The FA Cup - Third Round
Crystal PalaceCrystal Palace1GrimsbyGrimsby Town0

Crystal Palace 1-0 Grimsby Town in FA Cup third round

By Jack SkeltonBBC Sport

Jordan Ayew's late winner put Crystal Palace into the FA Cup fourth round as they finally broke down a resolute Grimsby, who played with 10 men for almost the entire match.

Left-back Andrew Fox was sent off in the second minute for a high challenge on Andros Townsend, after the input of the video assistant referee.

Palace had 33 attempts on goal in the game, only to be repelled by League Two Grimsby's fine defence, but substitute Ayew rose to head in Jeffrey Schlupp's free-kick in the 86th minute.

The result was harsh on Grimsby, who looked on course to take their Premier League opponents to a deserved replay.

This was another worrying performance for a Palace side who have struggled to score this season, but they will be relieved their onslaught eventually edged them through at Selhurst Park.

Gutsy Grimsby and profligate Palace

Fox was dismissed after catching Palace winger Townsend on the shin with his studs up. Referee Martin Atkinson originally showed a yellow card before VAR intervened to overturn it to a straight red.

It ensured the rest of the game was effectively attack against defence - a daunting challenge that Grimsby met with fine organisation and tremendous resolve.

Reece-Hall Johnson made several vital interceptions, including clearing Alexander Sorloth's header off the line, and, with fellow defenders Mitch Rose and Luke Hendrie, helped his side keep their shape superbly to frustrate Palace.

Townsend went close with either foot in the second half, while Grimsby goalkeeper James McKeown made a fine diving save from Sorloth's close-range effort and pushed a Martin Kelly drive on to a post.

Palace, who made nine changes but still fielded a strong team - Wilfried Zaha started - were also dreadfully wasteful, with only eight of their 33 attempts on target.

Too often Zaha tried to beat too many defenders, and substitute Cheikhou Kouyate headed Townsend's excellent cross against the post on the hour.

But a foul by Rose on Ayew just outside the area was one promising free-kick too many for the visitors to concede, with Schlupp standing up a fine delivery for Ayew to power past McKeown.

'The only positive is that we won' - reaction

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson: "They were unlucky to get a player sent off but it was a red card. The referee got it right with the help of VAR and made the right call.

"Grimsby got players behind the ball and sort of camped. They asked questions.

"We made a lot of attempts, made a real effort to get through, but they were fantastic and there were incredible performances from some of their defenders throwing their bodies on the line.

"The only positive that you get from the game is that you actually win it in the end. You spend 90 minutes bashing your head at the wall. We didn't use enough skill but I can't criticise them for their efforts."

Grimsby manager Michael Jolley: "The result is incredibly disappointing but we were applauded off the pitch by the Palace supporters, which says everything about our performance.

"It was a mammoth task to hold off with 10 men and we almost got there. The way we defended our box was first-class throughout.

"It is a daunting task to be away at a Premier League side. The players delivered a performance that Grimsby can be proud of.

"You can only deserve a replay if you score the same number of goals. We are very proud we came to this great football club and put up a good fight."

Ayew goes back to back - match stats

  • Crystal Palace striker Jordan Ayew has scored in back-to-back games for the first time since March 2018 (for Swansea City).
  • The last time Crystal Palace lost an FA Cup game on home soil against a side from a lower division was in 1984-85, when they suffered a 1-2 defeat in a third-round replay against Millwall.
  • Grimsby have won only one of their past 14 away FA Cup games against top-tier sides, a 2-1 victory against Middlesbrough in the third round in 1988-89.


Crystal Palace

Formation 4-3-3

  • 13Hennessey
  • 2Ward
  • 34Kelly
  • 6Dann
  • 27SouaréSubstituted forKouyatéat 36'minutes
  • 7Meyer
  • 44RiedewaldSubstituted forJ Ayewat 68'minutes
  • 15Schlupp
  • 10Townsend
  • 9SørlothSubstituted forWickhamat 61'minutes
  • 11Zaha


  • 1Speroni
  • 8Kouyaté
  • 14J Ayew
  • 21Wickham
  • 25Kaikai
  • 29Wan-Bissaka
  • 35Woods


Formation 4-3-3

  • 1McKeown
  • 8RoseBooked at 74mins
  • 27HendrieBooked at 45mins
  • 2Hall-Johnson
  • 19FoxBooked at 3mins
  • 15Clifton
  • 22Embleton
  • 7Hessenthaler
  • 39ThomasSubstituted forVernamat 75'minutes
  • 17Cardwell
  • 16WoolfordSubstituted forCookat 89'minutes


  • 3Ring
  • 4Welsh
  • 11Cook
  • 18Vernam
  • 23Russell
  • 30Pringle
  • 31Pollock
Martin Atkinson

Match Stats

Home TeamCrystal PalaceAway TeamGrimsby
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Crystal Palace 1, Grimsby Town 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Crystal Palace 1, Grimsby Town 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right.

  4. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Connor Wickham (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Andros Townsend.

  5. Post update

    Attempt missed. Elliot Embleton (Grimsby Town) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Harry Clifton.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace).

  7. Post update

    Harry Clifton (Grimsby Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Grimsby Town. Jordan Cook replaces Martyn Woolford.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace).

  10. Post update

    Mitch Rose (Grimsby Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Goal!

    Goal! Crystal Palace 1, Grimsby Town 0. Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Jeffrey Schlupp with a cross following a set piece situation.

  12. Post update

    Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Mitch Rose (Grimsby Town).

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Scott Dann (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Cheikhou Kouyaté.

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Harry Clifton (Grimsby Town) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Jake Hessenthaler with a headed pass.

  16. Post update

    Corner, Grimsby Town. Conceded by Connor Wickham.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Jeffrey Schlupp (Crystal Palace).

  18. Post update

    Charles Vernam (Grimsby Town) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Cheikhou Kouyaté (Crystal Palace).

  20. Post update

    Harry Clifton (Grimsby Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Top Stories

Explore the BBC