat Liverpool in round four – and will seriously fancy their chances of going all the way this time. It’s true that, as in 1983, the possibility of losing the final to Man United exists, but should those teams meet again, Brighton won’t go into the match off the back of an unsuccessful fight against relegation. They will, though, know that they’re getting a bit good for the richer clubs’ liking, which is to say that hanging onto their best players this summer will a struggle, and though they’ve a terrific manager and set-up so are well-placed to go again, will still know that this is a chance and therefore the pressure is on.
Grimsby, meanwhile, are 14th in League 2. But in the course of their frankly rrrrridiculous Cup run, they’ve become the first team ever to beat five clubs from higher divisions in consecutive matches, and the feelgood factor extends beyond the football. Frequently derided by people with no grasp of politics, community and simple decency, the town of Grimsby is now “in a good moment”, a centre of green energy renewing itself in parallel, while Grimsby Town are doing likewise, one good performance away from the semi-finals of the FA Cup having spent 2010-2016 outside the Football League. Here we go, here we go, here we go!
Kick-off: 2.15pm GMT