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Preview: Grimsby v Bristol R

By: Kevin Dolan
Date: 08/02/2007

AFTER the low and high extremes of the last two weeks, a hugely unpredictable Grimsby Town welcome Bristol Rovers to Blundell Park this Saturday.

Home > 2006-2007 Season > Previews > Bristol R (h)

The Opposition

After recording 80 points in League One in 2000, but unbelievably failing to achieve a play off spot, Bristol Rovers began a downward spiral that resulted in relegation the following season and then finishing next to bottom of the league in 2002. Since then the underachieving club has failed to mount any sort of serious promotion challenge, finishing 12th at best in League Two.

After a poor start to last season, Ian Atkins was sacked as manger and replaced by Paul Trollope (left) and Lennie Lawrence as first team coach and director of football respectively A decent couple of months around Christmas pushed the club up the table and on the fringe of the play offs before an inconsistent end of the season saw the club drift into 12th position for the second season running.

The Team
Bristol Rovers currently lie 9th in League 2, seven points outside the play offs. After a (customary) poor start where they won two out of their first ten games, The Pirates then improved and, helped by a improvement in home form, squeezed into the play off places at the beginning of January. An unbeaten seven match league run came to an end in midweek when Darlington won at the Memorial Ground and their three league way wins so far have come at Notts County, Bury and Rochdale. Rovers have also progressed to the Southern Area Final of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy were they will face neighbours Bristol City.

After falling out of favour at Bristol City last season, experienced goalkeeper Steve Phillips made the short move across the city and was League Two’s player of the month in November. Ex-Mariner Stuart Campbell scored his first of the season last Saturday with a brilliant last minute free kick, whilst midfielder Sammy Igoe spent 10 years with Portsmouth and then Reading. Highly rated attacker Rickie Lambert (left) joined at the start of the season from Rochdale, but goalscoring has been the main problem and Lewis Handell is their 2nd highest scorer with four.

Key Player
An Aston Villa trainee, Richard Walker has gone on to successfully prove himself in the lower divisions. He joined Rovers in the summer of 2004 and his first two seasons for the Pirates saw him score 14 and 21 goals respectively. So far this season he has 15.

Recent Form

TownBristol R
Currently 19th in League Two.
WShrewsbury(a)1-0 (JPT)
LDerby(h)0-1 (FAC)
Currently 9th in League Two.

Top Scorers

TownBristol R
Peter Bore8
Martin Paterson6

Team News

TownBristol R

  • After last week’s stunning result, Alan Buckley would normally be expected to keep the same team, however on-loan James Hunt will not be allowed to play by Rovers.

  • Alan Buckley therefore must decide whether to stick with 4-5-1 and bring in Gary Harkins to midfield, or return to 4-4-2 with Gary Jones or Isaiah Rankin recalled to partner Martin Paterson up front

  • Gary Croft will once more miss out with a niggling knee injury.
  • Aaron Lescott has served a three-match suspension and is available for selection.
  • Probable Teams

    TownBristol R
    1Phil Barnes
    29Matthew Bloomer
    6Justin Whittle
    5Nick Fenton
    3Tom Newey
    16Danny Boshell
    8Paul Bolland
    10Ciaran Toner
    18Peter Bore
    14Martin Paterson
    7Isaiah Rankin
    1Steve Phillips
    2Ryan Green
    5Craig Hinton
    6Steve Elliott
    11Chris Carruthers
    4Sammy Igoe
    7Stuart Campbell
    20Craig Disley
    17Andy Sandell
    9Rickie Lambert
    10Richard Walker


    TownBristol R
    13Robert Murray
    24Simon Grand
    2John McDermott
    17Peter Till
    19Gary Jones
    31Mike Green
    27Sean Rigg
    32Aaron Lescott
    26Lewis Haldane
    TBAStuart Nicholson

    Head to Head

    Rovers have the slight upper hand against The Mariners, especially in recent years where Town have only won one of the last 7 meetings at Blundell Park.

    P 37 W 12 D 9 L 16 F 56 A 56

    Bristol R Head-to-Head (67th on The Opposition Ladder)

    Last Meeting

    The Pirates won on both their visits to Blundell Park last season as Chris Carruthers’ deflected free kick gained them three points and followed up their FA cup win only a month before.

    Grimsby0 - 1Bristol R

    Grimsby Team: Mildenhall, Croft, Whittle, Jones, Newey, Cohen, Toner, Bolland, Parkinson, Reddy, Jones (Gritton, 62)
    Subs: (not used) Hegarty, Ramsden, Downey, Ashton

    Bristol R Team: Shearer, Lescott, Hinton, Elliott, Carruthers, Gibb, Hunt, Disley, Campbell, Walker, Agogo
    Subs (not used): Edwards, Forrester, Leary, Williams, Book

    Attendance: 4,739   Report

    Bookings: Parkinson (Grimsby) Campbell (Bristol R)


    Town 2-1 Bristol Rovers

    Reader's POMs


    Click on the link for directions to Blundell Park (left).

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    Click on the link for ticket prices to Blundell Park.

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