The Grimsby Town FC

League Two Table

2Notts County271851
3Accrington Stanley261446

6Lincoln City271144

10Newport County27642
12Cambridge Utd27-638
14Crawley Town27-436
18Port Vale28-632

23Forest Green27-2223

Full League Two Table

Question of the Week

Should Russell Slade be sacked?

Yes immediately
Give him one more game


Not A Match For The Faint-Hearted

By: Richard Lord
Date: 08/03/2002

HOW much rests on the game against Walsall at Blundell Park? Although it may not completely make or break our season, winning would generally go a long way to secure Division One football next season and see GTFC scrape through financially.

Several players' futures also depend on it. Bradley Allen's contract is up at the end of the season and he'll surely be released if we fall down into Division 2. People like David Smith and Michael Jeffrey will have no part to play here either.

There would have to be a lot of sorting out to do at Blundell Park if the unthinkable happens, but let's pray that it doesn't.

If we stay in Division One then we receive TV money (albeit slightly less than what we received this season) but still more than what we would get if we were to get relegated.

A lot is at stake for this match, and I for one am clearly not embarrassed to say that I have been nervous about this fixture all week. It's not like the Stockport game; you would be naïve to think that it would be that simple.

It's just another league game but holds significant value for the future of this club, and the same could be said for Walsall.

The Mariners' form has picked up of late, and Town have won their last three home league games whereas Walsall have only won one game away from home all season. The form book suggest one thing, reality might provide an alternative.

I have to admit that I have aged greatly over the past couple of years. I used to be a supporter who just turned up to watch his favourite football team play. As I have grown older, I have leaned the values of winning and losing, and there is obviously a massive difference!

Still I turn up, but each time more seems to be at stake. The victory against the Blades revived some hope after the disheartening result at Watford that left us six points adrift with a terrible goal difference.

Then a point at Forest proved priceless as the other teams failed to capitalise. It was a good performance that day and we could have won it. Suddenly, the belief is back - for those supporters who felt it go when we lost at Vicarage Road.

The match against Stockport County was a must-win game. Some said that if we didn't win we deserved to go down. However, we came through and made up more ground on the other teams.

The defeat at Gillingham in midweek was very hard to take and it was certainly one of the most disappointing defeats of the season. It felt like part of the season had been lost in just 90 minutes and we couldn't make up any more ground.

The game against the Saddlers will be even more important, and potentially the home game against Sheffield Wednesday could be bigger.

The radio, TV and teletext have never played such a vital part in my life. I can reveal that Ceefax page 325 (2/4) has been looked at and studied more than once in the last week!

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