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Stockport Preview

By: Richard Hubbert
Date: 25/02/2002

AFTER a well earned 0-0 draw with Forest on Saturday, Town simply have to get a win and carry on their good form with three points against rock bottom Stockport.

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

The Bottom Line

A bumper crowd is expected at Blundell Park on Tuesday night with Town fans expected to take advantage of the reduced £5 admission price. Town have opened up the Osmond Stand for home fans to watch the relegation battle, which they hope will end in three points. Town's performances and indeed their points haul in the last two game has really given the Mariners confidence that they can climb the table and avoid relegation. Since Paul Groves took over from Lennie Lawrence in December, Town have conceded just seven goals in the last nine league games. That amounts to four clean sheets - pretty impressive considering that since October Town only managed two under Lennie Lawrence.

This is all seems pretty rosy - Grovesy and Graham Rodger have got the defence sorted and we are now a difficult side to beat, unlike when earlier in the season our defence was being sliced open like a knife through butter. But the difference between Town staying up and going down will be how many Town score. Under Groves, Town have managed just five goals in nine league games and the result tonight will surely just depend on whether Town manage to score. If you go by the league table, Town SHOULD manage it against a side who have conceded 80 goals, but in football you never know. Stockport will want to show that they are still worthy of division one football despite the fact that they will probably go down and any Town fan expecting Town to automatically win would be foolish to think so. The arrival of Andy Todd and Martin Pringle from Charlton has boosted everyone connected with the club and a big crowd tonight will hopefully get the players and the club the result they need, but there is no room for complacency from anyone.

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Martin Pringle

Mariners fans are delighted that manager Paul Groves has managed to capture the signing of former Benfica striker Martin Pringle. Signed in 1999 by Charlton boss Alan Curbishley for £800,000, Pringle has not featured in the first team for a year after sustaining a serious shin injury. Therefore the 6 foot 2 striker, who has 2 caps for Sweden, jumped at the chance to join the Mariners, and will start his second game in four days for the Mariners after playing 87 minutes against Forest at the weekend. Anything good that comes from Town will surely come from him.

Luke Beckett

25 year old striker who joined the club earlier in the season from Chesterfield in a deal which saw striker Glynn Hurst move in the opposite direction. A striker with proven goalscoring record at both Chesterfield and at Chester, he holds the ball up very well and will be a handful for the Town defence. The striker looks an astute buy by County boss Carlton Palmer, because when the club inevitably do go down into the second division Beckett has proved that he is more than capable of being a prolific scorer in that division which will no doubt help them make a quick return.

Town Team News

  • Stacy Coldicott faces a race against time to see whether he will be fit to partner Alan Pouton in the centre of midfield. If not, Wayne Burnett will continue.
  • Definitely out are Menno Willems, Paul Raven and Steve Livingstone.
  • Otherwise, Town will be unchanged from the side that drew with Forest on Saturday.

  • Stockport Team News

  • Colin Woodthorpe and Jon Daly both return after serving suspensions. Palmer could return in the centre of defence with Daly likely to partner Luke Beckett up front.
  • 'Keeper Andy Dibble is also available for selection after serving out a suspension for a sending off at Gillingham, but Lee Jones is expected to continue in the County goal.

  • Expected Line Ups


    Danny Coyne
    Excellent shot stopper who has had yet another brilliant season between the posts. Joined the club in 1999 on a free from Tranmere Rovers.
    John McDermott
    Town's longest serving player and league appearance holder. Been injured for most of the season but is now fully fit.
    Paul Groves
    Long-serving Town player, Groves is now the Mariners player/boss and has been given the difficult task of keeping the club in the division.
    Andy Todd
    Small defender at 5ft 10, but one that is very capable in the air. Impressed the Town fans with his commitment and passing of the ball at the weekend.
    Ben Chapman
    Small left-sided player who has been much more involved in the first team this season, predominantly as a left wing back, but in the absence of Tony Gallimore will play left back for Tuesdays game.
    Stuart Campbell
    Versatile midfielder who signed for the Mariners permanently this summer after a loan spell last season. Can operate anywhere across the midfield.
    Stacy Coldicott
    Aggressive midfield player who is in his fourth season with the club after joining Town in 1998 for £160,000. Missed the Forest match but could return on Tuesday.
    Alan Pouton
    Former York City midfielder who will continue in midfield after a terrific display for Town in the week. A crowd favourite who always gives his all.
    Danny Butterfield
    Versatile and tidy player who can play at right back, central midfield or on the wing. Made his debut against York in 1997.
    Michael Boulding
    Speedy striker who has started the last five games and will do so again on Tuesday night. Signed in September on a free from Mansfield.
    Martin Pringle
    Swedish international who was signed last week on a months loan. Will play his second game for the Mariners alongside Michael Boulding.
    Lee Jones
    Welsh goalkeeper who signed for the club in July 2000 for a £50,000 fee from Bristol Rovers. Made 27 appearances last season and has been toying with Andy Dibble for the No1 spot this season.
    Keith Briggs
    Pacey young full back who made his bow in the 1999/2000 season, but was restricted to just one appearance last season. However, Briggs is now an established first team member since the arrival of Carlton Palmer.
    Dave Challinor
    Defender who was known for his long throw-ins with Tranmere, who joined County this season. Despite Challinors reputation of having a long throw, he is an intelligent player who distributes the ball well out of defence.
    Rob Clare
    A classy defender who burst onto the scene last season. He will be just 19 at the end of the week and his talents and young age have attracted him to many top clubs.
    John Hardiker
    Defender who became the Confrences' most expensive defender when he signed from Morecambe for £150,000. Another one of Carlton Palmers buys.
    Karim Fradin
    French player whose hard working displays have made him a County favourite. A box to box player, Fradin is always capable of scoring the odd goal.
    Aaron Lescott
    Elder brother of Wolves' highly rated central defender Joleon Lescott. Aaron is a very versatile player who started his career at Aston Villa before spells at Lincoln and Sheffield Wednesday. He was Carlton Palmers first signing at Edgely Park.
    Andrew Thomas
    Another young player who has come through the ranks along with Peter Wild. Still at only 19, Thomas is an experienced player who will only benefit from this run in the team.
    Peter Wild
    One of Stockport's talented youngsters who has made the break through this season. Comfortable in midfield or attack.
    Luke Beckett
    Strong forward who was snapped up by Carlton Palmer from Chesterfield. A proven goalscorer in the lower leagues, Beckett will want to prove himself in this division.
    Carlton Palmer
    The former England international is Countys' new boss and has played in almost every position this season - including centre forward where he will play on Tuesday.

    Wayne Burnett
    David Smith
    Simon Ford
    Phil Jevons
    Steve Croudson (GK)
    Phil Carrat
    Glynn Hancock
    Neil Ross
    Chris Williams
    Sam Turner (GK)

    Last Time Out

    The last time the two sides met head to head was when Town were in the dizzy heights of the top half of the table. The Mariners had just lost 5-0 to Crystal Palace and the draw seemed like a good result to "steady the ship". But when Town look back on it now, the draw seems like two points dropped. The score ended 3-3 with Jonny Rowan, Wayne Burnett and Stuart Campbell with the Town goals.

    Grimsby: Coyne, McDermott, Gallimore, Groves, Beharall, Campbell, Butterfield (Boulding), Burnett, Willems, Rowan (Broomes), Jeffrey (Allen)  Report

    Stockport Head-to-Head (17th on The Opposition Ladder).

    Fishy Prediction

    Town have got to win this match to have any chance of staying up. Although I must say that I have a gut feeling that Town will NOT win, I have to really put down what I hope will happen. With a bit of luck, it will and Town will start to rise through the division one table!!

    Prediction: 2-0 to Town. Reader's POMs


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