Omar Bogle's Havin' A Party
I have only one word to begin this post- PROMOTION.
Grimsby Town finally did what they’d threatened for three years and beat an upstart team from tinpot town to grace the big Football League again. The opposition, Forest Green Rovers, are the greenest, most eco-friendly team in the UK and possibly the world, sell only vegan snacks at the ‘burger bar’ and play in an awful fluorescent green shirt. They were no match for the Mariners at Wembley yesterday, however.
Waking up this morning, head throbbing and throat sore with a million songs, I said the words ‘football league’ and the delirium set in again. It took a while to sink in, on the journey home yesterday, that for the first time in eighteen years my beleaguered and belittled side battled back to where they belong. Instead of the hardcore fans confusing their sat-nav trying to go to North Ferriby or some far corner of Gloucestershire, the side will be facing Crewe, Portsmouth, Doncaster and Blackpool- what we call ‘proper’ teams again.
don’t think I’ve ever looked forward to the new season with as much anticipation and optimism. That funny little feeling in the back of my mind that yesterday was something really special, setting the ball rolling for a climb up the leagues before we eventually ‘do a Leicester’. Promotion, six years in the making and all the more sweet thanks to us being the best team, the ones who wanted it more and had a hunger that could only be satisfied by PROMOTION.
Omar Bogle headed home a fortuitous first goal, cue bedlam in the national stadium. Less than a minute ago he was quickest to a rebound and made it two-nil. Two goals in the space of forty-odd seconds, I nearly had a heart attack and the cheers, elation, jubilation and relief around me echoed across the vast stadium. The rhythmic clapping and chanting of ‘fish’ reverberated so much it could probably be heard back home in North East Lincolnshire.
But, it wouldn’t be Town unless they made their fans sweat. The team invited Forest Green on, being pushed further and further back until the solar-powered greenies pulled one back, a stunner from Marsh-Brown, I think. 2-1. Nerves jangling. Teeth chattering. The sun, for so long burning our faces, seemed to hide behind the clouds for a few minutes. The seconds ticked away, slowly. Ten minutes to go. Five to go. Final minute. Then the idiot referee signals ANOTHER five minutes, this for stoppages.
The sea of black and white shirts swarmed and swayed as the players marauded and applauded. Arnold, clean through with just the keeper to beat….YESSSSS! 3-1 as he tucked his shot, the coolest head in North London, beyond Forest Green and sent us into the Football League. The six year nightmare in the wilderness was over. Having been there to witness relegation in 2010, the relief and tension of over half a decade in ‘non-league’ was over. Result. After defeat in the final last season, this was redemption.
Captain Marvel himself, Craig Disley, lifted the play-off trophy as he was serenaded by thousands of fanatic fans, all falling over themselves to clap the hardest, cheer the loudest, and party the night away.
The team: McKeown, Roberston, Tait, Toto, Gowling, Clay, Disley, Nolan, Arnold, Bogle, Amond, Pearson, Hoban, Pittman, Marshall and East…and of course the manager, Paul Hurst- we salute you!
See you at Blundell Park next season!