Grimsby Town played their final game of 2018 on Saturday as Michael Jolley’s side picked up a 2-1 away win over Exeter City at St James Park in Sky Bet League Two.
It was the Mariners’ final game of the year before they kick-off 2019 by welcoming Mansfield Town to Blundell Park on New Year’s Day.
This year has been a rollercoaster of ups and downs for Town fans, with the 13th-place Mariners ending 2018 in excellent form and heading into 2019 with lots of momentum.
We break down 2018 by having a look at all the important facts, figures, and results from the past 12 months.
Town played 52 games
Town played 52 games in all competitions this year, winning 17, drawing nine, and losing 26 – with eight of those victories coming in their last 11 games, as Michael Jolley’s side ended the year with four straight league wins.
The Mariners’ excellent form, with wins over Swindon Town, Notts County, Port Vale, and Exeter City, was the first time Town had won four straight league wins in the EFL since January 2008.
And Jolley’s men also end the year with a run of seven straight home league games unbeaten, including six wins and a draw, which they will be hoping to continue against Mansfield on Tuesday.
Goals: Look who's scoring
Town scored 54 goals in 2018, equating to an average of just over one per game – 16 in the 2017-18 season, and 38 in the 2018-19 season, and they scored five for the first time in a game since 2016 as they beat Tranmere Rovers 5-2 at Blundell Park in November.
Striker Wes Thomas was the Mariners’ top goalscorer in 2018, scoring eight goals in 24 games in all competitions, following his move from Oxford United in the summer.
Thomas pipped Mitch Rose to the top scorer in the calendar year, as the midfielder scored seven goals in 39 games in all competitions – with all seven coming from the penalty spot (Chesterfield, Barnet, Swindon, Forest Green Rovers, Notts County, Tranmere Rovers, and Exeter City).
Emergence of youth
Seven Grimsby Town youth academy players (graduates or current) featured in the Mariners’ first-team match-day squad in all competitions (Harry Clifton, Ahkeem Rose, Max Wright, Brandon Buckley, Mattie Pollock, Ollie Battersby, and Rumarn Burrell).
Seventeen-year-old Mattie Pollock became the first-ever person born in the new millennium to play a league game for Town’s first-team, as the defender (born 28/09/2001) made his debut in the 2-1 away win over Exeter City.
And Town ended the Exeter game with six players aged 23 or under in their side (Reece Hall-Johnson, Mattie Pollock, Harry Clifton, Elliot Embleton, Harry Cardwell, and Ahkeem Rose) on the pitch.
Highest home attendances
The Mariners’ highest home attendance of 2018 (7,201) came in the 1-1 League Two draw with Lincoln City at Blundell Park in August.
Other notable home attendances include the April fixtures against Notts County (7,133) and Chesterfield (6,780).
FA Cup progress
The Mariners also reached the third round of the Emirates FA Cup for just the second time in 16 seasons, as Jolley’s men beat MK Dons and Chesterfield to set up a third-round tie with Premier League side Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in January 2019.
We wish you a very Happy New Year in 2019 and we look forward to welcoming you back to Blundell Park for our Sky Bet League Two clash with Mansfield Town on New Year’s Day (1pm).