Premier League: HBU Title hopes lie in the balance with Grimsby needing a win against Bury to take the League Title: Grimsby 9 – 5 HBU
Grimsby 9 – 5 Herne Bay United (Kings)
Time: 1.15pm: Date: 19.05.12: Location: Grimsby
Herne Bay United went into their penultimate game of the season knowing that they needed a win or a draw if they were to secure their 17th title in 20 years. However they started the slower of the two teams. Grimsby went ahead within the opening 2 minutes with a long range slap shot from Grimsby’s young star Nick Johnson. United equalised 3 minutes later with a well taken finish from Brendan Barker but Grimsby responded immediately with Johnson scoring his 2nd to make it 2-1. The teams were evenly matched and with 15 minutes remaining Barker made it 2-2. Grimsby were creating the better chances and they were rewarded when Marc Waddingham scored from close range to put the home side back in front with 10 minutes remaining (3-2). United managed to respond and with 6 minutes left in the half Barker scored his and United’s 3rd to tie the game at 3-3. Grimsby were determined to keep the pressure on a wilting United defence, and with 5 minutes left in the half Johnson scored his 3rd and Grimsby’s 4th to go into the break leading 4-3.
If United were going to get anything out of the game they needed to start the second half strongly. However it was Grimsby’s Johnson who scored first, another fierce slapshot found the top corner to put the northern challengers 5-3 up. United captain scored from the penalty spot with 19 minutes left to make it 5-4 and give United some hope, but their hopes were short lived as Will Dring scored with a pin point back hand into the top corner of the goal to make it 6-4. An increasingly desperate United were now throwing everything at Grimsby, but they could not break through their solid defence. Then with 7 minutes remaining Waddingham put Grimsby further ahead (7-4). United did not give up and with 2 minutes left on the clock Barker scored again to make the score (7-5). It was Grimsby though who were to have the final word scoring twice in quick succession to make the final score 9-5.
United player keeper Dan Barton said: ”It is very disappointing to lose today, the defeat means we cannot win the title. Obviously the lads are gutted, but you have to credit Grimsby. They are a very good side and deserved the win today. We have dominated for years. Hopefully we can regain it next year.”
Player Manger Phil McVey added: ”I’m gutted to have lost the match and also the league. We have been playing really well but today we slipped back into the bad habits that I had hoped we had left behind us. To be fair Grimsby had a lot to do with that, they had us under pressure from the opening whistle and they were the better team throughout. We lost to a very good team today. Hopefully we can bounce back with a win against Middlesbrough. Any realistic chance of winning the league has gone. We have to hope that Bury beat Grimsby and we beat Middlesbrough by 9 goals. Both results seem extremely unlikely. We have a major rebuilding exercise ahead of us. Hopefully if we work hard we can be back challenging for the title next year. I want to thank all of my players for their hard work and commitment not just this year but over the last decade. We have dominated the national game for 20 years, hopefully we can rebuild and come back stronger and dominate for another 20 years”.
HBU team: Dan Barton (GK), Dave garlick (GK), Simon Hosking (1) ©, Karl Smith, Neil Austin, Brendan Barker (4), Phil McVey, Tom White, David Todd, Danny Butcher.
Kings Fish Bar man of the match: Brendan Barker