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Cornwall Frustration

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 04/07/2001

TALKS between Grimsby and Fulham over the possible signing of striker Luke Cornwall have ground to a frustrating halt - a familiar tale for followers of the cash-strapped Mariners. Lennie Lawrence is attempting to buy the striker from Fulham, but may have to settle for a season-long loan instead.

Lawrence said the price needed to be right and he would not be held to ransom over someone who is "not yet a fully fledged player". The Cottagers are believed to be asking a price in the region of £75,000 for the 20-year-old forward.

Lennie Lawrence pulled Cornwall from Fulham reserves like a rabbit out of the hat last season to provide the firepower that the Mariners desperately needed to avoid what could have been a catastrophic drop to the Second Division.

Despite the club's survival and subsequent boardroom changes, the club appear to still have a similar problem generating cash to actually buy players - as opposed to bringing them in on loan - that they did last campaign. Grimsby missed out on signing Lee Matthews largely due to cashflow problems just before the fortuitous arrival of Luke Cornwall on the scene.

The former Charlton boss told Mariners Net: "We are going round in circles really. Luke did well for us, he scored some valuable goals. But we're a bit loathe to commit the sort of money they would want on somebody who is promising but not yet a fully fledged player.

"They (Fulham) are sitting there wondering what they can get, they are not making it easy. We are just going round and round in circles to be quite honest. I have got one or two other irons in the fire, and it may be that we will pursue them."

Cornwall arrived on loan at Blundell Park in March, and made a huge contribution to Town's remarkable run-in to avoid relegation at the tail end of last season. The Londoner scored two out of the three goals in a famous second half comeback which saw the Mariners come from behind and record a 3-1 win over Tranmere Rovers at Blundell Park. A week later Cornwall repeated his heroics and scored the only goal in a memorable victory against West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns.

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