FLYING FISH

Published date18 March 2023
Publication titleDaily Star (England)
But when Mariners captain Luke Waterfall leads another coastal skirmish at Brighton in the FA Cup quarter-finals tomorrow, the 250-1 outsiders won't be worrying if the depleted fleet of trawlers are bringing home haddock or cod in the back of the net

For those unfamiliar with local house rules: In Grimsby, haddock is the preferred dish of the day. Cod is for the cat.

But Brighton should beware the League Two giantkillers who have already shocked topflight Southampton and Championship high-flyers Luton - these minnows bite like piranhas.

Around 4,600 travelling Mariners with their inflatable Harry Haddock toys will generate a hot atmosphere at the Amex with a Wembley semi-final the prize for the victors.

And Waterfall, 32, has seen it all before.

FA Cup quarter-finalist? Been there, done that, with non-League Lincoln City six years ago.

Brighton? Beat them 3-1 in the fourth round on the Imps' fairy-tale run in 2017.

Lifting a trophy at Wembley? He did that when Lincoln won the EFL Trophy the following year.

Waterfall is up for the Cup again, happily rehearsing his trophy-lift with a souvenir mug from the Mariners club shop and drawing on the unforgettable experience of Lincoln's run.

"Before the quarter-final at Arsenal, we visited the Red Arrows base at RAF Scampton just outside the city," he said.

"It was a real eye-opener speaking to the pilots about teamwork and their trust in each other.

"For them, just one mistake at 600mph up in the sky is not really an option. It was a good lesson in the importance of discipline and working together.

"It was a magical time to be involved in the rebuild of a football club, and that Cup run was the start of Lincoln climbing back from non-League to where they are now.

"Getting promoted back into the Football League was the important part, but it was the Cup run...

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