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Plymouth Preview

By: Richard Hubbert
Date: 08/01/2004

FOLLOWING last weekend's humiliating defeat to bottom side Wycombe, the whole of the Town side are under immense pressure to perform this weekend against top of the table Plymouth.

Home > 2003-2004 Season > Previews > Plymouth (h)

Needless to say that this is a huge game for all the Town players to prove that they are behind manager Paul Groves and are committed to the Mariners. Another bad performance would see Groves under yet more pressure and heading for the chop. But to overcome this, Town face the best side in the division in the form of Plymouth who are in fine form this season under the stewardship of Paul Sturrock. Last weekend they won 7-0 at home to Chesterfield, with five coming in the first twenty minutes.

The Opposition

Paul Sturrock (left) took charge of the Pilgrims in October 2000 and has turned out to be an inspirational appointment. In his first full season as manager, he guided Plymouth to the Third Division championship in the 2001/02 season and their first year season back in Division two, they finished eight. Assembling a squad of youth and experience from around the lower leagues, Sturrock looks like he could be in for another promotion this season, with the Pilgrims four points clear at the top of the division.

The Team
Inspirational for Plymouth over the past few seasons, and no different in this has been midfielder David Frio. The creative, free scoring midfielder has netted 12 times this season, including a hat trick last week. The much travelled striker Nathan Lowndes (left) now seems to have settled on the South Coast, after spells with Rotherham, Watford, St Johnston and Livingston. He currently finds himself in the starting lineup and after scoring just twice all last season, has already scored five this. Former Livingstone captain Graham Couglan is their defensive rock who was signed by Sturrock in the summer of 2001. Strong in the air and confident on the deck, "Cocko" has been a regular at the back once again this season, and has clocked up over 100 appearances in total for the Pilgrims.

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Team News



  • Town will be expecting that Darren Barnard will be back in the fold this weekend after recovering from illness that kept him out of last weeks game with Wycombe.

  • Tony Crane joins Jason Crowe in the stands after starting a three match suspension for his Boxing Day dismissal and for collecting 10 yellow cards this season. Paul Groves and Simon Ford are in contention to replace the former Sheffield Wednesday defender, with Ford likelier to be given the nod.

  • Midfielder Stuart Campbell could miss out through injury which means that Marcel Cas will replace him in midfield, with John McDermott reverting to right back and Barnard moving back into the back four.

  • Up front, we could see a change with Michael Boulding, involved in speculation this week about a move to Gillingham, a serious doubt to start. This means that Darren Mansaram receives a rare start.
  • Manager Paul Sturrock is once more likely to keep faith with the side that destroyed Chesterfield last week at Home Park. This means that Marino Keith, David Norris and Paul Wotton will once again sit on the bench despite recently returning to the squad.

  • Elswhere, the Pilgrims have no new injury worries.
  • Probable Starting XI's


    Aidan Davison
    John McDermott
    Darren Barnard
    Simon Ford
    Mike Edwards
    Marcel Cas
    Phil Jevons
    Alan Pouton
    Des Hamilton
    Darren Mansaram
    Iffy Onoura
    Luke McCormick
    Paul Connolly
    Graham Coughlan
    Hansey Aljofree
    Paul Gilbert
    Martin Phillips
    Lee Hodges
    David Frio
    Tony Capaldi
    Micky Evans
    Nathan Lowndes



    Paul Groves
    Iain Anderson
    Greg Young
    Graham Hockless
    Jonny Rowan
    Marino Keith
    David Norris
    Paul Wotton
    Iain Stonebridge
    Blair Sturrock


    Town legend Pat Glover (left) played for Plymouth after his 11 year tenure with the Mariner from 1928 to 1939. He moved to Plymouth and retired in World War Two. He stayed in the Devon area and owned a pub for a while before his death in 1971. Broke records at Blundell Park, being perhaps the most successful player ever to play for Town. He once scored 42 goals in one season and is still Towns most capped player, with 7 caps for Wales when he played for the Mariners.

    Wayne Burnett played over 60 games for Plymouth between 1993 and 1995, when he moved to Blackburn Rovers for a £100,000 fee. His heroics for the Mariners came in the 1997/98 season when his Golden Goal in the Autowindscreens Shield Final at Wembley, gave Town victory. Was released in 2002 after the ITV Digital fiasco, and played three times for Woking after that, as well as being an extra in Sky One’s "Dream Team"

    Last Time Out

    It was the opening day of this season when the two sides last met in a 2-2 draw at Home Park in the August sunshine. Town were 1-0 ahead thanks to Mick Boulding goal, but fell 2-1 behind after strikes from Marino Keith and defender Graham Coughlan. Town grabbed a draw after a spectacular Iain Anderson goal.

    Town Team: Davison, Crowe, Ford, Crane, Barnard, Cas, Campbell, Hamilton (Groves, 81), Anderson, Ten Heuvel (Mansaram, 58), Boulding (Rowan, 87)
    Subs: (not used) Pettinger, Edwards Goals: Boulding (28), Anderson (64)

    Plymouth Team: Larrieu, Worrell, Wotton, Coughlan, Hodges, Norris (Adams, 78), Bent, Friio, Capaldi, Keith (Lowndes, 82), Stonebridge (Evans, 70)
    Subs: (not used) Aljofree, Beresford
    Goals: Keith (32), Coughlan (51)

    Attendance: 9,590    Report

    Plymouth Head-to-Head (51st on The Opposition Ladder).


    Fishy prediction: 1-1 Draw Reader's POMs


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