Who was panicking at half time?

The sun sets over Blundell Park after an extraordinary afternoon of football.

If it wasn’t for Anthony Elding’s last minute equaliser at Kidderminster on Tuesday night I probably wouldn’t have made the journey back for Town’s game at home to Alfreton yesterday – such are the fine lines in football (and my fickle attitude recently).

I’ve occasionally whinged about not being there when Grimsby win, but I can have no complaints after that display. I’m not sure what gave me the most satisfaction – seeing us knock five second half goals into the Pontoon net or Liam Hearn scoring four goals against the club he used to play for last season.

There was little to suggest an onslaught at half time. The opening 45 minutes were annoyingly predictable as the Mariners went behind to a team with a number of limitations. Alfreton opened the scoring on 17 minutes and then seemed content to sit back and protect their lead. Town pressed high up the pitch and looked the better side for much of the half, but crucially we didn’t have enough guile to create any decent shooting opportunities against a stubborn defence.

So, 1-0 down at half time and looking a bit lost for ideas. Fans on Twitter were panicking a bit. Where were the goals going to come from?

I attended the match with a couple of mates who don’t support Grimsby. For them it was their first taste of Conference football. As someone who suggested going to the match was a good idea, I felt somewhat responsible for putting on a good show. At half time I would have to admit that in terms of entertainment it hadn’t been great. I was worried they had wasted their time and money.

But then Grimsby came alive. If you’re a Town fan you’ll know what happened next, and if not you can read plenty of reports on how Hearn turned the game on its head with four goals in an incredible 29-minute spell.

The thing about your team scoring five goals is that, invariably, when that happens, it’s normally at a canter. Just this afternoon I’ve watched Chelsea stroll to a 5-1 win at Bolton. As satisfying as that might be for Chelsea fans, it would have been more satisfying had they been in a position where they thought they might have lost that match. Up until Hearn’s first goal on 57 minutes it did really look like Grimsby could lose.

And so when those goals started flying in, boy did we celebrate. Each one meant so much. It kind of reminded me of the time we beat Lincoln 5-1 at Blundell Park after the game had been on a knife-edge for so long.

Over the years I’ve got fed up watching former Grimsby players come back to haunt us, so for a player of ours to annoy his former employers to the tune of four goals makes a refreshing change. I’ve also seen Town reduced to nine men on a couple of occasions too, so for Alfreton to have two players sent off was quite nice (but not for Gary Silk, who lost a tooth in one of the incidents).

Make no bones about it – Grimsby were all over Alfreton by the end. We made a part-time team look a part-time team for once as their fitness levels wilted under the intense October sun and Town’s incessant rampages forward.

My two mates were suitably impressed by the performance and the action that happened right in front of them in the second half. And as if all that wasn’t enough, we had some excellent fish and chips at the Ocean Fish Bar on St Peter’s Avenue before we travelled home.


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