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Thrilling Stuff

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 04/09/2021

GRIMSBY beat Barnet in a see-saw classic at Blundell Park to maintain their unbeaten start to the new campaign. The Mariners led 1-0, went 3-1 down, the fought back to 4-3 after Barnet had a player sent off, with the winner coming in injury time from a Hunt free-kick.

Town changed formation again, this time going 4-4-2 with Pearson, Bapaga, and Sousa coming into the side in place of Longe-King, Clifton, and Revan.

Town got off to a perfect start to the game, with an early corner leading to a handball and Mcatee making no mistake from the spot. Barnet slowly worked their way into the game and started to threaten. It looked like the Mariners had weathered the storm, as they had chances for a second, but the visitors silenced Blundell Park when Barnet scored out the blue from a Crookes's cross into the path of Tasdemir.

Things got worse just before halftime, when Mcatee gave the ball away in midfield and Barnet broke, with Bloomfield applying the finishing touch.

Town had looked good going forward but were uncharacteristically sloppy defensively and would have to come from behind.

Grimsby again were dominant in the second half but fell to another sucker punch when Pearson was beaten from a throw-in and ex-Mariner Joe Widdowson headed in from close range.

Grimsby looked dead and buried but were given a lifeline by the ref with another penalty, and this time Doherty received a red card after a shot was blocked. Mcatee scored his second from the spot to reduce the deficit. Barnet manager Harry Kewell was also sent off in the aftermath.

Town threw everything at Barnet and levelled the game with 15 minutes left, Sousa crossing for Taylor to head in an equaliser.

There was plenty of time for a winner but it looked to have eluded the Mariners until the 90th minute was on the board and Grimsby won a free-kick. Hunt fired in a worldie into the top corner to send the Pontoon into seven-goal thriller heaven.

It was a plucky effort by the Mariners who fought back, helped by decisions going their way admittedly, but will all add to the confidence and momentum going forward. Next week Town head to play-off finalists Torquay for another tricky tie against one of the favourites.

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