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Walsall Preview

By: Richard Hubbert
Date: 07/03/2002

ALL of Town's games recently have been "cup finals" but with relegation rivals Walsall visiting Blundell Park on Saturday, this is perhaps the biggest cup final of them all.

Home > 2001-2002 Season > Previews > Walsall (h)

The Bottom Line

Things are hotting up in the division one basement battle. Just as it seemed that Town were dead and buried just six games ago, an amazing change around in form has seen them within touching distance of safety. However, a resurgent Walsall side under Colin Lee will want victory just as much as Town, and they will not be easy to beat, despite their precarious league position.

If Town loose this match, some would argue that all Town's hopes of avoiding the drop would be over. But a win would see them climb out of the relegation zone and see Walsall move five points behind the Mariners. Another committed team performance and noisy crowd is needed to make it four wins out of four at Blundell Park.

Recent Form


WSheff Utd(h)1-0
DMan City(h)0-0

Overall League Record






Michael Boulding

Lightening quick striker who has been in fine form these past two games, scoring in each. Signed by Lennie Lawrence on a free transfer from Mansfield in September, "Quick Mick" has endured himself to the Town fans with some great performances. His partnership with the experienced Bradley Allen will be a key factor in the Mariners fight against relegation.


Brazilian striker who arrived at the club along with team mate Martin O’Connor from Birmingham. A tall and skillful striker, Marcelo started his career in England with Sheffield United when he scored 19 goals in one season before he moved to Birmingham for £500,000 a few years ago. He struggled to hold down a first team place at StAndrews and he has now moved to the Bescot Stadium to get some first team football under his belt. Scored his first goal for the club against Burnley on Tuesday night.

Vital Statistics



Biggest home win: 5-2 (Crystal Palace)

Biggest away win: 1-0 (West Brom, Coventry)

Heaviest home defeat: 0-3 (Watford)

Heaviest away defeat: 0-5 (Crystal Palace)

Top goalscorer: Phil Jevons (8 goals)

Biggest home win: 4-0 (Grimsby)

Biggest away win: 2-0 (Stockport)

Heaviest home defeat: 0-3 (Wolves, Watford, Sheff Wed)

Heaviest away defeat: 2-5 (Burnley)

Top goalscorer: Jorge Leitao (7 goals)

Town Team News

  • Martin Pringle and Steve Livingstone will not feature for the Mariners again this season. Pringle broke his leg against Stockport a few weeks ago, while "Livvo" has been missing all season with a mysterious calf injury.
  • Meanwhile, Paul Raven is nearing full fitness along with Menno Willems.
  • David Smith could be out for the season with a hamstring injury that he picked up in the loss at Gillingham on Tuesday night, meaning that his future is now in jeopardy. Ironically Smith could have finished his career at Town as he started it - scoring on his debut vs Brentford and his last full game against Crystal Palace last Saturday. Fortunately for Town, Tony Gallimore has returned from suspension and will return to the side. Elsewhere Town will be unchanged. Walsall

  • Walsall Team News

  • The Saddlers are also expected to be unchanged from the team that beat Burnley on Tuesday night, meaning Darren Wrack keeps his place up front with Marcelo.
  • Don Goodman will continue his return to fitness by starting on the substitutes bench.
  • Martin O’Connor missed the win against Burnley, but could possibly return to the squad after a hip injury.
  • Jorge Leitao will miss out again after being rested on Tuesday evening.

  • Expected Line Ups

    Danny Coyne
    John Mcdermott (C)
    Tony Gallimore
    Andy Todd
    Paul Groves
    Stuart Campbell
    Danny Butterfield
    Wayne Burnett
    Alan Pouton
    Bradley Allen
    Michael Boulding
    Jimmy Walker
    Zigor Aranalde
    Frederick Bianacalini
    Ian Roper
    David Holdsworth
    Greg Shields
    Tom Bennett
    Steve Corica
    Fitzroy Simpson
    Darren Wrack
    Substitutes Substitutes
    Stacy Coldicott
    Phil Jevons
    Steve Croudson (GK)
    Jonny Rowan
    Simon Ford
    Don Goodman
    Darren Byfield
    Dean Keates
    Pedro Matias
    Lee Harper (GK)

    Last Time Out

    The last time Town played Walsall was a day to forget for all Mariners fans. A 4-0 win for Walsall, their biggest win to date, plunged Town deeper into relegation trouble, and just over a week later Town sacked their manager, Lennie Lawrence. The win came on the 15th December 2001 in front of just over 5,000 fans. Since then both teams have been stuck in the relegation zone, and both have appointed new managers in Colin Lee and Paul Groves.

    Grimsby: Coyne, Neilsen, Gallimore, Raven, Groves, Coldicott, Willems, Boulding, Butterfield, Jevons, Jeffrey.
    Subs: Burnett, Thompson, Chapman, Smith, Croudson.  Report

    Walsall Head-to-Head (66th on The Opposition Ladder).

    Fishy Prediction

    This is another "must win" game for Town, and if you go by the form book Town will win. However, as we all know football is a funny old game, but despite this Town will still win (I hope!)

    Prediction: 2-0 to Grimsby. Reader's POMs


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