Cambridge United beat Grimsby Town to secure promotion to League One

  • Cambridge United's record goalscorer Paul Mullin gives his reaction on their League Two promotion to ITV Anglia Sports Correspondent Donovan Blake

Cambridge United sealed promotion to League One at the third attempt as they beat Grimsby Town 3-0 at the Abbey Stadium.

The U's had already spurned two opportunities to book their place in the third tier for next season, having lost to Stevenage and Harrogate Town in recent weeks.

However, it was a case of third time lucky on Saturday as they saw off already-relegated Grimsby courtesy of goals from Liam O'Neil, Wes Hoolahan and Paul Mullin.

The win means Cambridge will play in League One again next season for the first time since 2002.

  • Watch the scenes at full-time as the Cambridge United players celebrate promotion

There were huge celebrations on the pitch at full-time as both players and staff chanted "we are going up!" and sprayed champagne.

The players then moved outside the stadium to celebrate with a large group of their fans who had gathered to salute their heroes.

The U's weren't fancied to be among the promotion contenders by the bookies this season, but have consistently defied the odds to remain near the top of the table for most of the campaign.

Cambridge boss Mark Bonner celebrates with top scorer Paul Mullin. Credit: PA
  • Cambridge United Head Coach Mark Bonner shares his thoughts on winning promotion from League Two with ITV Anglia's Sports Correspondent Donovan Blake

Cambridge had finished 21st and 16th in their last two League Two seasons, but under the guidance of their 35-year-old boss Mark Bonner, have improved dramatically to end this campaign in second place - just two points behind the champions Cheltenham Town.

Key to their success have been the signings of Norwich City legend Wes Hoolahan, who at the age of 38 is older than his manager, and striker Paul Mullin, who has netted 32 league goals to be crowned the division's player of the season.

Both players arrived on free transfers in the summer and have proved to be incredible value for money.

The U's can now look forward to a return to the third tier for the first time in nearly two decades, where they will face local rivals Ipswich Town next season, as well as the likes of Sheffield Wednesday.

Norwich City lifted the Championship trophy at Oakwell. Credit: PA

There was also celebrations involving Hoolahan's old club Norwich City as they lifted the Championship trophy for the second time in three seasons.

The Canaries drew their last game of the campaign 2-2 at Barnsley, with Emi Buendia and Adam Idah both getting on the scoresheet.

The match also gave Norwich an opportunity to say goodbye to long-serving midfielders Alex Tettey and Mario Vrančić who will both be leaving the club this summer.