The Grimsby Town FC

Question of the Week

Should Russell Slade be sacked?

Yes immediately
Give him one more game


Lincoln Preview

By: Richard Hubbert
Date: 21/08/2001

HAHA! The return of Alan Buckley to BP, exactly a year since he was sacked. Hopefully he will be greeted with a warm reception, for we cannot forget what he did for Town.

Home > 2001-2002 Season > Previews > Lincoln (h)

Will Lawrence's Division One high flyers be able to continue their good form, or will Buckley come back to haunt the Mariners???

The Manager

Alan Buckley

When I read the draw for The Worthington Cup, I was partly excited, but partly worried. Worried because Alan Buckley is manager of Lincoln. Whatever you say about Buckley, whether you think he is tactically unaware, arrogant, set in his own ways or whatever, there is no denying that he's a bloomin' good football manager.

His record for Town speaks for itself. 3 promotions, 2 Wembley visits and no relegations is quite some record for a club with limited resources. Now he's setting out to do it all over again, and after taking just one point from his first two games, nothing will ignite his sides season as much as victory at Blundell Park.

There is no doubt that that's what Buckley will set out to do exactly this. In Buckley's eyes, he was wrongfully dismissed and nothing so proves this theory more than comments he made to The Lincolnshire Echo such as "I could tell you a few stories about Grimsby Town which would get things going ahead of the cup tie and I still might. They will just have to wait and see". There is no denying that his bitterness is still there, and the only question is, whether his players will show it on the pitch. And, if they do, I for one will not be surprised.

Star Player

Lee Thorpe

25 year old Lee Thorpe will definitely be a key man in The Imps assault on Division Three this year. The Sincil Bank club's fortunes will hinge on the goals scored by Thorpe, his strike partner Tony Battersby and the likes of Kingsley Black and Peter Gain who will supply the ammunition from the flanks.

After topping the goalscoring charts for the last four seasons, Thorpe has a lot to live up to. After signing from Blackpool in 1997 on a free, Thorpe has banged in 54 goals in just 181 games and will no doubt be the thorn in many third division defences this year.

Like every other City player Thorpe has had to adapt to Buckley's style of play, which for a side that only a few years ago was managed by John "hoof the ball and hope" Beck, you might think it was hard to get used to. But not Thorpe, in fact he is enjoying his new role so much that he has signed a new three year contract, firmly believing that his side can push for a promotion place.

Past Positions


2000/2001 Season18thDivision 3
1999/2000 Season15thDivision 3
1998/1999 Season23rdDivision 2
1997/1998 Season3rdDivision 3
1996/1997 Season9thDivision 2

Past Meetings

The last time the two sides actually met in a competitive match was way back in the 1989/1990 season in division four, when the two sides met at Blundell Park in front of an 11,000 plus crowd. With Town riding high in second place and Alan Buckley winning manager of the month award, everyone was expecting Town to record a comprehensive victory. But, mid table Lincoln were much tougher than expected and Town scraped the three points courtesy of a Dave Gilbert penalty. Town went on to finish runners up to Exeter that season with Lincoln down in 10th position.

Town Team: Sherwood, McDermott, Agnew, Tillson, Lever, Jobling, Childs, Cockerill, Gilbert, Rees, Birtles.

More recently, in Lincolnshire Cup ties and friendlies, Town have been the more victorious. A 2-0 win in the 1999/2000 Pre Season at Sincil Bank with Stacy Coldicott and Bradley Allen scoring gave Town their last victory over the Imps. While last year's pre season ended in a 1-1 draw with Michael Jeffrey playing his first ever Town game.

Lincoln Head-to-Head (23rd on The Opposition Ladder).

Hopes For This Season

Opinions are divided on Lincoln's realistic aim. Many fans would be satisfied with a solid mid table place, after last years relegation battle, but many critics believe that a play off place is possible. This depends almost entirely on how many goals the Imps score. With only 2 real quality strikers at the club (Lee Thorpe and Tony Battersby), the Imps need added firepower if they are to sustain any challenge.

Elsewhere, they have one of the best midfields in the division with Peter Gain and Kingsley Black (now playing on the right) on the wing with John Finnigan and ex Scunny player Justin Walker in the middle. While the likes of Stuart Bimson, Grant Brown, Steve Holmes and Paul Morgan, they should prove a competent enough backline. But with money there if needed, Buckley will not be afraid to spend it, and a move for any of Towns forwards is likely is on the cards! Realistically, the Imps will be flirting with the play offs and will probably just miss out, which would not be a bad thing after having to adapt a new board, a new manager, new players and a new style of play.


This summer has seen a spree of ins and outs over near the Railway. Six new players have signed and five players have departed. Three of the new signings (Richardson, Navarro and Brammer) only signed in the last few days.

Kingsley BlackFree from Grimsby
Paul MorganFree from Preston
Andy SmithFree from Grimsby
Adam BuckleyFree from Grimsby
Paul PettingerFree from Rotherham
Paul MillerReleased
Tony BullockReleased
Richard PeacockReleased
Anthony HenryReleased
Chris PerkinsReleased
Dave GreenwoodReleased

Visitors Injury List

Midfielder Justin Walker is a doubt after missing the first two games, so if declared un fit then transfer listed Ben Sedgemore will retain his place. Elsewhere the Imps are virtually injury free, with only veteran Grant Brown on the sidelines after having a successful operation.

Prediction For Game

Well, with the return of Buckley, Buckley jr., Alexander and Black there is no shortage of rivalry between the clubs. After declaring he will play his best team, Lennie Lawrence will expect no less than a victory. But with Buckley out to spoil the party, Towns good form could well be ruined. However, having full faith in Towns ability, we'll go for 2-1 to the Town after going 1-0 down.

Fishy prediction: 2-1 to the Town.


Click on the link for directions to Blundell Park.

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