MUCH improved performances in the past two games for the Mariners have given Town fans hope of avoiding the drop this season. Now Grimsby have ended their win-less run at home, they need to repeat the same feat on their travels.
Town enter their game with Colchester United on Saturday in the midst on an injury crisis, whilst the Uâ€™s have had a bad week themselves having being dumped out of the FA Cup fifth round by Sheffield United and missing out on a place in the LDV Vans final after failing to beat Southend.
Former Reading legend Phil Parkinson (left), who notched up 452 appearances whilst playing for the Royals, took the over the reigns at Layer Road in February 2003 from Steve Whitton. The 36 year old led Colchester to safety last season, and this year targeted the play offs as a realistic aim for the club. Despite good form in and around Christmas, the Uâ€™s have slipped away from the promotion frame in recent games and despite hovering in 16th place, are only nine points away from sixth place Wrexham.
A player who immediately stands out on the Uâ€™s squad list is former Chelsea and Bradford defender Andy Myers (left) who signed for the club in the summer. Myers can play either at left full back or in the centre of the defence. Former Ipswich defender Wayne Brown signed for Colchester this week on a months loan from Watford after falling out of favour at Vicaridge Road this season. The 26 year old has been drafted in to replace soon to depart defender Scott Fitzgerald. Providing the attacking prowess for Colchester is speedy former Oldham forward Wayne Andrews, on loan Portsmouth striker Rowan Vine, who scored a hat trick against Coventry in the FA Cup and ex Barnet forward Scott Mcgleish.
Town have major injury worries over key members of their squad for the game at Layer Road.
Only recently returned midfielder Stacy Coldicott looks set to miss out after playing an hour of football in the last week. Des Hamilton will replace him.
Jason Crowe limped off near the end of Tuesday's game with Britstol City with a sore hamstring. Young defenders Iain Ward and Wes Parker stand by, but Crowe will probably play.
Darren Barnard is almost certain to miss out with an ankle injury, which means that Greg Young will continue to deputise. Simon Ford has a dead leg but will recover in time to play.
Iain Anderson picked up a knock in the week from a heavy challenge, he has an eight inch stud mark down his calf which has made training difficult for the Scotsman. Phil Jevons waits in the wings if he fails to make it.
On loan striker Lee Thorpe is still out through injury, Mike Edwards starts his 3 game suspension and ex manager Paul Groves continues to be omitted.
By comparison, Colchester have few injury worries. Andy Myers is out at the moment, meaning that they have a void to fill at left back. Club Captain Karl Duguid will probably be given the nod with Joe Keith staying on the left side of midfield, and Craig Fagan on the right.
In defence we could see a start for new signing Wayne Brown in place of Liam Chilvers, who was taken off in the midweek game with Southend. With a heavy fixture list at the moment, the Uâ€™s may also rest one of two other players in a bid to freshen things up.
Probable Starting XI's
The Mariner beat Colchester 2-0 in October at Blundell Park thanks to Iffy Onoura and Michael Bouldingâ€™s goals. This game, coupled with Towns success over Notts County, saw them put two wins together for the first and only time this season. Sadly for the Mariners, between then and now, there have only been three more wins for Town.
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