Friendly against Grimsby Borough could become annual affair for Town
GRIMSBY Borough versus the Mariners looks set to become a regular pre-season fixture following the success of Wednesday's friendly at Bradley Community Stadium.
More than 600 supporters watched the Town professionals overcome their Northern Counties East League counterparts on Wednesday night.
And Borough joint-manager Nigel Fanthorpe says it was a memorable evening for the amateur club – despite the final scoreline.
"It was a fantastic night all round," he said.
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"It was an excellent test and workout for our boys, while Grimsby Town thoroughly enjoyed it and put two real quality sides out for each half.
"There has never been so many people in the ground as there was on Wednesday night – there were 657 in total which was fantastic to see.
"For our first game here we had 500, but I turned up on Wednesday and people were queuing to the gate. It was fantastic.
"After the game we got a very nice text from Town's John Fenty to say that he would like to see this become an annual pre-season fixture which is fantastic news.
"For him to say how much he and the club had enjoyed the game was great to hear from our perspective."
On the pitch, hat-tricks from Joe Colbeck and Liam Hearn helped Town into double figures, but with the score 5-3 to the visitors after an hour it could have been very different.
Fanthorpe continued: "Our lads knew that it would be a big test and a good fitness exercise for them. They realise now that fitness is a big part of the game and we were maybe lacking a bit of that in some respects.
"There were good and bad elements for us. We played some good football and we scored three goals but we conceded some really sloppy goals as well.
"Bad mistakes cost us a lot.
"When the lad (Colbeck) hits a wonder goal like he did, you hold your hands up and accept it, but when bad mistakes are leading to goals it is frustrating.
"Town were very sharp and very quick and were very impressive.
"It was a bit of a shame about the result; 12-3 doesn't look good on paper for us but it probably doesn't tell the full story."
The financial benefits for a club at step six of the non-league game can also not be underestimated, as Fanthorpe explained.
"That will keep us going that bit further," he said. "It helps us pay more bills because it's not free to play here so we have to keep on top of things financially and nights like Wednesday really do help.
"We're not a rich club. We're run by a small committee who try to raise as much money as possible for ourselves.
"We're trying to raise more – that way we can bring the profile up and bring in money so that we can pay players, but you need the money to do that in the first place."