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Town Vs "The Posh"

By: Richard Lord
Date: 07/12/2003

FOLLOWING last week's disappointing 1-0 home defeat to Tranmere, many fans will be expecting some changes to the starting eleven ahead of the FA Cup second round match at London Road, Peterborough.

It was well reported that Dutchman Marcel Cas swung the game at Brentford in the Mariners' favour, and Phil Jevons has been scoring for fun in the reserves.

Darren Mansaram helped Town earn a point at home to Stockport three weeks ago, putting in a determined display as a 70th minute substitute.

And while Paul Groves remains typically coy about his team selection, reading between the lines leads me to suggest that there may be no changes.

The manager has revealed how effective Cas has proved to be when coming on as a late substitute when the game opens up, and he was also keen to point out that the Mariners had played well for 89 of the 90 minutes last Saturday.

While Iffy Onuora and Mick Boulding remain fit for first team selection, they will continue as a strike pair with Jevons and Mansaram on the bench.

Much has been said about the midfield four of late. Des Hamilton's performances have not been at the standard expected by the crowd, while Iain Anderson appears to be struggling with his form.

Defensively, Grimsby look sound. The centre-back pairing of Crane and Edwards provides stability, with McDermott, Barnard and Davison completing an experienced back five.

Town's defensive record in the past ten games has been very good, bar the blip at Rushden & Diamonds. Groves will be keen to stick with that.

We could also expect Onuora and Boulding to be starting at Peterborough as well, and with no serious competition to dislodge Hamilton in the centre, Groves could play the same team.

However, this is the FA Cup, and we have already seen how Groves chose to rest a couple of players in the LDV Trophy at Sheffield Wednesday earlier this season.

But with the chance of increased revenue and potential money spinning ties, Groves will be a fool if he chooses not to play his strongest side.

There is a chance that Cas could be drafted back into the side, with Campbell moving into the middle but Crowe may be the player that gets put on the bench.

Groves looks determined to keep Hamilton in the side, and that reason alone more than any other, suggests that he will be looking to start with the same team that failed to beat Tranmere.

Unless, of course, injuries dictate.

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