Grimsby’s win at Cambridge proves to be the perfect antidote

Scott Neilson celebrates with his Grimsby Town teammates after scoring a goal.

Scott Neilson celebrates the winning goal at Cambridge. Image courtesy of the Grimsby Telegraph.

Pants. It’s not the word I’d use to describe Grimsby Town’s immense display at Cambridge’s impenetrable Abbey fortress last night – far from it. But it is the word I’d use to describe what I was wearing while the Mariners dug out their superb 2-1 win. Ok, so I had a dressing gown on too, but the reason behind my seemingly anarchic clotheslessness was due in part to my illness, and the fact that I spent the majority of yesterday in bed. It’s amazing how effective a remedy three points for Town is in a battle to beat the sniffles.

The victory got me dancing and prancing around the room in a manner that contradicted the tiredness and lethargy that had been plaguing me throughout the day. Having felt too listless to even bother turning on the radio for the start of the match, I first checked the latest score on Twitter, where I was greeted with dozens of gleeful comments regarding Lenell John-Lewis’ ability to find the back of the net.

If he keeps scoring at this rate I’ll need both my hands to tot up his goal count for the season. To give The Shop credit, he scored an excellent goal in the FA Cup first round replay at Scunthorpe, which I was lucky enough to witness. Every now and again he gives the impression that he’s a really effective striker.

Early in the second half I made the decision to listen to the action online. Making such a move usually results in one thing: Town throwing away whatever advantage they had. And they duly did – all because of me. Obviously.

Now, there is a sane part of my brain that understands that me tuning in has absolutely nothing to do with events down at Cambridge. But I’m a football fan, and therefore inextricably attracted to patterns and stupefied by superstitions – all of which need explaining.

Of course, when the equaliser arrived my initial reaction was to switch the radio off. But I didn’t – and I was rewarded. Just a minute later Town re-took the lead and held out impressively for the three points. Only during that period of holding out did I begin to appreciate what an achievement it would be to record a victory in Cambridge. Up until last night they had won 12 out of 12 league games at the Abbey Stadium, scoring 28 goals and conceding just two.

By anyone’s standards, that’s ridiculously good.

So to go there and score two goals – and win, of course – represented an outstanding effort. The players put in a real shift and the 400-odd Town fans could be heard nice and clearly in the background, chanting away and having a jolly good time. Automatic promotion is still a long way off, but beating Cambridge in their own back yard is one of those results that will make the other teams around us sit up and take note.

And of Alan Connell…

It looks like the Bradford City striker is set to sign for the Football League’s bottom club, Northampton Town, which is a shame. I’m surprised that he’s going to a club that is in a rather perilous predicament. As well as being the division’s lowest scorers, the Cobblers are low on confidence and short of ideas. It doesn’t seem the place for a striker to bag himself plenty of goals – but he may yet fire them out of bother. We’ll see.


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