Grimsby Town ended their six-year absence from the Football League after two goals from striker Omar Bogle helped them to victory over Forest Green Rovers.
Signed from non-league Solihull Moors last summer, Bogle scored 16 goals in the league season and took his chances just before the break to give Grimsby the advantage. Forest Green fought back after the break and Keanu Marsh-Brown’s superb goal reduced their deficit before Grimsby wrapped up the victory through Nathan Arnold.
That meant that Paul Hurst’s side, who lost to Bristol Rovers on penalties in last year’s final and reached the play-offs for a fourth successive season, will return to the Football League after being relegated in 2010 for the first time in nearly 100 years. “This is the best way to go up. The feeling is unbelievable. I knew we would do well in the play-offs,” said Bogle. “I have had chats with the manager and now feel we understand each other more on a personal level. The manager made us relax, told us not to get caught up in the occasion and prove wrong those who wrote the side off.”
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”, were the early pace-setters before being overhauled by champions Cheltenham Town. But led by caretaker Scott Bartlett, they saw their promotion hopes ended in the play-offs for the second year in succession.
Grimsby will be back at Wembley next weekend when they meet FC Halifax in the FA Trophy final and the former Rotherham defender Hurst is hoping they can round off the season in style.
“The feeling compared to last season is much better and we want to win next week too,” he said. “We’ve got some very good players who are attracting attention from elsewhere. Being in the Football League means we may be able to keep some of them.”
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