Grimsby strike late to reach playoff final and stun Wrexham in nine-goal thriller

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<span>Photograph: Bradley Collyer/PA</span>
Photograph: Bradley Collyer/PA

Grimsby Town have booked their place in the National League playoff final, beating Wrexham 5-4 after extra time in an extraordinary semi-final.

Former Wrexham player Luke Waterfall headed the winner with one minute of extra time to play, leaving the home crowd stunned. After ending the Welsh side’s promotion dream, Grimsby will face either Solihull Moors or Chesterfield in the final, at the London Stadium on Sunday 5 June.

Related: Stockport seal National League title and EFL return after 11 years

In the first half of normal time, Wrexham took the lead when Waterfall brought down Paul Mullin in the penalty area, with the striker getting up to convert the penalty kick. Grimsby hit back immediately, John McAtee producing a superb long-range finish as they went to the break level.

Waterfall headed the visitors in front early in the second half, but Wrexham struck back with two goals in the space of a minute. Luke Tozer headed home a corner, before Mullin scored from Ollie Palmer’s flick – with replays appearing to show the forward handling the ball over the line.

Grimsby rallied again through Ryan Taylor’s equaliser, before Mani Dieseruvwe followed up his late winner against Notts County in the quarter-final with a 78th-minute strike. Wrexham found another leveller just two minutes later, Jordan Davies heading home to set up extra-time.

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