Auckland-born goalkeeper Max Crocombe is living an FA Cup fairytale after his Grimsby Town side earned a fifth-round tie against English Premier League side Southampton.
Crocombe (29), who has played twice for the All Whites, kept a clean sheet to help Grimsby to a 3-0 upset win in their midweek fourth-round replay against high-flying Championship side Luton Town.
Grimsby play in League Two, having won promotion through the play-off system last year.
Crocombe tweeted: “Wow!! That’s got to be right up there!! A special, special night. So proud of the boys, defensively were first class to get a clean sheet and three quality goals to get us through to the 5th round. This club!!”
Grimsby rocked Luton with three goals in the first half but the Hatters came our firing after the break.
Crocombe saved a point-blank header from Cauley Woodrow. Then, he got down to his left to block a Luke Berry Shot. He then denied a Carlton Morris effort.
The ‘keeper has fallen down the New Zealand team’s pecking order since making his debut in 2018, appearing to have fallen behind a long list of contenders including Oli Sail (Wellington Phoenix), Michael Woud (Kyoto Sanga, Japan), Alex Paulsen (Wellington Phoenix), Matt Gould (Altrincham, UK) and Jamie Searle (Barnsley, UK).
But he hasn’t given up on his hopes of reclaiming the national shirt.
“I’ve always wanted to be involved (with New Zealand),” Crocombe told BBC Radio Humberside late last year.
”But, it has been difficult with the lack of international windows. In the past, when I’ve gone away, I’ve lost my place in the team and missed league games which was frustrating.”
Grimsby — and Crocombe — how have the opportunity to raise their profile by becoming the giantkiller’s in this year’s FA Cup.
They play Southampton on Thursday March 2 at 8.15am (NZT).
About Max Crocombe
Crocombe has become Grimsby’s first-choice goalkeeper after joining the club in 2021 from A-League side Melbourne Victory.
He had previously played for Brisbane Roar after a six-year UK career with clubs including Oxford United, Barnet (loan), Southport (loan), Carlisle United and Salford City.
The 1.94m ‘keeper played for New Zealand’s U-20 and U-23 squads before playing twice for the All Whites in 2018.
Main photo: Crocombe trains with the national squad in 2018. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.
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