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Moore of the Same

By: Richard Lord
Date: 28/01/2002

THERE IS something of a similarity between Grimsby Town and their opponents Rotherham United. Two of the smaller clubs in this division share an amazing achievement - both have enjoyed successive promotions from Division Three to Division One, albeit Division 4 to Division 2 in the Mariners spell.

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Ronnie Moore seems to be following suit after Alan Buckley first tasted the sweet success of promotions with Grimsby Town. An ex-Rotherham player himself, it's no wonder Ronnie Moore is regarded so highly in his adopted town.

Before the Millers were given a chance to kick a ball this season the media seemed to have predicted their fate, along with Grimsby, that they were to be relegated at the end of the current campaign. After a predictably poor start to the season, Rotherham have a real chance of maintaining their Division One status, at Grimsby's expense.

Moore has guided the Yorkshire club from Division Three obscurity to the limelight of Division One, battling out the season against the likes of Manchester City, Wolves and Birmingham City, leaving behind the days of trips to Shrewsbury and Scunthorpe.

Much of the same can be said for the visitors on Tuesday night, Grimsby Town. They have enjoyed a much more prolonged tenure in the 'second Premiership', although under several different managers: Buckley, Laws, Swain, Buckley once more, Lawrence and now player-manager Groves.

How Ronnie Moore would love to achieve what Buckley achieved with Grimsby in the early nineties, and he is on the brink of doing so. Tuesday night's match could go a long way to seeing the Millers stay in Division One.

After a slow start to the season, which saw their opening 11 games pass by without a win, it was the game at Blundell Park that saw Rotherham pick up their first three points of the season in October. For the Mariners, it began a worrying downturn in results, which has landed them where they are now at the expense of a managerial casualty. For Rotherham, it did just the opposite by kick-starting their season.

Just three defeats in the next three months pushed Rotherham up the table and away from the relegation zone. However, their 11 match unbeaten run at home ended on Saturday when Crewe beat the Millers 4-2 at Mill Moor in the fourth round of the FA Cup, and only one win in their last six league games has meant Ronnie Moore's men have been dragged back down into the dogfight.

Moore has spent wisely at the beginning and during the course of the season, bringing in a host of experienced campaigners such as Mike Pollitt, Chris Swailes and Nicky Daws. During the season the manager has also splashed out on John Mullin from Burnley for £150,000 and Martin McIntosh for £125,000 after an initial three-month loan, in which he impressed.

Youngsters Rhodri Jones, Chris Sedgwick and Andy Monkhouse are also ones to watch for the future. Rotherham appear to be equipping themselves well in this division with an aim to establish themselves amongst some of the best teams in the country - starting with a win over the Mariners.

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