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Allen Out for Season?

By: The Fishy News Team
Date: 19/03/2001

Grimsby manager Lennie Lawrence believes that joint leader scorer Bradley Allen will not play another game this season, after the ex-QPR striker went off at half time in Saturday's 1-0 victory against his former club with an Achilles injury.

Although the Achilles problem occurred on the other leg to that which caused Allen to miss the last three months with an ankle injury, the Mariners boss fears the worst. "Without being melodramatic about it, I'd be pleasantly surprised if he played another game this season" a frustrated Lennie Lawrence told Radio Humberside. "That may be slightly pessimistic, but at the very least it's inconceivable that he'll play again for another 2-3 weeks."

The Grimsby manager has until Thursday's transfer deadline to find a replacement, or failing that will have to settle to utilise the small number of fit front players currently at the club in the vital run-in to the end of the season. Michael Jeffrey looks to come in to replace Bradley Allen for Tuesday night's game against Birmingham City at Blundell Park.

Today's development must leave the Town boss doubly regretting last week's failure to secure the services of Leeds trialist Lee Matthews. The 22 year old forward signed on loan for Bristol City on Friday, after the Mariners were caught dragging their heels to sign the six foot front man. The shock move came despite the fact that terms were reported to have been agreed between Matthews, who Lennie Lawrence went as far to describe as "Livvo's understudy", and the club. To rub further salt into the wound Matthews today signed for the West Country club for an initial £70,000, rising to £100,000 after an agreed number of appearances.

Defender Zhang Enhua is also rated doubtful for the fixture against the Midlands side, in what would be his last home game on loan from Chinese side Dalian Shide. The central defender is rated 50/50 to be passed fit to play the game after a precautionary X-ray on a foot injury. Peter Handyside stands by to take the Chinese international's place.

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