After staging a spirited comeback from a two goal deficit, Forest again found themselves victim to a staggering piece of refereeing. In a matter of minutes, Mr Leake ( surely that should be Turnip ) changed this game from an exciting contest to a complete farce.
Grimsby almost took the lead in the first minute, only a superb save from Beasant keeping out a shot from Lever. Seconds later and it was Forest who could have gone ahead, a shot from Rogers being deflected wide for a corner.
It was nip and tuck all the way but it was Grimsby who seized the advantage with two goals in a three minute spell. Their first, after 28 minutes, followed a mistake by young Kevin Dawson, who completely lost his man, and Lester flicked the ball past Beasant.
It was the unfortunate Dawson at fault for the second goal too. Seemingly in control, Dawson lost his footing allowing Ashcroft through one on one with Beasant, coolly sweeping the ball past the keeper.
Any thoughts of Forest rolling over were dispelled from the kick off. Rogers burst through the middle and fired a tremendous shot into the back of the net.
Minutes into the second half and the Forest fight back was complete. A great run and cross by Freedman saw Lever go from hero to villain as he scored a comedy own goal.
The Reds looked destined to go on and win this game, but they hadn't reckoned with the Man in Black. He sent off Hjelde when he decided that the Forest man had fouled Ashcroft in the Forest area, even though he was 40 yards behind play and his assistant appeared to see nothing wrong. From the resulting penalty, Ashcroft put the Mariners ahead again after 68minutes.
Worse was to come. Beasant sprinted out of his area to intercept a long ball and as he tried to make himself as big as possible to the onrushing Lester the ball appeared to bounce up and strike him under the arm. Handball? Yes. Deliberate? No way Jose! However, the Court Jester had other ideas and Lurch was soon joining Hjelde for the early bath.
Forest sacrificed Louis-Jean to send on Crossley but by now Forest were out of the game. They conceded a fourth goal to Donovan, and although Freedman was credited with a late goal, it was of little consolation to Forest. Another defeat snatched from the jaws of victory.
The Reds played with plenty of spirit today, but what can you do when the referee is a Home fan?