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Question of the Week

Is the squad strong enough to challenge for promotion?

Strong yes
Weak yes
Neutral
Weak no
Strong no


 

JOB DONE!

By: Richard Lord
Date: 13/04/2002

FIRST Division survival was guaranteed this afternoon at Blundell Park after beating promotion hopefuls Burnley.

A first half demolition job of the Claret and Blues in which the Mariners scored all three goals eventually secured First Division status.

The Boulding and Allen partnership returned to replace Falconer and Robinson, and it was the returning pair who completely overran the Burnley defence. Butterfield's ball down the line found Boulding, who wriggled past a couple of challenges before firing the ball into the back of the net.

Immediately from the kick-off Boulding had a great chance to score again but the keeper raced out to save. Allen finally gave Town a two-goal cushion soon after when he turned the ball in at the far post.

Boulding and Allen were tearing Burnley's defence apart. Thomas, Davis and Gnohere could simply not cope with Boulding's pace and manager Stan Ternant will be very disappointed in his side's surrendering of the match.

Boulding made the game safe after a ball down the right brought the Burnley keeper out of his goal, but Boulding rounded the helpless Greek and rolled the ball home from an acute angle.

The second half was played out without too many incidents and Grimsby never had a clear sight on goal. Burnley reshuffled at the back and were able to cope with Allen and Boulding.

Livingstone came on as a substitute with 15 minutes left as he replaced Allen. 'Gazza' made an appearance for the visitors but never got a grip of the game.

In fact, as the game wore on, Burnley came forward more and more and finally got their goal in the last minute after good work by Johnson. His cross was turned in via the far post.

Davis and Taylor were both guilty of bad misses, and Gazza wasted two good chances from dangerous free kicks.

The final whistle blew to signal Town's survival in Division One. With that the fans spilled on the pitch to congratulate their team, and Town soon emerged from the tunnel to a roar of appreciation.

What Paul Groves has achieved since taking over just after Christmas has been nothing short of astonishing. He has turned the team around and installed confidence into all the squad players, none more so than Michael Boulding.

His performances have come on leaps and bounds and he has been rewarded with finishing the season as Town's top scorer. No doubt his performance today will attract attention from other club's scouts.

The atmosphere within Blundell Park was terrific all the way through the match. The biggest crowd of the season were there to witness Town's survival in this division once more, and it was worth witnessing!


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