Grimsby 1-2 U’s: Sunlit Uplands

We were promised Brexit would bring us great things. Millions for the NHS. Plentiful fish. United wins. (Okay, maybe not the last one). As the UK limped out of the EU on January 1st with a shit “deal”, no money for the NHS and looming food shortages it was down to United to add to the woes of the countries fisherman (well, the ones based in Grimsby) by inflicting defeat their local football team.

Enough about Brexit anyway. Enough about fish. You don’t come here to read about that. You come here to read about Paul Mullin goals, and guess what? We’ve got another one to tell you about.

Dimi Mitov was restored to the side, as was Wes Hoolahan and Harvey Knibbs started up front in place of Joe Ironside. Luke Hannant and Adam May kept their places in Bonner’s preferred 4-4-2 formation, despite some sub-par displays recently. Was this to be another Stevenage? Time would tell.

It only took three minutes for us to do what we hadn’t managed in ninety against the league’s worst side. Luke Hannant sent Paul Mullin running down the right, his cross was cleared before it could reach Wes Hoolahan but only as far as Adam May whose deflected shot evaded the keeper. United kept the pressure on, with Harvey Knibbs coming close to adding a second, before an exquisite Harry Darling long pass out of defence landed exactly at the feet of Paul Mullin, his stinging shot from the edge of the area gave the keeper no chance, and doubled United’s lead. United kept the pressure on poor Grimsby side and should have added to their tally, but half-time came before they could.

The second half was a different story, United invited a lot of pressure and soaked it up well. The defenders Harry Darling and Greg Taylor in particular, whilst Adam May and Paul Digby protected the backline from the worst of it. All that pressure paid off for the Mariners when Elliot Hewitt lost Paul Digby to find himself unmarked to send a looping header in at the far post, setting up a nervy finish for the U’s. Only an excellent save from Dimi Mitov and some poorly taken corners before the final whistle ensured all three points went back to Cambridgeshire.

Once again we made that hard for ourselves, but three points is three points and we’re still in the mix. January is an important month with a lot of games to play so we need to get as many points on the board as possible, especially with a number of games falling foul to the weather or Covid-related postponements. In the first half United looked as good as they’ve looked all season and should have put the game to bed, but there’s still some worrying performances in our tired players. A couple of new faces in the January window wouldn’t go amiss. Maybe Boris could find some of that £350 million a week to give to us to get them.

Man of the Match: We’ve given Greg Taylor and Adam May a lot of stick recently for some poor performances recently, but both were excellent today. Paul Mullin took his goal excellently, and Dimi Mitov showed why he should be number between the sticks.

Soundtrack of the Match: The Waterboys – Fishermans Blues

United: Mitov, Knoyle, Darling (Cundy), Taylor, Dunk, Hannant, May, Digby, Hoolahan (Iredale), Mullin, Knibbs (Ironside)

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