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Town Take Their Place at Wembley
By: Rob Sedgwick
GRIMSBY and Bristol Rovers will take their place in the Play-Off final at Wembley after both teams comfortably won their second legs today. Town beat Eastleigh 3-0 with two goals from striker Ollie Palmer in between a solo John Lewis effort.
But it was far from plain sailing for Town who went 1-0 up completely against the run of play. The away side pressed Town all the way in the first half hour, with the Mariners struggling to make an attacking impact at all in the game.
However John-Lewis robbed his defender on 35 and set up Palmer who controlled the ball and swivelled to crash the ball in the back of the net. It was a worthy successor to Arnold's two strikes in the first game,
Just before half time Town were in dreamland when John-Lewis again dispossessed a defender and bore down on goal with just the 'keeper to beat. Town's leading scorer made no mistake and slotted the ball past the Eastleigh 'keeper to make the score an unlikely 2-0 to Grimsby.
Eastleigh made three substitutions at half time but they could never recreate their dominance of the first half hour and Town were the more dangerous side in the second half. John-Lewis and Palmer once again combined with Palmer getting his second from a narrow angle at the Pontoon end.
Earlier in the day, Bristol Rovers eased into the promotion final with a 3-0 aggregate victory over hapless Forest Green. Although Town won by a bigger aggregate score, Bristol Rovers probably looked the best team in the play-offs and will start as favourites. Grimsby though build from the back and have had a very solid defence all season. The play-offs have shown that Town have the quality up front to take the chances when they come their way.
It's been third time lucky for Town who have fallen at this hurdle two years running and failed to get even as far as Wembley until now. It is 17 years since Grimsby were last promoted so a rise in division is long overdue.
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