National League
Forest Green1Grimsby3

Forest Green Rovers 1-3 Grimsby Town

Grimsby Town
Grimsby Town won the promotion final a year after losing on penalties to Bristol Rovers

Grimsby Town returned to the Football League after a six-year absence with victory over Forest Green Rovers in the National League promotion final.

Two quickfire Omar Bogle goals just before half-time gave Grimsby control.

Forest Green fought back after the break and Keanu Marsh-Brown's superb goal reduced their deficit after Jon Parkin had missed from six yards.

But Grimsby - playing in the play-offs for a fourth consecutive year - struck a late third through Nathan Arnold.

Paul Hurst's side, who lost to Bristol Rovers on penalties in last year's final, had seen Arnold's long-range strike tipped onto the post shortly before taking the lead at Wembley.

Bogle then glanced in Jon Nolan's free-kick via Rovers' Darren Carter's back to open the scoring, before volleying in from six yards on the rebound to double Grimsby's lead just one minute later.

Forest Green introduced substitute Parkin at half-time and the 34-year-old former Preston striker's presence changed the game.

Parkin could only hit the side netting from Forest Green's best chance, inside the six-yard box, before Marsh-Brown's sweet, dipping strike gave them hope.

But Forest Green, who had finished nine points above Grimsby in the league table, could not find an equaliser despite a spirited fightback.

Rovers, who sacked manager Ady Pennock one week before the start of their semi-final against Dover to "boost their chances in the play-offs", had set a fifth-tier record of nine consecutive wins to start the season, before being beaten to the league title by Cheltenham Town.

Having finished in their highest-ever league position in second, they were led at Wembley by caretaker boss Scott Bartlett, while next season's manager, Mark Cooper, offered guidance from the dugout.

But the Nailsworth club - who had hoped to make their home town the smallest settlement to ever host a Football League club - saw their promotion hopes dashed in the play-offs for the second year running.

Arnold, who had a low shot saved with 15 minutes to play, completed the win in stoppage time, tucking in on the rebound to end Forest Green's hopes of a late twist.

The promoted Mariners return to Wembley on 22 May for the FA Trophy final against FC Halifax.

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Hurst on Grimsby Town's promotion

Grimsby boss Paul Hurst told BBC Radio Humberside: "I'm quite relaxed. I feel quite calm. It's a fantastic achievement.

"Those players, rightly so, will go down in the club's history.

"It's far from job done yet - we want to make sure that we're a Football League club for a long time to come and, if possible, see if we can move the club even further forward."

Forest Green Rovers striker Jon Parkin told BBC Radio Gloucestershire: "It was just a mad five minutes in the first half that put us on the back foot.

"In the second half, we've come out and had a real go. (We had) a couple of chances, should have scored and it's a totally different game.

"But that's the difference - they took their chances, we didn't."

Line-ups

Forest Green

  • 1Arnold
  • 6Bennett
  • 16Racine
  • 2Pipe
  • 27JeffordSubstituted forJenningsat 71'minutes
  • 4Clough
  • 9Marsh-Brown
  • 24CarterBooked at 41mins
  • 11Frear
  • 17GuthrieSubstituted forJeffreyat 77'minutes
  • 26WilliamsSubstituted forParkinat 45'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Jennings
  • 7Jeffrey
  • 12Kamdjo
  • 20Parkin
  • 23Maxted

Grimsby

  • 1McKeown
  • 2Tait
  • 22Nsiala
  • 8Disley
  • 3Robertson
  • 6Gowling
  • 20ArnoldSubstituted forPearsonat 90+6'minutes
  • 31Nolan
  • 16Clay
  • 9BogleSubstituted forHobanat 89'minutes
  • 10AmondSubstituted forPittmanat 80'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Pearson
  • 14Marshall
  • 18Pittman
  • 23East
  • 35Hoban
Referee:
Robert Jones
Attendance:
17,198

Match Stats

Home TeamForest GreenAway TeamGrimsby
Possession
Home35%
Away65%
Shots
Home12
Away14
Shots on Target
Home4
Away10
Corners
Home6
Away1
Fouls
Home18
Away8

Live Text

Match ends, Forest Green Rovers 1, Grimsby Town 3.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Forest Green Rovers 1, Grimsby Town 3.

Substitution

Substitution, Grimsby Town. Shaun Pearson replaces Nathan Arnold.

Goal!

Goal! Forest Green Rovers 1, Grimsby Town 3. Nathan Arnold (Grimsby Town) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Pat Hoban.

Attempt blocked. Pat Hoban (Grimsby Town) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Foul by Pat Hoban (Grimsby Town).

Aarran Racine (Forest Green Rovers) wins a free kick.

Foul by Keanu Marsh-Brown (Forest Green Rovers).

Jon Nolan (Grimsby Town) wins a free kick.

Attempt missed. Jon Parkin (Forest Green Rovers) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right.

Foul by Anthony Jeffrey (Forest Green Rovers).

Jon Nolan (Grimsby Town) wins a free kick.

Hand ball by James Jennings (Forest Green Rovers).

Substitution

Substitution, Grimsby Town. Pat Hoban replaces Omar Bogle.

Foul by Anthony Jeffrey (Forest Green Rovers).

Craig Disley (Grimsby Town) wins a free kick.

Foul by Aarran Racine (Forest Green Rovers).

Richard Tait (Grimsby Town) wins a free kick.

Corner, Forest Green Rovers.

Substitution

Substitution, Grimsby Town. Jon-Paul Pittman replaces Padraig Amond.

Offside, Forest Green Rovers. Anthony Jeffrey tries a through ball, but Anthony Jeffrey is caught offside.

Foul by Jon Parkin (Forest Green Rovers).

Craig Clay (Grimsby Town) wins a free kick.

Substitution

Substitution, Forest Green Rovers. Anthony Jeffrey replaces Kurtis Guthrie.

Foul by Jon Nolan (Grimsby Town).

Aarran Racine (Forest Green Rovers) wins a free kick.

Attempt saved. Nathan Arnold (Grimsby Town) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved.

Hand ball by Kurtis Guthrie (Forest Green Rovers).

Attempt saved. Padraig Amond (Grimsby Town) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved.

Substitution

Substitution, Forest Green Rovers. James Jennings replaces Ben Jefford.

Attempt missed. Darren Carter (Forest Green Rovers) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Foul by Gregor Robertson (Grimsby Town).

Keanu Marsh-Brown (Forest Green Rovers) wins a free kick.

Corner, Forest Green Rovers.

Foul by David Pipe (Forest Green Rovers).

Craig Disley (Grimsby Town) wins a free kick.

Attempt missed. Josh Gowling (Grimsby Town) header from the left side of the box misses to the left.

Foul by Charlie Clough (Forest Green Rovers).

Omar Bogle (Grimsby Town) wins a free kick.

Foul by David Pipe (Forest Green Rovers).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Cheltenham4630115873057101
2Forest Green462611969422789
3Braintree4623121156381881
4Grimsby4622141082453780
5Dover4623111275532280
6Tranmere4622121261441778
7Eastleigh4621121364531175
8Wrexham462091771561569
9Gateshead461910175970-1167
10Macclesfield461991860481266
11Barrow461714156471-765
12Woking461710197168361
13Lincoln City461613176968161
14Bromley46179206772-560
15Aldershot46168225472-1856
16Southport461413195265-1355
17Chester461412206771-454
18Torquay461312215476-2251
19Boreham Wood461214204449-550
20Guiseley461116194770-2349
21Halifax461212225582-2748
22Altrincham461014224873-2544
23Kidderminster46913244971-2240
24Welling46811273573-3835
View full National League table

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