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GTFC 140: Grimsby Town 1998 - 1989

With Grimsby Town's 140th anniversary looming on September 20, 2018, we take a look back at the club's key events in each decade back to 1878.

13 September 2018

Michael White
Wayne Burnett

In the third of our countdown series celebrating Grimsby Town's 140th anniversary as a club, we focus on the major talking points in the decade 1998 - 1989.

Grimsby Town secured the Wembley double in 1997-98 as they won the Division Two play-offs to get promoted to, what is now, the Championship, and won the Football League Trophy.

Alan Buckley, with his pass-and-move style of play, took the Mariners on their first trip to the national stadium, and the Mariners claimed a 2-1 extra-time victory over Bournemouth to win the Trophy as Wayne Burnett’s golden goal was the difference between the two sides.

And Town – who finished third in the league – had another taste of Wembley success a month later as Kevin Donovan’s strike was enough to secure a 1-0 win over Northampton Town, as the Mariners won the play-offs.

The Mariners’ play-off victory meant they had bounced back to English football’s second-tier at the first time of asking, after they finished 22nd and were relegated in 1996-97.

But Town were unfortunate to have gone down that season, as Clive Mendonca scored 19 goals for the Mariners.

The Mariners were at a particularly high point during that time, with Town securing back-to-back promotions in 1989-90 and 1990-91.

Town finished in, what is now, League One in 1990-91 and Alan Buckley’s side were promoted on goal difference as Dave Gilbert and Neil Woods both scored 12 goals each for the Mariners that campaign.

That came directly after the Mariners were promoted from, what is now, League Two in 1989-90 with a second-placed finish as Tony Rees finished top-scorer with 13 goals for Town.

Town finished ninth in, what is now, League Two in 1989 as they reached the fifth-round of the FA Cup, and Keith Alexander bagged 14 goals.

The next article in our series will look at the club between 1988 and 1979.

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