Grimsby Town: Preview

Tomorrow it’s the ‘big one’. Forget your Mansfield or Notts County clashes, this is THE derby, the one game that we’ve wanted to win more than any other since football in Lincoln began.

The rivalry goes back to the days before television, Jack the Ripper or tractors. Back then steam trains would take our fans to the coast looking for wins, and even then the results were often controversial. If you’ve got two minutes to spare I wrote a two-part special on why we hate Grimsby. Part One is here, whilst Part Two is here.

Firstly, let’s get the general stuff out of the way. Those who don’t know where it is will find the ground at DN35 7PY, in Cleethorpes and not Grimsby. There is likely to be a heavy police presence and I would strongly advise either organised travel or train, but then I suppose by now you’ll already know how you’re travelling. There is no car park at the ground, therefore only street parking is available. There are plenty of side roads off the A180 Grimsby Road, but choose wisely. I wouldn’t want to invoke fear in travelling fans, but those streets have been known to harbour Town fans looking for trouble. If you want your car to remain untouched don’t go leaving red and white scarves in the back window; you’re asking for trouble. YouTube videos of opening-day disorder with Chesterfield fans has emerged, so please do be careful.

Inside the ground, visiting supporters are treated to their own bar called Scotties. It charges around £4 a pint and is run by the Mariners Trust, a supporter’s organisation with has the aim of raising money for the Club. Please note that entrance to Scotties Bar can only be gained from inside the ground, once you have entered through the away turnstiles.

Lincoln and Grimsby have met on 109 occasions. The Mariners have won the more, triumphing 48 times. Lincoln have won on 30 occasions, and 31 of our meetings have been drawn.

Other than that, I’d keep an eye out on social media in the days leading up to the game to ascertain which pubs most Lincoln fans are congregating in. I can’t stress enough there will be a police presence, and due to the high-profile nature of the game it is advisable to follow advice on the day. Grimsby do have a hooligan element that like to target Lincoln fans, and vice versa, and that is unlikely to change for this fixture.

Luke Waterfall was sent off on our last visit to Blundell Park, Padraig Amond and Nathan Arnold gave the home side a 2-0 victory. The year before that a Charlee Adams rocket helped us to a 3-1 victory and our first double over our fierce rivals since 1976. All in we’ve met 109 times in league and cup, the Mariners with 48 victories, us with 30 and 31 drawn matches. History means nothing though, and the current Grimsby side isn’t a patch on some we’ve seen in recent years.

The Mariners biggest victory at Blundell Park came on April 8th, 1889 when they ran out 6-1 winners. Lincoln’s biggest victory there came in January 2005 when a Simon Yeo hat trick gave us a 4-2 victory, matching a result from 1893.

They’re a tough tackling side these days, five red cards in the first five games is proof of that. Their goal threat is Sam Jones the former Gateshead striker, but veteran Martyn Woolford is another they look to utilise out wide. It was a Jones penalty that rescued a point against Colchester on Tuesday night, but overall Cod fans are not all that hopeful. Siriki Dembele is an unknown quantity, but overall their recruitment has been low-key. At the back centre half Nathan Clarke has had a good career, but his pace may be failing him now. If Ollie Palmer gets the nod up front I suspect he might have a chance of impressing.

I don’t think there is a better time to play Grimsby. September promises to be a tough month for us, but If we can emerge with a win against the Cods it would set us up nicely for a much friendlier October. Nothing gets the pulses racing like a big local derby, and whilst both Notts County and Mansfield will be tasty clashes, there is no feeling like victory over Grimsby Town. We could finish September on a real high.
All in I expect City to come out of the seven matches with around 12 points, which may not be promotion form, but it would be a fair haul from such a tough run of games. Danny spoke of trying to nestle just outside the top ten through October and November, and believe me when I say those two months are much more favourable than the first two.

Lincoln’s appalling record can be blamed on the early incarnation of Lincoln City. We won just once in our first 21 games, a run spanning 18 years! In recent times, we’ve been on an equally as miserable run, winning just two of our last 17 matches. Both those victories came in the space of four months in 2015. Before that you’d have to go back to 2006 for Jamie Forrester and Lee Frecklington to earn us a 2-0 home victory.

They have won three of the last six, but when they’ve played a decent side they seem to have struggled. Their wins have come against Yeovil, Crewe and Accrington, aside from Stanley the other two are mid-table at best. They’ve been heavily beaten by Mansfield (4-1) and edged out by Wycombe, Stevenage and Newport.

Interestingly referee Carl Boyeson has shown five red cards in his nine games so far this season. His last trips to Sincil Bank came way back in 2008/09 as he officiated 1-0 defeats against Port Vale and Darlington. He’s never sent a Lincoln player off, he dismissed Adam Proudlock in our 3-2 win against Stockport in December 2007, he also dismissed Steve Livingstone just 20 minutes into our November 2003 win over Carlisle. I wrote earlier today about Matt Bloomer whose Lincoln carer virtually ended as he was roasted three times by Nathan Tyson against Wycombe Wanderers, Carl Boyeson was in charge for that match also. When I said at the start of this blog the word ‘interesting’, I meant to me. You’ve probably been bored senseless.

What a delight it has been to write this preview though, proper football teams with whom we have proper history. Last September we faced Solihull Moors and Barrow amongst others, and now we’re back playing the teams we’ve battled against for our whole existence.



1 Comment

  1. The game I’ve been looking forward to since last seasons promotion only to find that it comes smack bang in the middle of my holiday in Cyprus………damn!
    Will still be cheering the imps on Though and hope for a good result!

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