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Lightning Can't Strike Twice!

By: Ryan Collins
Date: 08/05/2002

A month ago I saw the best performance I could remember at Blundell Park. I did not know it would be bettered against Crystal Palace's lodgers only a month later.

I don't know why, but on the Tuesday before the game, my friends that don't normally go to a lot of Grimsby Town games, picked out that fixture to go to and asked me to change my ticket to go in the pontoon next to them. I said "of course I will" and even the women in the ticket office moaning about me changing my seat too often couldn't dampen my excitement.

When I go with my friends we normally meet at my house at 1:30 and take the 30-minute walk down to the ground and are in the ground for 2pm. There were just the people behind the goal and about a dozen others spread around the pontoon.

It came to 2:30 with more people flooding through the turnstiles. W all had a good feeling about the day and we were just enjoying the day talking to people from school and so on.

So the match kicked off. The first 20 minutes were best forgotten about. They were arguably, with the exception of Rotherham at home, the dullest 20 minutes of the season. Just after 20 minutes my thoughts were confirmed when out of nowhere Neil Shipperly headed home from close range and all I can remember was Macca getting pulled down which lead to the goal.

I wasn't happy at the time. I felt a bit like when I saw T.V replays of Beharral's handball when we had been robbed of a goal. However I felt like that for only 10 minutes when a flick on by Allen set Boulding up to smash home a half volley in the top corner. From out of nowhere we were level.

Up to the second Wimbledon goal I can hardly remember anything. Me and my mates were just happy town were back in the game.

About 5 minutes before half time Wimbledon were back in front. A corner that was thumped home from about 6-yards from a Wimbledon player. I think it was Aggeymang but wasn't sure.

So 2-1 down with about 2 minutes of the half to go my mate had the bright idea of beating the queues in the Mariners Kitchen. I don't know why, but I had a funny feeling like something was going to happen and was running around to keep peeking round the corner when all of a sudden there was a big cheer and I sprinted but it was too late. "Who scored?" "Pouton". Who else could it be to get us out of Jail?

Half Time! Now I was very excited and couldn't wait for the second half.

The second half kicked off and away we go Town were all over them and I was up and down off my seat like a yo-yo. Town went close through Boulding and Allen. It wasn't a question of IF we were going to score it was a question of WHEN!

Indeed we did score. When, in a goalmouth scramble, a Boulding miss kick and when he went to follow up he had his shirt pulled. The referee pointed to the spot.

Me and my mates went running down the stairs and started banging on the boards in anticipation. When I saw it was Pouton taking it I had doubts because of his miss in the shoot out against Sheffield United but when he scored from the spot to put us ahead for the first time in the match, I should never have doubted him.

The pontoon was in fine voice singing their hearts out which we were all involved in.

All of a sudden Boulding was clean through on goal and was hauled down by the big Wimbledon keeper who had earlier entertained us by shaking his bum to the songs in the pontoon.

Another penalty we were all getting pushed down the stairs in excitement. We got down to the bottom again banging the boards and shouting OFF! OFF! OFF! OFF! OFF!.......And indeed he did go.

It can't get any better Wimbledon down to 10 men, Grimsby soon to be 4-2 up and Pouton to get his hat trick. Or so we thought. It was the Wimbledon sub keepers first ever full debut he stood on his line and waited. Pouton as cool as you like stepped up and........MISSED!

We couldn't believe it I had my hands on my head and, as I started to walk back to my seat, I heard a loud cheer. I turned around and saw all the Wimbledon players surrounding the referee, the penalty was going to be retaken!!!

Pouton again stepped up.......BANG......GOAL!!!!!POUTON GETS A HAT TRICK!!! We were just all very happy jumping around singing.

Before we had calmed down, Boulding ran on to a long ball and slotted it past the keeper to make it 5! We couldn't believe it. Surely this couldn't be better than palace?

Indeed it was better than Palace, as about 2 minutes later the keeper dropped a swirling shot from Pouton and Boulding hit the ball into the ground and into the net. It was unbelievable. I have never seen anything like it. The crowd chanted WE WANT 7, WE WANT 7, WE WANT 7!!

The final whistle went and we had done it!!!!

It was the end to the best match I have ever seen and everybody knew we were not going down after a performance like that - and we didn't.

To cap off what had been an excellent day, on the way home, my mate found £20 in the gutter and we had a good night after that!!!!!!!!

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