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Town Win Promotion!
By: Rob Sedgwick
GRIMSBY ended their six year exile from the Football League thanks to a 3-1 win over Forest Green at Wembley. Two goals from Omar Bogle just before half time gave Town a big advantage, but a Marsh-Brown goal on the hour mark gave Rovers a platform back into the game.
Some heroic defending by the Mariners kept the lead intact, but as the clock ticked down Grimsby had more chances on the break. The Mariners finally put the game beyond doubt when Arnold latched onto a rebound and rounded the 'keeper to tuck the ball into an empty net.
Andy Monkhouse didn't recover in time for the final, which meant a start from Craig Clay in midfield again with Nolan playing wide. Marcus Marshall, so instrumental in the comeback at Braintree, started on the bench.
Bogle had a golden chance on ten minutes when a free kick into the box reached him and he headed across in the goal towards the 'keeper with the open net gaping in front of him.
Nathan Arnold then almost gave the Mariners the lead but his shot was tipped onto the post by Rover's 'keeper Arnold.
Just before half time Town took a deserved lead, albeit with a slice of luck. A Nathan Arnold free kick saw the 'keeper initially come for the ball. Bogle rose, and his header, which was heading away from the goal, took a big deflection and into the empty net. Within a minute Bogle added a second, hooking in a deflection from the 'keeper's save after another shot by Arnold.
After the break Forest Green introduced Parkin and changed their formation, and took the initiative. Parkin missed a couple of chances which he'd have probably scored from in his prime, but a stunning long-range Marsh-Brown strike on the hour suddenly changed the game.
Forest Green continued to press but as the half progressed Grimsby gradually started to contain them and began to create chances of their own.
The win was sealed when the 'keeper spilled a shot after good work by Nolan and Arnold was quickest to react, rounding the 'keeper and slotting into the empty net at the Grimsby end.
It was a deserved win. Grimsby had been the better side for three quarters of the game apart from the first 20 minutes of the second half.
The Town crowd finally got to see what happens after the final whistle at Wembley, with the players and management team receiving their medals and lifting the trophy.
Next week Town return to the scene of their finest hour when they take on Halifax in the FA Trophy final and try and emulate their famous double of 1998.
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