Grimsby secure promotion back to Football League at Wembley
By Andy Charles
Last Updated: 09/06/16 12:49pm
Omar Bogle scored two of Grimsby's goals as they secured promotion back to the Sky Bet Football League with a 2-1 win over Forest Green Rovers in the National League play-off final at Wembley.
Bogle struck twice in three minutes just before half-time but Grimsby had to come through a nervous final 30 minutes and could only celebrate in added-time when Nathan Arnold wrapped up victory and promotion for the Mariners.
Forest Green 'keeper Steve Arnold was busy in the opening 10 minutes, making a fine save to deny Grimsby captain Craig Disley and pushing away a long-range Jon Nolan free-kick.
Elliott Frear had a shot blocked for Rovers as they grew into the game and Keanu Marsh-Brown's effort was fumbled out for a corner by James McKeown.
Steve Arnold made another superb block to keep out a Nathan Arnold drive, but Grimsby finally made their superiority pay in five vital minutes before half-time.
The opener came on 41 minutes, with Bogle climbing well to head a free-kick past Steve Arnold, although his header appeared to come off the back of Darren Carter's head before nestling in the corner of the net.
Two minutes later Grimsby led 2-0, with a long-range effort from Nathan Arnold only being parried by his namesake and Bogle reacting quickest to guide the ball into the net.
Jon Parkin missed a golden chance to get Forest Green within a goal early in the second half, missing an open goal from six yards out, but they did cut the deficit with 30 minutes remaining.
And it was a stunning strike from Marsh-Brown, who picked the ball up 25 yards out and lashed an unstoppable shot past a flailing McKeown into the top corner.
Nathan Arnold was just off target with another effort and Parkin had a chance late on to send the game into extra-time, but his shot drifted over the bar.
Any nerves Grimsby fans were suffering were finally extinguished in the fourth minute of added time when Pat Hoban's effort was blocked and fell perfectly for Nathan Arnold, who rounded Steve Arnold to score a well-deserved goal.