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Darlington Preview

By: Richard Lord
Date: 18/08/2005

FOLLOWING the postponement of last week's trip to Chester, Russell Slade's men have had over a week's rest in preparation for the visit of Darlington to Blundell Park on Saturday.

Home > 2005-2006 Season > Previews > Darlington (h)

The two teams sit next to each other in the League Two table but with Darlington having played a game extra. Dave Hodgson's side just failed to gain a playoff spot last season after Northampton grabbed the last position on goal difference. Darlo fans will be hoping that their side can go one better this time around and secure a top seven place come the end of the season.

The Opposition

This is Dave Hodgson's (left) second spell as manager of the Quakers. He was reappointed at the end of October 2003 and has gradually steered the side towards the right end of the table. Hodgson has a balanced record in charge of Darlington, winning about as many matches as he loses, with an ample amount of draws in between. Hodgson was disappointed to see his side lose 1-0 at home to Leyton Orient last weekend and will be hoping that his side responds in the correct manner at Grimsby on Saturday.

Their Squad
Darlington released two of their more experienced players in the summer. Craig Hignett and Alun Armstrong are no longer at the club, although the Quakers still hold a valuable player in Clyde Wijnhard (left) - who signed from Oldham last October. More noticeable additions are front men Akpo Sodje and Guylain Ndumbu-Nsungu, who both featured for Darlington's reserves against the Mariners earlier this week. Defender Matty Appleby is back in his second spell at the club. He may be remembered for his time at Barnsley when the Yorkshire club climbed their way into the Premiership. Joey Hutchinson is a highly-rated central defender for the Quakers and his battle with the Town strikers might be something to keep a close eye on.

Recent Form


WBristol R(a)2-1
Currently 10th in League Two.
LLeyton Orient(h)0-1
Currently 9th in League Two.

Top Scorers


Rob Jones1

Team News



  • It looks as if Russell Slade will have an almost fully-fit squad to choose from. Ciaran Toner and Jean-Paul Kamudimba Kalala have both recovered from injuries and could be in contention for a starting berth in midfield.

  • However, with Paul Bolland and Gary Croft doing well in the centre Slade may choose against changing a winning side. Having said that, Gary Cohen impressed in the reserve game against the same opponents and will be pushing for a place up front.

  • There's been no news on Justin Whittle but it appears his injury has cleared up and he'll settle for a place on the bench.

  • It also looks as if it's good news for Michael Reddy too, who's had time to rest his troublesome groin injury.
  • Dave Hodgson is to keep faith with the starting XI that played poorly in last weekend's defeat at home to League leaders Leyton Orient. Talking to Quakersworld Hodgson said: "I've got to be very strong, I've got to have a belief that the eleven who got us the four points out of six are still capable of putting another run or getting another four points from the next six points. If I start making changes willy nilly and it doesn't work then what do you do then? You then have a doubt."
  • Probable Teams


    1Steve Mildenhall
    12Rob Jones
    4Simon Ramsden
    5Tony Crane
    2John McDermott
    3Tom Newey
    8Paul Bolland
    20Gary Croft
    11Andy Parkinson
    9Michael Reddy
    10Martin Gritton
    23 Sam Russell
    12 Shelton Martis
    6 Joey Hutchinson
    5 Matthew Clarke
    2 Ryan Valentine
    7 Neil Wainwright
    10 Jonjo Dickman
    4 Matty Appleby
    25 Carlos Logan
    11 Simon Johnson
    9 Clyde Wijnhard



    6Justin Whittle
    18Ciaran Toner
    7JPK Kalala
    15Gary Cohen
    19Gary Jones
    8 Adrian Webster
    17 David Duke
    21 Anthony Peacock
    24 Guylain Ndumbu-Nsungu
    17 Akpo Sodje

    Head to Head

    The Mariners have the upper hand over Darlington in previous meetings between the two clubs. Grimsby have won 22 of the 45 clashes, lost 15 and drawn eight. However, the last time Town beat the Quakers in the league was 26 years ago, when the fans at Blundell Park witnessed a 7-2 victory during the 78/79 season. Their first meeting was in the FA Cup in 1885 and the Mariners were victorious 8-0. Everyone remembers the two fixtures from last season, where Grimsby lost 1-0 on both occasions but deserved so much more.

    P 45 W 22 D 8 L 15 F 71 A 48

    Darlington Head-to-Head (13th on The Opposition Ladder)


    After a poor showing in front of their home fans on Saturday Darlington will look to get back on track at the first time of asking. The Mariners have had extra time to prepare for the game and have a fully-fit squad to choose from. How Russell Slade employs his formation and uses his squad to get the most out of them will determine this one. 2-0 to the Mariners.


    Recent Predictions

    Bristol R0-22-10
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