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Hatrick v Boston
Hatrick v Boston

2006-2007 Season Review Part 3

By: Sam Kinnaird
Date: 27/05/2007

TOWN had reached the nadir of a 4-1 defeat at Torquay, meaning they had lost seven consecutive games and were dropping like a stone to the Conference. Even the most ardent of supporters were struggling to keep their faith as Grimsby headed to Boston for a relegation six pointer.

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The travelling army of fans at Boston were hoping that Town could end the run of seven successive defeats, but no one could have expected what happened next. The Mariners put on one the great Grimsby performances and thumped Boston 6-0 at York Street, with Peter Bore grabbing a hat trick and James Hunt, Ciaran Toner and Martin Paterson adding further goals to humiliate the Pilgrims.

Bristol Rovers then came to Blundell Park and were beaten 4-3 by a resurgent Mariners side who had refused to lie down when losing 2-0. John Fenty then seized the opportunity for more points and laid on free buses to take around 1,500 Town fans to Mansfield. Town went 1-0 down to the inevitable Michael Boulding goal, but a Paul Bolland equaliser and a fine late winner from Danny North sent the away fans home with three more points.

Struggling Wrexham were next for the on-fire Town side, and should have escaped with a point after Lee McEvilly put them ahead. But a Paul Bolland header and a stoppage time winner from Ciaran Toner meant three more points. Martin Paterson played the last game of his loan spell, and was given a rousing reception at the end of the game. An excellent month finished on a low note for Town with a 2-1 defeat at Macclesfield in a game which was effectively lost in the first half by a lacklustre performance.


An out-of-form Bury side were next up at Blundell Park, but were comfortably turned over 2-0 by another Danny North goal and an excellent volley from Ciaran Toner. The death of lifelong fan Bernard Morley brought sadness to Grimsby Town, and a late Paul Bolland thunderbolt at Hereford United brought a 1-0 win and a fitting tribute to Bernard.

Michael Reddy was again the subject of controversy as it became apparent that he may never play again, just a year and a handful of appearances after Town had rejected a £300,000 offer from Bristol City. January signing James Hunt’s loan was extended for another month, the midfielder had been a driving force in the Mariners resurgence.

The Mariners had the chance to leap into the top half of the table for the first time since last season as high-flying Swindon came to town, but it was Ciaran Toner who won the day with a late goal which could very well have been ruled out. Town’s faint play-off hopes rested on a home match against Peterborough, but they were all but ended as the Posh grabbed all three points with a 2-0 win in a game which in truth could have gone either way. Notts County were up next and won 2-0 at Meadow Lane thanks to an own goal from Tom Newey and a Jay Smith strike.


April brought a tough set of fixtures for the Mariners whose season was petering out fast. But Buckley kept the motivation and desire within the squad, who showed this by securing a surprise 2-1 win at 4th placed MK Dons and fighting back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at home to Wycombe.

The following game saw Town receive a 4-1 pasting at Accrington with Tom Newey scoring a free-kick, but the style was really turned on at home to Barnet where a Danny North hat-trick and goals from Gary Jones and Nick Fenton meant Town had done the double over the Londoners.

Captain Justin Whittle was named player of the year, narrowly beating Paul Bolland, and five players were released ahead of the derby at home to Lincoln City including injury-plagued defender Gary Croft. The play-offs were the best Lincoln could hope for after a run of only 1 win in 11 games, and it was also the final home game of John McDermott’s incredible Grimsby career. A 0-0 draw meant Lincoln’s place in the play-offs was not yet confirmed, and Town took heart from keeping a clean sheet against the free-scoring Imps. Prior to the game McDermott was given a guard of honour from both sets of players, and was substituted late on to receive a standing ovation from all four sides of the ground. ‘Legend’ really is a term overly used nowadays, but John McDermott is one of the few truly befitting of this tag.


It was officially announced that Michael Reddy would be leaving the club in the summer after three seasons and many injuries. Town faced play-off bound Shrewsbury away in the final game of the season, and achieved a creditable 2-2 draw thanks to an opener from Andy Taylor and a late Nick Fenton equaliser. John McDermott had played his final game for the Mariners, after 753 appearances in a career spanning 20 years.

Town finished a disappointing season in 15th place, in the end 13 points above the drop zone and 12 points from the play-offs. Overall the season had been hugely disappointing, but it could have been a whole lot worse had John Fenty not sacked Graham Rodger. Alan Buckley saved the club from the Conference adding only two or three players to the squad, but installing a winning mentality and a never-say-die attitude, the comebacks against Wycombe and Wrexham for example. Buckley seems like the man to take Town forward, and with a couple more additions to the squad this team really could find themselves in the reckoning come May 2008.

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