Chelsea's rapid route to victory

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The Independent Online

Chelsea 4 Grimsby Town 1

Few people gave Chelsea a chance when they reached the FA Cup Final in 1994. That pessimism proved justified as, with the help of David Elleray, Manchester United thrashed them 4-0.

Chelsea, 1996 vintage, are a different proposition. Having already knocked out Newcastle United and Queen's Park Rangers they brushed aside the challenge of Grimsby Town last night. They now meet Wimbledon, at home, in the sixth round.

Michael Duberry put them ahead with the first goal of his career after 21 minutes. Then Mark Hughes, Gavin Peacock and John Spencer scored in the space of five second-half minutes.

Peacock's was the most important of the trio, Paul Groves having briefly raised Grimsby's hopes of a revival, powerfully volleying in a minute after Hughes' headed goal.

Grimsby's only previous FA Cup visit to Stamford Bridge was a 1-0 win in 1939 - the last occasion on which they reached the sixth round. That rarely seemed likely as Chelsea's touch and movement was always superior. "It is why they are paid pounds 10,000 a week and we are paid pounds 150," Brian Laws, the Grimsby player- manager, said.

Laws picked out Hughes as the difference between this replay, and the first match. "He holds the ball up so well," he said. "It means they can play around him and their movement off the ball was unbelievable. If they play like that they can go all the way."

The other difference, as so often in these contests, was the finishing. Grimsby failed to take their chances in the first match, Chelsea took theirs in the second.

The first goal was headed in by Duberry after Dan Petrescu, found by Spencer, had crossed from the right. The second, after 54 minutes, was finished by Hughes from Peacock's cross.

After Groves had volleyed in, following Terry Phelan's poor clearance, Wise dribbled through the Grimsby defence before slipping the ball to Spencer, who scored. Then Gullit fed the unmarked Peacock for the fourth.

Chelsea (3-6-1): Hitchcock; Duberry, Lee, Clarke; Petrescu, Gullit (Spackman, 78), Spencer, Wise, Peacock, Phelan; Hughes (Furlong, 85). Substitute not used: Johnson.

Grimsby Town (4-4-2): Crichton; McDermott, Lever, Croft, Laws (Fickling, 78); Childs (Dobbin, 78), Shakespeare, Groves, Southall (Forrester, 70); Livingstone, Woods.

Referee: S Dunn (Bristol).