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SOUL OF SPORT: Grimsby fans descend on Brighton but their FA Cup adventure comes to an end

SOUL OF SPORT: Grimsby Town fans descend on Brighton with their inflatable Harry Haddocks… but their FA Cup adventure comes to an abrupt end in the quarter-finals – KEVIN QUIGLEY captures the League Two side’s day in the spotlight in pictures

By Kevin Quigley for the Daily Mail

07:24 Mar 20, 2023, updated 07:24 Mar 20, 2023

  • Each week on Monday, our Soul of Sport series takes readers behind the scenes at top sporting events
  • Kevin Quigley traveled with Grimsby fans as the League Two side met Brighton in the FA Cup quarter-finals
  • His photographs capture the hope and magic that the FA Cup can still inspire among lower-tier teams

Welcome back to the soul of sport. In the fourth installment of the series, KEVIN QUIGLEY joined the fans of Grimsby Town as the Mariners traveled to high-flying Brighton in the FA Cup Quarter-Finals in search of another colossal murder.

Fans arrived in their Harry Haddocks in the hope of watching the League Two side beat other Premier League opponents after Southampton’s elimination in the preliminary round.

Nearly 5,000 fans cheered the Mariners on in their first FA Cup quarter-final since 1939 but saw their fairytale run come to an abrupt end after suffering a 5-0 defeat at the Amex Stadium. Our latest photo essay shows the magic and hope the FA Cup still inspires among supporters of the lower divisions.

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Our man used a Nikon Z9 camera and 24-70mm, 14-24mm and 400m lenses to capture the action.

Grimsby Town fans came armed with their inflatable Harry Haddocks to cheer on the League Two side against Brighton
The bouncy castles were the only accessory requested, with over 3,000 sold by the club ahead of the quarter-finals
An all-ages vocal supporter hoped their side would repeat their surprise FA Cup win over Premier League Southampton
However, fans traveled hoping rather than expecting that the Mariners would book their place in the FA Cup bottom four
Regardless of the eventual outcome, Grimsby fans were determined to enjoy the club’s day in the seaside limelight
Fans had spoken of their pride in the community-based club and its efforts to drive positive change in the wider city
Grimsby fans were already celebrating their side’s furthest FA Cup run since 1939 before heading to Brighton
Despite the cold March weather, the fans wanted to show their pride in their team in any way they could
Refreshments were enjoyed leading up to the game to calm pre-match nervousness and celebrate the club’s success
Replica Grimsby shirts were seen among the fanbase, with black and white striped shirts seen across Brighton
Many fans made the long journey from Lincolnshire with over 4,500 fans traveling south for the Quarter-Finals
The anticipation of the tie saw many take their seats early to soak up the atmosphere at Amex Stadium
Fans shared a joke on the platform, with understandably high spirits among the thousands of traveling fans
Many fans opted for a quicker route to Brighton, with trains crammed with Grimsby trailers and rubber dinghies
Pride in Grimsby’s team was on full display before kick-off at the Amex as Paul Hurst’s side attempted to make history
Fans had reason to be optimistic after Grimsby were just a goal behind the Premier League team in the first half
The dream quickly faded as Brighton scored four goals from Roberto De Zerbi in the second half as reality dawned on the visitors
The defeat didn’t dampen the spirits of the fans who had traveled there for long, as Haddocks played in unison in the away game
The FA Cup run marked another upswing for Grimsby after being promoted back to the Football League last year
Fans have had to make the long journey home after FA Cup dreams were put on hold until next season’s campaign
With the FA Cup dream ending, Grimsby fans were forced to look to other attractions in search of seaside prizes
Fans and the popular Mighty Mariner mascot will go home with fond memories of the day their club took over Brighton

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