- Grimsby Town move through in Carabao Cup
- Seven changes and five full debuts for The Railwaymen
- First defeat of the season for Alex Morris’s men
Crewe Alexandra were knocked out of the Carabao Cup at the first-round stage after hosts Grimsby Town emerged as convincing 4-0 winners at Blundell Park.
First-half goals from Luke Waterfall and Kieran Green put the hosts in charge, and Andrew Smith and Stephen Wearne completed the scoring in the second half.
It was a difficult night for The Railwaymen, who shipped three goals from dead ball situations and struggled in all departments.
The management staff will now lead an inquest into the defeat as the players dust themselves down and prepare for the weekend’s trip to Salford in League Two.
Alex Morris handed full debuts to two homegrown players in Charlie Finney and Joel Tabiner, as well as summer signings Courtney Baker-Richardson, Khanya Leshabela and Charlie Colkett.
The hosts hit the front on 13 minutes when a free-kick was lifted into the box on an angle and Waterfall rose highest at the far post to head powerfully down and into the net.
The Alex almost responded instantly but a Luke Offord header came back off the bar and the ball was scrambled clear.
On 33 minutes it was 2-0 when keeper Arthur Okonkwo came to meet a free-kick but his punch fell short and Green struck unerringly home from just outside the box.
Green should have made it 3-0 shortly afterwards but he rolled inches wide after a swift break, and the visitors were happy to hear the half-time whistle.
Sub Bassala Sambou headed wide from a Colkett cross soon after the restart, and Kelvin Mellor had a header blocked from a corner.
But just before the hour mark it was 3-0. Another dead ball from deep was not robustly defended and Smith was on hand to guide it home.
Sub Dan Agyei dragged an effort wide and Sambou had a shot blocked, but the Mariners made it 4-0 before the end through Wearne’s neat finish at the far post.
Grimsby (4-3-3): Crocombe; Efete, Waterfall (Pearson 89), Smith, Glennon; Green (Clifton 67), Morris, Amos (Cropper 79); Wearne, Pepple (Kiernan 79), Holohan (Khouri 67).
Subs not used: Battersby, Braithwaite, Maguire-Drew, Taylor.
Crewe (4-3-3): Okonkwo; Mellor, Offord, McDonald, C Finney (Williams 45); Griffiths (Ainley 58), Colkett (Uwakwe 51), O Finney (Agyei 58); Tabiner (Sambou 45), Baker-Richardson, Leshabela.
Subs not used: Booth, Thomas, Sass-Davies, Brook.
Referee: Adam Herczeg.
Attendance: 2,802 (80)