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By: Richard Hubbert
Since Wimbledon entered the league in 1977, the Mariners and the Dons have met only 11 times. Surely the highlight of these games is the famous FA cup tie in 1988 when the famous â€˜Harry Haddockâ€™ made his debut at Plough Lane.
So, Grimsbyâ€™s all time league record vs Wimbledon, quite impressively reads:
P11 W5 D4 L2
The last time the two sides met was in a 2-2 draw in December 2000, when goals from Richard Smith and David Nielsen earned a point for the Mariners.
There has been only one player in the history of the two teams that has pulled on shirts in both the blue colours of Wimbledon and the black and white of Grimsby. In fact, he didn't at all, because he was a goalkeeper!
DAVE BEASANT (pictured, top) made 6 appearances between the sticks for Town in the 1992/93 season. This inspired the Mariners, who during this spell won 5 of their 6 games, including a famous 1-0 win at table toppers Newcastle, thanks to Jim Dobbin blockbuster. Prior to that spell, he made 340 league appearances for Wimbledon from 1979-1988. In that time he was instrumental in the success of the Dons who won the FA Cup and reached the first division. But then he moved on to Newcastle, and has since played for Chelsea, Wolves (loan), Southampton and currently, at the age of 41, Nottingham Forest.
The first league meeting between the two sides came in the 1977/78 season when Town won 3-1 thanks to two goals from 18 year old Kevin Drinkell in front of a 4028 crowd at Blundell Park. At the end of that season, John Newmanâ€™s men finished 6th, while Wimbledon finished 13th.
However, in the 1978/79 season, both sides were battling it out for promotion to the third division. The sides met at Blundell Park in September, drawing 2-2 in front of 6974 spectators, with a goal from Joe Waters and an own goal from Dons defender Jeff Braynt. In the Mariners centenary year, they were promoted along with third placed Wimbledon. The last league meeting between the two sides at Blundell Park, came in the 1985/86 campaign. Wimbledon, who finished third that season, (Div2) ran away 1-0 winners at Blundell Park. A meagre 3476 turned up to watch the game. Town, under Mick Lyons finished 15th that season.
HARRY HADDOCK GOES TO WIMBLEDON
After knocking out Wolves, Rotherham, Middlesbrough and Reading, round 5 of the FA Cup saw Town drawn against Cup holders Wimbledon at Plough Lane. Town fans started buying inflatable Haddocks and became instant hits! There was a sea of Haddocks, and was said to be the next best thing to a Mexican wave. 7,000 of the 12,000 there were Town fans!
However, the Harry Haddocks were flapping like mad when Keith Alexander nodded in John Cockerillâ€™s cross to make it 1-0 in the first half. But two quick goals from John Fashanu (pictured) and Terry Phelan left Town searching for a goal. It never came and the game was wrapped up by current Chelsea skipper Dennis Wise, late on to make it 3-1. But Town went out battling, and next season were to be promoted.
TEAM: Sherwood, North, Agnew, Tilson, Lever, Cunnington, Jobling, Saunders, Oâ€™Kelly, Alexander, Cockerill.
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