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Sunday's Division One Round-Up: Week 8
By: Richard Lord
AFTER suffering three defeats out of their last four matches, Grimsby Town currently stand in 12th position with 15 points from 11 games.
The Mariners have now only collected two points out of a possible 15, resulting in a big slip down from the top spot they occupied on September 1. Report|
Bradford 3-2 Grimsby
Crewe 0-0 Birmingham
Crystal Palace 4-1 Sheff Wed
Gillingham 1-2 Coventry
Man City 0-4 Wimbledon
Notts Forest 2-1 Stockport
Rotherham 0-3 Wolves
Sheff Utd 2-1 Norwich
Walsall 0-0 Millwall
West Brom 1-0 Burnley
Burnley have at last been knocked off the top after their three-week stay there. Wolves were the team to take over in poll-position after their fine victory at Rotherham. Burnley were defeated at rapidly improving West Brom, and the Baggies move up into third spot. Norwich slip to fourth after a defeat to Sheff Utd. That was only the Blades second league victory all season, which lifts them up to 17th place.
Crystal Palace have sneaked up to fifth after winning four on the trot - that run began with the 5-0 win over Grimsby. Man City bizarrely continue to show inconsistency. After their 6-2 victory last weekend at Sheff Wed, they lost 4-0 at home to Wimbledon. The Dons are now just two points behind City but have played a game more. Portsmouth's impressive 4-1 win at Barnsley on Friday night sees them sit seventh in the table, with Bradford and Coventry just behind them. Nottm Forest avoided the banana-skin by beating Stockport at home 2-1, and they move to 11th. Millwall were involved in a stalemate at Walsall, the two sides had met each other last season in Division 2.
Birmingham disappointingly couldn't muster a goal against Crewe at Gresty Road which now leaves the Blues nowhere in mid-table. Rotherham remain at the bottom without a win, with Walsall and Stockport above them with just one win to their credit all season. Sheff Wed and Watford remain the surprise packages down in the bottom six.
Table-topping Wolves' summer signing Shaun Newton (left) from Charlton is proving to be a worth-while investment. The midfielder was at the heart of the game yesterday at Rotherham and will certainly be a threat to many defences this season with his pace and vision.
Guy Branston (right) of Rotherham is proving to be a rock in defence once more for the Millers. He has had an outstanding past two seasons at the club and has managed to chip in with a few goals along the way proving to be a goalscoring centre-back.
Finally, Crewe's very reliable keeper Ademola Bankole was the star of the show in their 0-0 encounter with Birmingham. The Nigerian, who spent a while on trial at Blundell Park nearly three years ago, made plenty of good stops to keep the sleeping giants at bay.
Despite neither scoring for their club yesterday, the deadly duo of Paulo Wanchope (left) and Shaun Goater are top of the goalscoring charts this weekend with 12 goals to their credit in all competitions. The two strikers have helped City score a total of 27 goals in just 10 league games so far this season.
Crystal Palace's Douggie Freedman (right) scored a brace at home against Sheff Wed to take his tally up to 10 in all competitions. The well-travelled front man has scored wherever he has played and continues to show a deadly touch in front of goal.
Scott Dobie is turning in to be an excellent buy from Carlisle during the summer for West Brom. The Baggie hit-man has now bagged a total of nine goals and is their leading scorer. The departure of Lee Hughes left a big gap to fill, but the youngster looks an extremely useful replacement, and he also scored the winner against Burnley.
Clinton Morrison, another of Palace's front players has now collected nine goals also this season. The powerful striker scored two alongside Freedman in their 4-1 win over Wednesday.
Finally Gillingham's Marlon King (left) has bagged eight goals this season, his last being the one gifted to him by Grimsby captain Paul Groves on Tuesday night. He is out to impress in an attempt to make a return to the Republic of Ireland international squad and his goals so far this campaign are doing his efforts no harm at all.
Town's Next Opponents
Rotherham are currently bottom of the table and are without a win all season. They got off to a very good start on the opening day and found themselves 2-0 up against Palace. They went on to lose 3-2 and also lost their next match 3-2 at Watford. Draws against rivals Sheff Utd and Barnsley followed, giving Millers supporters some encouragement, but defeats to Nottm Forest, Burnley, Gillingham and more recently Wolves, the Yorkshire side find themselves in deep trouble at the bottom.
Despite their lowly position they do have some talented players, one of them being goal-machine Mark Robins. The former Man Utd, Norwich and Leicester striker has been knocking in the goals this season but unfortunately for his side there has been little other contribution from other players. Their away record is poor, with just one point from 15 taken and just four goals have been scored against the 11 they have conceded. Grimsby's home form has been disappointing of late, but the Mariners have picked up eight points from 15, scoring five but conceding only four. However, they have failed to win at home since their 1-0 success over Barnsley on September 1, which sent Grimsby top of the pile for 24 hours.
Path for Grimsby
After their encounter with Rotherham next Friday, the Mariners then travel to Liverpool in the Worthington Cup third round. On the following Saturday they travel to Sheff Utd and then a week later Grimsby are back at home to face Watford. In midweek they travel to Man City but then return to Blundell Park for another Friday night game, this time against Birmingham. Full Fixture List.
Because of the World Cup Qualifiers played next weekend, there will be very little Division One action:
Burnley - Watford (Fri)
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