The FA Cup fairytale is over for Auckland-born goalkeeper Max Crocombe after his Grimsby Town side were crushed 5-0 by Brighton & Hove Albion.
The result takes Brighton into a semi-final tie with Manchester United while Grimsby’s 5,000 travelling fans head home, taking pride in the knowledge Grimsby had eliminated five teams from divisions above them to reach their first FA Cup quarter-final in 84 years.
Crocombe was under fire from the start of the quarter-final, making his first save after two minutes, as Brighton outclassed their lower-league opponents.
Grimsby trailed 1-0 at half-time but Brighton overran the Mariners in the second spell.
Prior to the game, Crocombe had said he hoped the profile of the cup run would remind selectors he was keen to win back his place at the back of the All Whites defence.
After the loss to Brighton, Crocombe told his Twitter followers he was “gutted”.
The two-cap All Whites goalkeeper now has a few days to prepare for a midweek League Two match at Mansfield Town.