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Who will win the National League?

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Disley: Rare Brace
Disley: Rare Brace

Halfway to Paradise

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 17/02/2013

GRIMSBY took a giant leap towards what looks likely to be an FA Trophy Final to be contested between the Mariners at Wrexham at Wembley Stadium next month. Town once again were not at their best, but eventually turned out 3-0 winners, a scoreline more emphatic than the course of play.

Two late goals from Town gave the Mariners a scoreline which looked unlikely when the score was 1-0 with 10 minutes to play. McKeown made a game-changing save just before Town added a second, which ironically came from a basic goalkeeping error from the Dartford 'keeper.

Dartford will have to overturn a three goal deficit in the away leg in Kent next week, while Wrexham head to Gainsborough with a deserved 3-1 lead in the other semi. The Red Dragons also scored a late goal to give themselves a big lead to defend in the away leg.

Dartford started the game by far the better side and were unlucky not to score in the opening minute.

Grimsby took the lead totally against the run of play from a corner which Dartford failed to clear and Disley smashed it in with a volley from 25 yards to give Town the lead.

The goal gave Town a lift and Cook should have put Grimsby two up when he was put clean through but the shot was saved.

Town should have made it 2-0 when Marshall crossed on to Colbeck's head for a free header, but Colbeck failed to get it on target from 6 yards.

In the second half Dartford almost scored with a long range effort but McKeown made a great save, diving low to paw a volley out, to keep Town ahead.

Disley scored his second when the Dartford 'keeper fumbled a routine long range shot which crept just over the line. Cook almost straight away added a third when he outmuscled the Dartford defence and drilled a shot past the 'keeper. It was almost an enactment of the "he gets the ball, scores a goal, Andy Andy Cook" song.

Noble was then sent off for Dartford for a late tackle on Thomas which will result in a three match ban and cause him to miss the second leg.

The job is not done yet and Town will have to approach the second leg professionally to ensure the job is seen through. Meanwhile all Grimsby's promotion rivals won in the league, meaning the Mariners are forced to win their rearranged game at Braintree on Tuesday night to maintain their top spot.

Town: McKeown; Hatton, Thomas, S Pearson, Miller, Disley, Niven, Colbeck, Marshall; Brodie, Cook

Subs: Thanoj, Devitt, Wood, Hannah, John-Lewis

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