Grimsby Town 2 Barnet 0
Fizzy Pop League 2
Of course, Barnet are no stranger to crunch games like this. A few years back, there was a game against Torquay on the last day of the season that would send the loser down. They lost that one too.
Desperate times at Underhill lead to the midweek sacking of manager Ian Hendon, with Conference-winning and England C-managing Paul Fairclough being brought in from upstairs for the final two games. Speaking with fans before, and during, the game, his impact has been immediate, in terms of attitude and performance if not, ultimately, results. Unfortunately, that's the one that really matters.
Second half started with more confidence from both teams. Barnet knew they were passing the ball well, and had found faith in themselves. Grimsby knew they hadn't nothing to lose, and finally started to play like they understood that. Barnet's insistence on passing the ball out from the back may have caused a few jitters in the crowd, but it had clearly knocked Grimsby off their stride in the first half. One team talk later, and they understood they had to press the defensive line more, and force the errors.
The errors came. They are covered in more depth here. And there will be a more impassioned and informed view of proceedings here no doubt. For me, though, I saw a team that could play football, whose destiny is still in it's own hands. Fairclough has a week to install belief into a borw beaten squad. If the Underhill masses back them. If Rochdale are content to put their feet up. A win is all that is needed. not even that. Just match whatever Grimsby achieve at Burton. It is possible. It's more than possible. It just won't necessarily be fun.