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The End
The End

Happily Ever After

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 06/05/2018

GRIMSBY ended the season on a high with their third successive win. It has been a remarkable transformation under new boss Michael Jolley summarised by the fact that JJ Hooper scored a hat-trick in the 3-0 victory at Forest Green.

For most of the season, Hooper has been out of his depth, but has been transformed under the new management team and has gone from a certainty to be released to a potential candidate to keep on next season.

Michael Jolley stuck with the same side that had won the previous two games, resisting the chance to try out fringe players in a game that was effectively a dead rubber with just pride at stake. It lacked the intensity of the previous games when Town were fighting for points and the players could relax more.

Both sides had chances in the first half. Luke Summerfield saw a shot deflected, and James McKeown made two good saves to keep the score 0-0 at the break.

Town took the lead from a scrappy goal with Hooper prodding home a loose ball to squeeze over the line. McKeown kept Town in front with a good save to deny Doidge.

The Mariners though scored two late goals, both similar solo efforts from Hooper, who curled in two long-range shots in two give the scoreline an emphatic gloss.

Town and Barnet ended the season strongly, but it was the Londoners who ended up joining Chesterfield in the National League despite their strong finish to the season after Morecambe managed a 0-0 draw at Coventry to get the point they needed.

Town fans now can enjoy the summer, relax during the World Cup, and wait to see the squad Michael Jolley assembles during the summer. There might be fewer changes needed than most fans envisaged, but the bulk of the present squad is still likely to leave Blundell Park.

The Mariners certainly look in a better position than they did 12 months ago, despite finishing lower and getting fewer points than they did in 2016-2017.

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