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Forest Preview

By: Richard Hubbert
Date: 09/03/2003

THE pressure is now off the Mariners in many respects. Travelling to free-scoring Nottingham Forest, with the leakiest defence in the division. Few expect Grimsby to get a result but if Town somehow manage to keep Forest at bay, who knows what might happen…

Home > 2002-2003 Season > Previews > Forest (a)

The Bottom Line

The Mariners need to restore some pride after the last two performances and a result to go with that would be nice.

The Opposition - Any Good?

Forest are having their best season in division one since their relegation from the Premiership in the 1998/99 season. They have an array of young talented players and more experienced ones. The most impressive of the young guns this season have been defender Michael Dawson and powerful forward Marlon Harewood and Scottish midfielder Gareth Williams. Harewood has scored 16 times this season, including four in one match a few weeks ago, and while they are missing division one top scorer David Johnson through injury, they have one of last season's Division One top scorers, Darren Huckerby (left), on loan from Manchester City.

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LSheff Utd(h)1-4

Players To Watch



John Oster

Marlon Harewood

John Oster’s second loan spell with the Mariners has not taken off yet, after scoring 5 goals in 10 games back in November and December. But if Town are to spark a revival this season, they need some class to shine and there is no one with more class in the Town side than Oster.

Although, his strike partner, Darren Huckerby is a lethal forward, Harewood’s pace and power has proved to be a problem for Town in the past and this season he has really shown his true potential. If Town are to contain Forest, it is the likes of Harewood whom they need to keep a close eye on.

Top Scorers



Kabba 6
Campbell 6
Oster 5
Pouton 4

Johnson 24
Harewood 16
Lester 8

Team News



  • The Mariners will give late fitness checks to Michael Boulding and Stacy Coldicott before they name their side. After last weeks succession of poor results, manager Paul Groves may well tinker with his side.

  • Steve Chettle could be recalled in place of Simon Ford while Groves might also bring himself into the lineup to replace Richard Hughes who struggled in last weeks two home games.

  • If Stacy Coldicott does make it, then the best he can perhaps hope for is a place on the bench, but should Michael Boulding be declared fit then he could find himself in the starting eleven at the expense of Steve Livingstone.

  • Similarly, Darren Barnard could be reinstated in the side at either left back or in midfield, where the Mariners have quite clearly lacked balance in recent games.
  • Forest expect to name an unchanged lineup from the one that beat Gillingham on Tuesday night. Des Walker, Matthieu Louis-Jeanand David Johnson all still injured.

  • This means that Eoin Jess will continue in midfield despite recent criticisms from supporters, and Marlon Harewood and Darren Huckerby will play together in attack for the first time at the City Ground.
  • Probable Starting XI's


    Danny Coyne
    John McDermott
    Steve Chettle
    George Santos
    Tony Gallimore
    Stuart Campbell
    Alan Pouton
    Paul Groves
    John Oster
    Michael Boulding
    Darren Mansaram
    Darren Ward
    John Thompson
    Matthew Dawson
    Jim Brennan
    Eoin Jess
    Gareth Williams
    Riccardo Scimeca
    Andy Reid
    Darren Huckerby
    Marlon Harewood



    Simon Ford
    Steve Livingstone
    Richard Hughes
    Darren Barnard
    Sean Allaway (GK)
    Chris Doig
    Barry Roche (GK)
    Eugen Bopp
    Craig Westcarr
    Davy Oyen

    Last Time Out

    The two sides met earlier in the season at Blundell Park when the Mariners fell to a 3-0 defeat through a David Johnson hat-trick. It was a game in which the Mariners were totally outfought and outclassed, a performance they will not want to repeat. To compound Town’s misery they had 10 men for part of the game when Tony Gallimore saw red for a stupid kick at a Forest player in front of the assistant referee.

    Town Team: Coyne, McDermott, Gallimore, Groves, Chettle (Ford), Coldicott (Mansaram), Barnard, Pouton, Campbell, Kabba, Robinson.
    Subs (not used): Rowan, Cooke, Allaway

    Attendance: 7,072    Report

    Forest Head-to-Head (85th on The Opposition Ladder).


    Fishy prediction: Head says 5-1 Forest. My heart says 1-1. Take your pick! Reader's POMs


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