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Slipped Through the Net: Michael Boulding
By: Richard Lord
IN an exclusive interview as part of The Fishy's new "Slipped Through the Net" series, Richard Lord caught up with Michael Boulding to talk about his time at Blundell Park.
The Sheffield-born striker had enjoyed two seasons at Mansfield Town before he signed for Grimsby. In his first few months at Blundell Park he played in a number of reserve team games before being used as a substitute in many of the first team's matches towards September and October.
His league debut came at Stockport County where the Mariners earned a 3-3 draw after Boulding had been brought on as a substitute. He was also brought on in the game at Bradford City where he scored his first Town goal in a 3-2 defeat. One of his first full starts was at home against Birmingham City in front of the ITV Digital cameras. The Mariners won the game 3-1 with Boulding grabbing a brace, despite playing on the left of midfield for that evening.
He also played at Anfield in Grimsby's historic win over Liverpool in the League Cup and then played against Arsenal in the next round where Town lost 2-0.
Unfortunately 'Quick Mick' lost his form towards Christmas and had to wait a long time before his next goal. Lennie Lawrence was sacked and replaced with Paul Groves and Boulding had to endure games sat on the bench while Jevons, Rowan and even Chris Thompson were ahead of him in the pecking order.
But Boulding will always be remembered as one half of a double-act that helped Grimsby escape almost certain relegation. He and Bradley Allen formed one of the divisions' most potent partnerships. Seven goals in just nine games from Boulding helped ensure First Division football for yet another season at Blundell Park.
His form did not go unnoticed with Aston Villa snapping up his signature in the close season. He did go on to play and score in Europe, before being farmed out to his boyhood team Sheffield United. Injury cut short his loan spell there and returned to Grimsby for a second spell early in 2003.
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