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Torquay Preview

By: Richard Hubbert
Date: 15/09/2005

THE second-placed Mariners face bottom side Torquay United at Blundell Park on Saturday, hoping to get back to winning ways after losing two of their four opening home games this campaign.

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

Following another away success at Peterborough last Saturday, Town now sit in second place in League Two and have now broken the all time club record for successive away wins. Now the attention turns to our home form after an indifferent start to the season at Blundell Park. A glance at the table shows Town ought to win this game, but Town's last fixture at Blundell Park saw a Stockport side who previously hadn't won all season, beat the Mariners 3-1. Furthermore, with the Gull's securing their first win of the season against Shrewsbury last week, they will be hoping to continue that form.

The Opposition

Torquay had a traumatic end to last season as they were relegated on goal difference, with the MK Dons staying up ahead of them. They needed just one point from their last two games, but lost them both and were relegated. This saw them lose the likes of Alex Russell and Adebayo Akinfenwa over the summer and their loss has been felt with only one win all season. Pressure has been mounting on manager Leroy Rosenior (left) but the Gulls board look as if they're going to keep faith with the man that brought them promotion out of this league in 2003/04.

Their Squad
Experienced goalkeeper Andy Marriott (left) plays between the sticks for the Gulls. The ex Wrexham goalkeeper last appeared against the Mariners for Barnsley as a substitute in September 2001, when Town went top of Division One and England beat Germany 5-1 in Munich. Captain Craig Taylor is the rock at the heart of the Torquay defence. Taylor was signed on a free transfer in the summer of 2003. Experienced midfielder Matt Hewlett was snapped up in the summer as a replacement for midfielder Alex Russell but has been troubled with injury in recent weeks. While Darren Garner joined in the summer after a loan spell last season. He left Rotherham, where he spent ten years, primarily as a midfielder. In attack, Leon Constantine and £5,000 summer purchase Alan Connell both feature. Connell was signed from Bournemouth and has two goals in three starts this season. Cameroonian forward Carl Priso was snapped up from German Bundesliga Division 3 side Chemnitzer FC on a one year deal. Priso netted twice in a friendly win over Taunton Town earlier this week and will hope for a starting place.

Key Player
Jo Kuffour (left). Former Arsenal trainee who can operate in attack or on the wing. Can be one of the best in the lower leagues on his day with his pace and power. The Mariners will need to keep a close eye on him.

Recent Form


Currently 2nd in League Two.
LBournemouth (LC)(h)0-0
Currently 19th in League Two.

Top Scorers


Gary Jones3

Team News



  • The Mariners will once again check on the fitness of midfielder Andy Parkinson after nursing shin splints during the last week or so. The former Tranmere man came off at half time at Peterborough and is rated as doubtful.

  • Martin Gritton came on as Parky's replacement and made the Mariners' goal last week so could be in with a shout, but it is thought that Parkinson will be fit enough for this weekend's game. Alternatively Slade may decide to save him until Tuesday.

  • Elsewhere, the Mariners have no new injury worries, but with Ciaran Toner nearing fitness he could be included in the squad.
  • Leroy Rosenior will welcome back midfielder Matt Hewlett into the squad after he appeared in a midweek friendly. Defender and Captain Craig Taylor will also be included in the side after sitting out last week's game through suspension.

  • Brian Mclinchey is sidelined for the next three months, while experienced midfielder Martin Phillips is nearing full fitness after suffering an ankle injury, but won't be fit for another three or so weeks.

  • Central defender Matt Villis (ankle) and Tony Bedeau (hamstring), both missed last week's game and will hope to be in contention for the trip to Cleethorpes.
  • Probable Teams


    1Steve Mildenhall
    2John McDermott
    20Gary Croft
    4Rob Jones
    6Justin Whittle
    15Gary Cohen
    7JPK Kalala
    8Paul Bolland
    11Andy Parkinson
    19Gary Jones
    9Michael Reddy
    1Alan Marriott
    2Matthew Hockley
    5Craig Taylor
    15Matthew Villis
    3James Sharp
    19Mamadou Sow
    11Kevin Hill
    6Darren Garner
    10Jo Kuffour
    9Leon Constantine
    8Alan Connell



    17Tony Crane
    4Simon Ramsden
    3Tom Newey
    14Terry Barwick
    10Martin Gritton
    18Steve Woods
    21Alex Lawless
    4Matthew Hewlett
    20Carl Priso
    7Tony Bedeau

    Head to Head

    Grimsby hold the advantage over Stockport in the 63 matches the two teams have met. County head to Blundell Park having won just one on of their last 11 visits. The Mariners' overall record reads: 28 wins, 19 defeats and 16 draws. The first fixture between the two sides ended in a 5-1 victory to the Mariners and it took County seven attempts before they registered their first win over Town.

    P 16 W 7 D 4 L 5 F 25 A 20

    Torquay Head-to-Head (20th on The Opposition Ladder)


    Former Town manager Frank Womack is arguably the most successful manager in the club's history, guiding the Mariners to the old first Division (the equivalent of the Premiership) by winning the Division Two Championship in the 1933/34 season. Womack managed Torquay before that, but left in 1932 saying that the South coast side didn't have enough ambition. Womack to this day still holds the appearance record for Birmingham City.

    Last Meeting

    Town last played Torquay in January 1990 - over 15 years ago. The Mariners were eventually promoted from the old Division Four that year, under the leadership of Alan Buckley. The game ended in a dour 0-0 draw, with the Mariners at that time only 13th in the table. However, Town won in 12 of their last 16 games to gain promotion. Torquay meanwhile, managed by Dave Smith, finished 15th.

    Grimsby Team: Sherwood, McDermott, Jobling, Tilson, Knight, Cunnington, Gilbert, Childs, Rees, Cockerill, Alexander.
    Subs (used): Hargreaves

    Torquay Team: Veysey, Holmes, Lloyd, Matthews, Elliott, Uzzell, P Smith, Edwards, Taylor, Caldwell, Morrison.
    Subs: (used) Hirons and Bastow

    Attendance: 4,586


    Town are riding high, but struggling at home while Torquay have just won their first game of the season. Sounds distinctly like a draw, but an exciting one. 2-2.


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