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Question of the Week

Will Paul Hurst stay at Grimsby?



Wrexham Preview

By: Richard Hubbert
Date: 05/03/2004

NICKY Law is in charge of the Mariners for the first time this weekend, and after the defeat to Notts County during the week, will be looking for an instant response from his new set of players.

Home > 2003-2004 Season > Previews > Wrexham (a)

It’s been a week of drama at Blundell Park this week. After the thrilling 6-1 demolition of Barnsley last week, this was followed by a 3-1 defeat at Notts County. On Thursday, however, a new era began for Grimsby Town, with the appointment of ex-Bradford and Chesterfield manager Nicky Law. Needless to say, all Mariners fans wish him the very best of luck, and will reserve thanks to assistant Graham Rodger who temporarily halted a sinking ship with three wins from six games under his brief tenure.

The Opposition

Denis Smith. . Smith has a wealth of managerial experience after spells at York City, Sunderland, Bristol City, Oxford (twice) and West Brom, where he succeeded a certain Alan Buckley. Led Sunderland to promotion to what was then the first division and guided them to an F.A Cup Final, whilst having promotion success with both York and Oxford. But after 12 months out of the game, Smith was handed the Wrexham job in 2001, and in his first full season led the Dragons to promotion to the second division, being named as the Third Division Manager of the year for his efforts. Has done a fantastic job with the Welsh side this season, with the Dragons in with a fantastic chance of reaching the play offs.

The Team
In goal, the Dragons can rely upon a wealth of experience from Welshman Andy Dibble who has played for numerous clubs including Rangers, WBA, Sheffield United, Altrincham, Hartlepool, Carlisle, Stockport and many more! No player is more important to Wrexham than the son of the Manchester United manager, Darren Ferguson who has played at the top with Manchester United and Wolves. Ferguson is the club Captain, and from the centre of midfield, has the ability to control games and score the odd goal. One man who terrorised the Grimsby defence when the sides met little over a month ago was Trinidad winger Carlos Edwards (left), whilst in attack, Chris Armstrong, the former Spurs man, is back in full fitness and scored last week for the Racecourse Ground side.

Recent Form


LNotts Co(a)1-3
LBristol City(h)1-2
Currently 17th in Division 2.
LBristol C(a)0-1
Currently 11th in Division 2.

Top Scorers


Boulding13 (now Barnsley)
Sam 7

Team News



  • One man the Mariners will almost certainly be without on Saturday will be loan forward Isiah Rankin who went off injured on Tuesday night with ankle ligament damage, which could see him sidelined for a few weeks.

  • Nicky Law will then have to chose between Darren Mansaram and David Soames with whom to partner Lee Thorpe in attack. Who he will pick, however, depends on what games he has seen and his first impressions of the players.

  • In goal, Andy Pettinger will continue in Aidan Davison’s absence through suspension and injury.

  • Stacy Coldicott will not be risked after picking up a groin injury last weekend.

  • Both Jason Crowe and Iain Anderson could find themselves in the squad after recent injuries, in particular, Crowe who may be recalled at right back.
  • Wrexham have injury worries over the fitness of both Lee Jones and Hector Sam after they both picked up injuries in their midweek reserve game with Macclesfield Town.

  • The biggest worry is over the former Tranmere and Liverpool striker Jones, who has a hamstring injury that will require a late fitness test.

  • Hector Sam has a slightly better chance of making the squad after taking a knock to his calf. Manager Denis Smith will wait on the fitness of both these key players before finally deciding on his lineup.
  • Probable Teams


    Andy Pettinger
    Simon Ford
    Tony Crane
    Craig Armstrong
    Darren Barnard
    Phil Jevons
    Nicky Daws
    Stuart Campbell
    Graham Hockless
    David Soames
    Lee Thorpe
    Andy Dibble
    Brian Carey
    Stephen Roberts
    Shaun Pejic
    Paul Edwards
    Matthew Cromwell
    Carlos Edwards
    Jim Whitley
    Chris Llewellyn
    Chris Armstrong
    Hector Sam



    Darren Mansaram
    Jason Crowe
    Mike Edwards
    Wes Parker
    Des Hamilton
    Lee Jones
    Shaun Holmes
    Craig Morgan
    Steve Thomas
    Paul Whitifield

    Last Time Out

    It was only the end of January when the two sides met at Blundell Park, in a game that turned out to be Paul Groves’ penultimate game in charge of the Mariners. In a truly dire game, Town succumbed to Wrexham in five first half minutes when they went 2-0 down, eventually to lose the game 3-1. Chris Llewellyn, Stephen Thomas and Chris Armstrong scored the goals for the Dragons, with Phil Jevons netting a consolation for Town.

    Town Team: Davison, McDermott, Ford, Edwards, Young, Anderson (Hamilton, 60), Daws, Crowe, Jevons, Onuora (Mansaram, 60), Boulding
    Subs: (not used) Rowan, Groves, Hockless,

    Wrexham Team: Dibble, Lawrence, Roberts, Carey, Carlos Edwards, Whitley, Ferguson, Thomas (Barrett, 86), Paul Edwards (Holmes, 89), Armstrong, Llewellyn
    Subs: (not used) Whitfield, Morgan, Mark Jones

    Attendance: 3,572    Report

    Wrexham Head-to-Head (47th on The Opposition Ladder).


    Fishy prediction: 1-1 draw for the new gaffer. Reader's POMs

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