Walsall visit Grimsby
9th September 2006
3pm Kick off
When the fixtures came out Saddlers fans saw this as a possible promotion six pointer, however both teams have had differing starts to the season. Whilst the saddlers remain unbeaten in there six league games and have Plymouth as a noteable cup scalp, things are different on the coast at Cleethorpe. Grimsby started the season by coming from 2-0 down to beat Boston 3-2 at home. Since then they have suffered some poor away results losing all three away games. At home things are a bit better with two draws against Macclesfield and Mansfield either side of a 3-0 home defeat to the hands of Crewe. All this leaves the mariners in 21st place with five points to there name. The home fans are getting concerned ater last seasons promotion push, pressure is growing on manager Graham Rodgers. The Grimsby boss is hoping to bring in a striker to Blundell Park and has been talking to Carl Asaba who turned down Walsalls approach on deadline day. He has also been linked with ex saddler Jamie McSporan, and he hopes to have a new face in for saturday. This will not be an easy game as Grimsby will be desperate to restart there season with three points.
The talk in Grimsby has been from the chairman, who has been asking for the fans to be understanding of the manager Graham Rodgers, not a good sign so early in the season.
Whilst Dickie Dosh has been talking about his teams need to be able to withstand the expected early onslaught in away games and keep it tight in the irst 20minutes then to try and take control of games. He has also stated that he hopes to make use of the squad available to him during what he considers to be a busy September.
Both men have stated the desire to bring a fresh face or two into the side, both teams having been linked to Carl Asaba.
Grimsby Town Team News:
One of the main questions will be if the promising Peter Bore who was rested last week finds himself a starting spot. The promising teenager has had the scouts lining up at Grimsby games, with the youngster shining brightly whilst scoring three goals.
Up front Isaiah Rankin will be along side either Gary Jones or young striker Andrew Taylor.This is due to long term injuries to Gary Cohen and Michael Reddy. Grimsby stalwart John McDermott is likely to miss out having just recovered from injury with Gary Croft stepping in.
New signing Ricky Ravenhill is available following his suspension and should make the 16 if not the starting eleven.
Player to watch: Peter Beagrie
The old man of the Grimsby Town team, is famous for his goal celebrations but is also capable of a moment of magic that can turn a game. How Walsall's full backs cope with the wing play of the Mariners could well decide the game.
Date of birth 28-11-1965
Place of birth Middlesbrough
Having played for eleven football league teams he has made 580 league starts with 88 sub appearances scoring 90 league goals.
Walsall Team News:
Walsall, things are getting better with Tony Bedeau playing and scoring for the reserves. Mark Kinsella also now fit to press for a place, and Martin Dobson hoping to be sharper following his game last week after a long lay off. In fact with Roper returning to training this week it could be that only our soon to return long term victims Alex Nicholls and ex Grimsby man Darren Wrack will be the ones not in consideration. That is presumming that mystery injury man Alan Picken is now fit(but who really knows).
However with the poor performance in our games at Lincoln and then last week at Barnet Dickie may well make changes, and I don't expect the same starting eleven as last week.
Player to watch: Michael Dobson
Captain Marvel in our first two games, then a long lay off with a nasty gash to his forehead, Michael returned to the team last week. In a difficult game in terms of conditions, slope and style of play of Barnet he failed to hit the heights of his early games. How much of this was just due to been ring rusty. How much due to playing alongside Keates rather than Kinsella who knows. But the fact is if we are to get an away win we need him back to his best.
His importance was highlight by the coments by Dickie Dosh who said that prior to his injury he wondered if the team could pick up points in his absence !!
Match Facts & Stats
Historically we tend to lose at Grimsby and win at home. However the last meeting ended in a 1-0 win for the Saddlers despite Darren Wrack struggling at full/wing back. This win condemed Grimsby to relegation from the Championship, so perhaps a bit of revenge is on the cards. Tables can tend to lie at this stage of the season, in truth we haven't won away in the league and Grimsby have not won at home since the opening day, so who wants it more!!
Mr K A WOOLMER At last an experienced ref. So far this season in his five games he has issued 24 yellow cards ! Last season it was 125 yellows and 10 reds in 42 games, one of those reds been at Bescot in our 3-2 win against Forest. Although he was incharge of the Brentford 5 Walsall 0 farce as well.
Both teams could do with a win and both teams will be up for the challenge, so things could well end up in a stalemate. Who gets the first goal could be crucial.
Tuesday 12th September we welcome Peterbrough to the Bescot. Followed by another home game next Saturday verses Macclesfield.