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Sunday's Division One Round-Up: Week 3
By: Richard Lord
THIS WEEK'S Nationwide Division One round-up takes a look at Grimsby's opponents played this season and who they face in the pursuing weeks.
All in all there were 30 goals scored in the division on Saturday, as the top teams begin to separate themselves from the bottom few.
The Mariners opening day opposition Crewe went down 5-2 at Manchester City, despite holding them 2-2 with 10 minutes to go. The Railwaymen fought back well after going behind 2-0, but the Maine Road side went goal crazy near the end of the match with Goater and Wanchope doing the damage. It leaves Crewe still searching for their first league point, but they have broken their scoring duck.
However, West Brom managed to gain their first league point of the season at Sheffield Wednesday in a 1-1 draw. The Baggies, who managed to seal the loan move of Sunderland Daniele Dichio on Friday, scored on his debut to cancel out Greald Sibon's fifth minute strike. After the Â£5m sale of Hughes and injury to Jason Roberts, the former Sampdoria marksman was reigned in for a month.
Grimsby themselves failed to keep up their winning start to the campaign although their 2-2 draw against Preston keeps them fourth in the table. The Mariners' good defensive start to the season was broken after 210 minutes of league football, but Alan Pouton scored from the spot for the second week running to earn a point for Lawrence's side.
Portsmouth ground out their first win of the season away at troubled Stockport by one goal to nil. The Croatian Prosinecki netted a penalty on the hour mark to inflict a third defeat for Andy Kilner's men, as their dreary start to the season continues. Pompey will be entering the game with Grimsby on the back of a victory and Graham Rix will be expecting to gain the full three points on Monday.
Barnsley, who visit Blundell Park on September 1, have started the season indifferently, with two defeats and a win. After their 4-0 trouncing at Bradford on the opening day, their away form didn't improve with another comprehensive defeat, this time 3-0 at the hands of Gillingham. Mariners supporters will be hoping the Tykes keep up this abysmal away form and carry it into the Blundell Park clash next week.
Coventry are beginning to find life in Division One tough with their second defeat of the season on Friday night at Bradford. Sky Blues boss Gordon Strachan is under pressure to deliver success to Highfield Road this campaign and he is not gaining much buoyancy from his team's inability to collect points.
Nottingham Forest were another team to collect their first win this season on Saturday. Palace, who had started well with two wins, went down 4-2 at the City Ground where the Forest front line found their form. Stern John was amongst the goals with Harewood and Prutton contributing.
The Division One league table is starting to take shape after all teams have now played 3 games each. Bradford and Burnley maintain their 100% start to the season, with Gillingham, Grimsby and Wolves all on seven points. Only Sheffield United are the other division's unbeaten team after three draws, and they are now due to face the Mariners in the Worthington Cup.
Coventry, Barnsley and West Brom have failed to get their season's going and languish in the bottom half. Crewe and Stockport are now anxious to gain their first points of the season as they occupy the bottom two places. After leading Palace 2-0 on the first day of the season, Rotherham fans now find their side with just one point from three games and seeking victory in their next game, away at Barnsley.
Bank Holiday Monday
All Division One teams play this Bank Holiday Monday, with Bradford and Burnley looking to extend their winning ways against Palace (away) and Manchester City (home) respectively. Grimsby travel down to the south coast to face Portsmouth where they will be eager to keep their unbeaten run going.
Coventry will be under colossal pressure to beat Nottingham Forest in front of their home fans tomorrow and Gillingham will hunt for a result up at the Hawthorns, West Brom. Crewe and Stockport again embark on their quest to seek out their first points of the season against Millwall (home) and Birmingham (away).
Gianluca Vialli's Watford have so far failed to set the division alight after two defeats and an unconvincing win over Rotherham, although they look to turn the corner with a victory home to Walsall.
As always, well-travelled Neil Shipperly looks likely to feature in the goalscoring charts this season, although he didn't score for Wimbledon yesterday despite playing on familiar turf at Selhurst Park. Palace striker Riihilahti has began the season in very good form with the Finnish striker netting a few goals already this season.
Former Grimsby trialist Ian Moore scored his third goal for Burnley yesterday against Millwall, and Dougie Freedman looks good for another season in double figures after grabbing a brace in his team's 4-2 defeat at Forest. Norwich's recent recruit Frenchman Libbra has made an explosive start to his Canaries career scoring his second goal for his new club at Wimbledon.
Brazilian midfielder Erivelto, who was unearthed by Walsall boss Ray Graydon, looks a immense talent for the future. Graydon, who made around seven shrewd free transfer investments over the summer, looks to have discovered a gem in Erivelto.
Millwall's midfielder Tim Cahill attracted much attention last season after scoring freely from midfield. He'll be one to look out for this season, along with Gillingham's attacking midfielder Marlon King. King continues to score for the Gills, and as Grimsby fans will remember he scored the winner against the Mariners last season at the Priestfield Stadium.
Grimsby's very own talented striker Jonny Rowan scored his first of what will surely be many league goals against Preston yesterday, as he and Phil Jevons continue to strike up an almost telepathic partnership.
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- Sunday's Division One Round-Up: Week 2
- Pushing Their Luck: Preston Report
- Worthington Cup First Stage Round-Up
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