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Unwelcome Record

By: Richard Lord
Date: 05/02/2001

The postponement of Grimsby Town's home clash with Wimbledon was the seventh game to be called off this season. Boss Lennie Lawrence now fears that there will be a fixture backlog, with the prospect of the Mariners playing twice a week.

Grimsby currently have two home games to rearrange against Birmingham and now Wimbledon. Before that, the Portsmouth game was called off due to snow but was played just over a week ago. As the fixtures begin to pile up as they do towards the end of every season, Blundell Park now has to fit in two more matches, with the further prospect of the Blackburn clash on March 24th being postponed due to international call-ups.

"It's going to get busy now. We haven't got anything midweek for a couple of weeks and then we've got Bolton and Huddersfield," commented Lawrence, speaking to the Grimsby Evening Telegraph. "Now we've got Birmingham, Wimbledon and maybe Blackburn to fit in. Then there's whatever else gets called off. It's getting busy and this side is better playing once a week. I don't like it, but there you go. If the pitch is unfit, there's nothing you can do about it."

Blundell Park continues to get left behind as many other football league grounds invest in facilities such as under-soil heating to decrease the chances of matches being affected by adverse weather. "We were worried about it on Friday. It squelched under your feet. We know if we get a lot of rain the games will be in danger," continued the Town boss. "The pitch has taken some right hammer this year and if we'd have played on it we wouldn't have got it back for the rest of the season. At least it isn't wrecked."

This has now become a record year in the GTFC history books with the most games postponed in one season. This is now the third time a match between the Mariners and the Dons has been called off, along with the postponement of the Wolves clash, and the league games against Birmingham and Portsmouth in what has been a very wet winter.

With the Wimbledon game being postponed, it means that Johnathon Rowan might have missed out on his chance to shine in the first team and prove his abilities to Town boss Lennie Lawrence.

It was almost certain that Rowan would have started for the Mariners against the Dons, but due to excessive rain on the Friday night and match-day morning, his chance seems to have been washed away. It now means that Willems and Pouton's suspensions will now stand for the game against Gillingham, and Livingstone will also miss the match at the Priestfield stadium through his ban posed by the FA after bringing the game into disrepute at Sheffield United.

But it does mean that manager Lawrence will have more time to try and lure Leicester City striker Trevor Benjamin to Blundell Park on loan. It is also likely that Bradley Allen may feature in the travelling squad, although it remains uncertain if he will be in the starting eleven. The ex-QPR striker was due to play in two reserve matches this week, but today's reserves game was called off.

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