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A Victory - But Also A Warning For Lawrence

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 02/08/2001

THE MARINERS win against Scunthorpe United gave the fans an exciting preview of the season ahead. It also brought a warning about the defensive problems which an injury could bring about and expose Town's serious lack of experienced cover in that area.

The Grimsby Telegraph highlighted this in their report of the game saying: "Paul Groves and Paul Raven were solid at the back but, no matter how good they are, if one of them gets injured Lawrence will be up the creek without a paddle. It is as simple as that.

Fortunately when the worst happened with five minutes left of their Scunthorpe romp the Mariners were already 4-1 up and it didn't matter that only Menno Willems could slot in - it won't always be that easy."

This statement was proffered as Paul Raven was taken off limping and it looked like bad news for manager Lawrence but he was able to dispel fears saying: "He's just jarred his ankle. It's not a pull or a strain," said the manager, hopeful the 31-year-old will be fit in time to face Huddersfield at Blundell Park tomorrow (Friday).

"In a League game with 10 minutes to go, he'd have stayed out there. He's done well in pre-season and it will be disappointing for everybody if he doesn't play.

"I want to get him through the Huddersfield game and then leave him. Then he can have treatment if he needs it next week and I'll know where I am."

Lawrence revealed to the Grimsby Telegraph that he was 'reasonably close' to bringing in a defender but did not want an expensive loan if Raven was going to be fit.

On the game itself Lawrence said, "It's a long time since we scored four goals in any game. The passing and the counter attacking was very good and crisp. I said to them 'stake your claim' and they have. Livvo is out but everybody else in the senior squad has now staked a claim."

"That's good news and gives me serious food for thought. I'm left scratching my head about a few things. Things are coming together at the right time and I have some serious considerations, especially in midfield. Menno and Wayne looked somewhere near their best in there and Stuart Campbell and Alan Pouton are pretty certain to start down the flanks."

"I'd like to congratulate the referee on a good deal of common sense. There's no question that, in a League game, Stevie would've gone and we'd be down to 10 men in the second half."

"Scunthorpe were hard done by full stop and I thought 4-1 flattered us. But from our point of view it was a good workout and it's encouraging that the front players played so well. Michael Jeffrey had his best game that I can recall."

Phil Jevons was delighted with his goal telling the GET "It feels great but I don't want to say 'that's it'. I don't want to relax on that. It's important that the team takes the goalscoring from here into the season,"

"It does feel good and I'm relieved that I've got off the mark. We have to keep that high tempo up and it's import ant that we start games on the front foot. We have to take that into the start of the League."

"It might take a few games before it starts to gel properly but I think it's started here tonight. There were times still when it didn't quite get right or I didn't respond how I should, but it's starting."

Late News Paul Raven's injury is now feared to be an ankle ligament tear and he will be unavailable for the first game of season and probably longer.

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