Cole Stockton scored twice as Barrow moved closer to securing a Sky Bet League Two play-off place with a 3-1 win over lowly Grimsby.

The Cumbrians have never appeared in a Football League play-off but an unbeaten March campaign has bolstered their chances.

Stockton broke the deadlock after 11 minutes with his sixth goal since joining on loan from Burton in the January transfer window.

The former Morecambe goal machine doubled the Bluebirds’ lead in the 22nd minute with a simple tap-in after Dom Telford’s shot following a mazy dribble was stopped on the line.

Barrow looked set for a routine three points but Grimsby kept up the pressure in the second half and saw Kieran Green hit the post with a header.

However, Pete Wild’s side sealed victory after 81 minutes as midfielder Robbie Gotts drilled in a low shot from the edge of the area.

Gotts’ goal was extra insurance as Justin Obikwu fired in after 88 minutes to give the Mariners a consolation.

Barrow’s latest win stretched their unbeaten run to six games – all in March – with four victories and two draws and leaves them fifth in League Two.

David Artell believes Grimsby proved they are a tough team to beat in their 0-0 draw against play-off-chasing AFC Wimbledon at Plough Lane.

Artell’s side had the better of a closely-fought first half, with Donovan Wilson rattling Wimbledon’s crossbar.

Both sides struggled to carve out a clear-cut chance during a cagey second half, and Grimsby held on to secure back-to-back clean sheets in League Two.

The result moved the Mariners seven points clear of the relegation zone, while the Dons are now three points off the play-off places.

“We know we are hard to beat, it was a hard-fought point,” he said.

“In the second half Wimbledon asked questions of us but that is back-to-back clean sheets for the first time in, I don’t even know how long.

“I thought we were the better team in the first half, we hit the bar, we had a great penalty shout turned down, Harvey Rodgers has had a great chance from a free-kick and we looked the better team. It was a really good point in the end.

“I thought the referee missed a couple of big decisions if I am being honest but that is the way it goes when you are away from home, that is what can happen.

“We should have scored while we were on top, that’s the next stage, we made it hard for ourselves in certain respects in the last 15 minutes.”

Wimbledon boss Johnnie Jackson was happy with a point in the wake of Saturday’s memorable 1-0 win over MK Dons.

“I think it took a lot out of all of us, it was a monumental occasion and to have to go again three days later, that is difficult,” he added.

“To put the effort in that they did on the back of a huge effort on the weekend and get four points from two games in three days, it is not bad.

“I think on the balance of the game the result was about fair, it was close but it is another point on the board.

“We wanted to win and the plan was to get the three but you can also lose these games and our opponents are fighting for their lives so credit to them for making our lives difficult.

“I don’t think we were at our best and when you are not at your best it is important you don’t lose.

“It is going to be a real fight, you have seen today there are no easy games, the team that we beat here on Saturday has gone and won at the league leaders.

“This is League Two for you, they were never going to come here and roll over, they were always going to put up a fight.”

Mansfield turned on the style to see off Grimsby 2-0 in the Carabao Cup first round and delighted Stags boss Nigel Clough believes a team could be in for a real hiding if they can reproduce that form.

Lucas Akins netted a 27th-minute penalty in a one-sided first half and Rhys Oates added a crucial second on 55 minutes.

But it could have been many more and Clough said: “I think you can see already that someone is going to cop for one sometime during the season.

“If we do put in a reasonable percentage of the chances and crosses then we will get four or five on occasions.

“I thought some of the football tonight was from a higher level. Some of our play from start to finish was excellent.

“The lads have set the standard in the first two performances.”

Grimsby goalkeeper Harvey Cartwright brought down Oates for the spot kick after a poor touch from a backpass and then Oates flicked home the second from David Keillor-Dunn’s pass.

Grimsby boss Paul Hurst admitted: “That was pretty much as good a performance as I’ve seen from a League Two side for some time.

“They (Mansfield) went very close last season and are a group that’s been together for some time.

“They played some very good football – Nigel Clough wants his team to play that way.

“We did contribute to that by inviting pressure, but there is no doubt about it they were the better team on the night by far.

“Harvey made the mistake for the goal but then made some good saves afterwards.

“And when we did have some good opportunities, Christy Pym made a good save from Danny Rose.

“Mansfield are one of the favourites in terms of that top group and on tonight’s evidence it suggests we are short of that.”

Evan Ferguson believes Brighton and Hove Albion can go on and book a place in Europe after thumping Grimsby Town 5-0 to reach the FA Cup semi-finals.

Wembley awaits the Seagulls, who were handed a shot at Manchester United or Fulham next. United and Fulham contested the last of the quarter-finals on Sunday, after the draw was made.

Manchester City will face Sheffield United in the other last-four clash over the weekend of April 22-23.

Brighton could earn a place in next season's European competitions through the Premier League or by winning the FA Cup.

They sit seventh in the league, level on points with sixth-placed Liverpool and with a game in hand on the Reds.

"I think we've got the hope and the desire to go on and get to Europe," Ferguson said, after hitting two goals against League Two battlers Grimsby.

"That's our ambition, and if we keep going and keep on winning games we could get there."

Grimsby stunned Southampton in the fifth round but could not overturn another Premier League team, with Brighton outclassing their visitors and earning their Wembley trip.

Deniz Undav, Kaoru Mitoma and Solly March also scored to see off the Mariners.

Ferguson told BBC One: "It's what we were looking for at the start. We obviously wanted to go to Wembley, so we have to get to the semi-finals. Today it wasn't an easy game because teams like that, when they sit off, you have to try to break them down, but it's a good result."

His first goal, Brighton's second of the game, showed the 18-year-old Irish striker at his best, as he pulled down a pass with an expert touch and fired into the bottom-right corner.

"It was good. I think it was more an instinct," Ferguson said. "It just came to me and I tried to swivel around and tried to get the best shot off, and luckily it went in."

League Two Grimsby Town stunned Southampton as the Mariners caused a "miracle" FA Cup upset on Wednesday.

Paul Hurst's side became the first team in a single campaign in the competition to defeat five teams from a higher division after a 2-1 victory at Premier League Southampton.

A pair of Gavan Holohan penalties at St. Mary's Stadium proved the difference, despite a late Duje Caleta-Car strike for the top-flight strugglers.

Grimsby manager Hurst told ITV: "Just delighted for the players. What an effort. We kept disciplined. Look at what that means to the support.

"We turned up, hoping for a miracle and to be in the quarter-finals is incredible. It is just a fantastic day, we have gone down in the history books. It is a very special day."

Defeat marked the first time Southampton have been eliminated from the FA Cup as a top-flight team by a side in the fourth tier.

Brighton and Hove Albion will be the next challenge in the last eight for Grimsby, who had not reached the quarter-finals of the competition since 1938-39, when they made it to the last four.

It was also the first instance Grimsby have beaten top-flight opposition as a fourth-tier side in the FA Cup, their last such win coming in a third-round victory over Middlesbrough back in January 1989.

Manchester City will reunite with club legend Vincent Kompany when they face Burnley in the FA Cup quarter-finals, while Manchester United will host Fulham.

Pep Guardiola's top-flight champions eased past Bristol City 3-0 on Tuesday, while United backed up their EFL Cup success with a 3-1 comeback victory over West Ham.

City will face former defender Kompany, who lifted four Premier League titles at Etihad Stadium, after being drawn at home to runaway Championship leaders Burnley following their late 1-0 win against Fleetwood Town on Wednesday.

United ended a six-year trophy drought on Sunday by defeating Newcastle United and will continue their quest for further silverware when they host Fulham at Old Trafford.

Fourth-tier Grimsby Town remain the shock package in this season's FA Cup after Premier League Southampton fell to a 2-1 home loss and became the Mariners' fifth victim from a higher division in the 2022-23 campaign.

The League Two side's reward will be a trip to in-form Brighton and Hove Albion, who edged past Stoke City 1-0 in the fifth round on Tuesday.

Sheffield United were another surprise winner in the last 16 of the competition, defeating Tottenham 1-0, and will host Blackburn Rovers, which ensures at least one Championship side will reach the semi-finals.

All ties are set to be played between March 17 and 19 with the quarter-final contestants one win from a trip to Wembley.

FA Cup quarter-final draw in full:

Manchester City v Burnley

Manchester United v Fulham

Brighton and Hove Albion v Grimsby Town

Sheffield United v Blackburn Rovers

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