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Match Previews

Viewing the Opposition: Grimsby Town

16 March 2018

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The Imps host Grimsby Town on Saturday afternoon in a sell-out Lincolnshire Derby, in search of back-to-back victories.

The two sides met at Blundell Park back in September, and played out a 0-0 draw, with both sides in the middle of the pack at the time in Sky Bet League Two.

Less than an hour of the A46 separates the two sides geographically, but league form since the reverse fixture has seen the Mariners slip down the table and sit just seven points and two places from the relegation places.

A full-house is set to embark on Sincil Bank for the first EFL meeting between the Lincolnshire rivals since a 0-0 draw at Sincil Bank in November 2009.

Here, we take a look at Grimsby's recent form, manager's comments, historic meetings between the two sides, and 'played for both.'

Manager's comments

The Mariners recently appointed Michael Jolley as their manager upon the departure of Russell Slade from Blundell Park.

Jolley had previously been involved at Lincoln City in the National League era, and is relishing the trip to Sincil Bank in his first taste of Lincolnshire Derby action as Grimsby boss.

And the new Grimsby Town boss has acted quickly, bringing in two new signings outside of the transfer window.

Andrew Fox recently linked up with the Mariners boss after working with him in Sweden previously. Former Premier League and Scotland international winger Gary McSheffrey put pen to paper at Blundell Park this week.

Discussing the Lincolnshire Derby in the Press this week, Jolley said: "You get involved in football for occasions such as these. We are looking forward to it as I’m sure the fans are.

"I’m looking forward to taking the challenge on, it’s going to be a big game, and that’s you come into football for these big occasions.

"They’re a strong team, they’ve got a very well established and distinct style of play that they execute very well. It’s up to us to respond to the challenge and come up with ways for us to hurt them as well."

League form

A last-gasp James Berrett equaliser gave Jolley a share of the points with fellow strugglers Port Vale last weekend in his first game as manager.

Jolley was appointed prior to the 2-0 Carlisle United defeat the previous weekend, but a late equaliser against the Valiants could just be the boost needed to end their run of form which has seen them winless in 2018.

Grimsby are currently sat in 21st position in Sky Bet League Two, and haven't secured maximum points on the road since a 2-0 win at 23rd-placed Barnet.

Last six: DLLLLD

Last six away: LLLLDL

Last six position: 24th

League position: 21st

Previous meetings:

Saturday will see the Imps play host in the 104th league Lincolnshire Derby between the two sides.

The visitors have nearly double the victories of the Imps in all competitions having won 44 meetings in all competitions (while both sides have been in the Football League), with the Imps boasting 28 wins, and the same number of draws between the two Lincolnshire sides.

The first meeting between the two teams came in a 2-0 win for Grimsby Town in 1885, with City getting their first victory over the Mariners five years later in a 3-2 victory in the Football Alliance.


In more recent times, the Imps' last Football League victory over their rivals came in December 2006 under John Schofield's regime, as goals from Lee Frecklington and Jamie Forrester secured a 2-0 win.

The teams played out eight games during the Non-League days, with the most memorable ones for Imps supporters being during the 2014/15 season as City secured a league double.

A thrilling 3-2 win at Sincil Bank in the September, thanks a late winner from Hamza Bencherif, was followed up by a 3-1 victory at Blundell Park in December.

In only the second Football League meeting since the turn of the decade, the two sides played out a 0-0 draw at Blundell Park in October.

It's the first time Sincil Bank will have seen the Football League Lincolnshire Derby since a goalless draw in November 2009.

Played for both

Plenty of players throughout the years have featured for both the Mariners and the Imps. Looking at earlier parts of the 20th century, Pip Rippon featured over a combined 150 times for both sides, as did Malcolm White in the 1960s.

Moving to more recent times; Andy Moore, Peter Grotier, Phil Hubbard, David Felgate, Bobby Cumming, John Ward, Gordon Hobson, Paul Groves and not to forget the great, late Graham Taylor featured for both Lincolnshire sides. Taylor represented both sides more than 150 times.

Taylor isn't the only iconic Imps manager to cross the border, as Keith Alexander played for both sides during the 1980s and 1990s. 'Big Keith' proved a real hit on the field at Blundell Park, scoring 26 times in over 80 appearances.

Moving into the new millennium, and Jamie Forrester was another to head to the Imps after previously representing the Mariners. His debut for Keith Alexander's side was in a 5-0 win over Grimsby at Sincil Bank, with Forrester getting on the scoresheet in the first-half.

Ben Futcher, Martin Gritton, Matt Bloomer, Kingsley Black, Lee Thorpe and Terry Fleming have also made the Lincolnshire switch this millennium.

In our current squad, only Ollie Palmer has played for both sides, having spent a short loan spell with the Mariners in the National League.



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