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Rochdale Preview

By: Richard Hubbert
Date: 01/03/2005

SATURDAY’S win over leaders Yeovil saw Town record only their second back to back wins of the season, but can Russell Slade’s men make it three in a row when they travel to Spotland for this midweek clash with Rochdale?

Home > 2004-2005 Season > Previews > Rochdale (a)

The Opposition

Rochdale have had a vastly improved season from last, when they finished 21st in what was then the Third Division. Recent results have been mixed, with a defeat at Macclesfield, a draw with bottom club Kidderminster and a win over Lincoln in their last three fixtures. This means that Steve Parkin’s (left) side are currently stuck on 46 points with the Mariners just below the middle of the League Two table, but like Town, will be hopeful of a last minute push towards the play-offs.

Their Squad
Steve Parkin has built a solid squad at Rochdale, with the likes of the experienced Gareth Griffiths and ex-Town left back Tony Gallimore being a regular part of the Dale defence. Former Barnsley midfielder Leo Bertos is a really tricky customer at this level, whilst Gary Jones is a dependable central midfielder now in his second spell with the club. Fortunately for Town, their top scorer Grant Holt, with 21 goals to his name, will miss the game through injury. This means that the experienced Paul Tait (left) will start in attack along with on loan Lincoln City forward Marcus Richardson, who left Sincil Bank after a training ground incident with team-mate Ciaron Toner.

Key Player
Rickie Lambert. A determined and tough midfielder comfortable all across the midfield. The signing was a real coup on the part of Steve Parkin, following Lambert’s successful spells with Macclesfield and Stockport. He cost Stockport £300,000 back in 2002 and scored 18 goals in 88 starts for the Manchester club, but was sold a few weeks ago by new manager Chris Turner.

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Team News


  • Town captain John McDermott returned to the bench for the weekend game with Yeovil, but is likely to remain there as he has not yet fully recovered from a hamstring injury.

  • Town’s main worry is over striker Martin Gritton who struck his 4th goal for Town at the weekend. The Scottish striker has been struck with illness and will need a late fitness test. If he fails to make it, Graham Hockless is likely to deputise, with Saturday’s match-winner Andy Parkinson moving up front to partner Michael Reddy.
  • Good news for the Mariners is that Rochdale’s top scorer Grant Holt is out with a shin injury. This means that ex-Bristol Rovers marksman Paul Tait will get a chance up front.

  • Former Oldham midfielder Ernie Cooksey was also injured in the weekend clash with Kidderminster, when he was substituted due to a back injury. Alan Goodall is likely to replace him.
  • Probable Teams


    1Anthony Williams
    8Jason Crowe
    4Simon Ramsden
    6Terrell Forbes
    28Justin Whittle
    16Ronnie Bull
    15Terry Fleming
    11Stacy Coldicott
    10Andy Parkinson
    9Michael Reddy
    26Martin Gritton
    13Matthew Gilks
    2Wayne Evans
    16Greg Heald
    5Gareth Griffiths
    3Tony Gallimore
    29Scott Warner
    11Gary Jones
    12Alan Goodall
    17Rickie Lambert
    22Marcus Richardson
    10Paul Tait



    2John McDermott
    5Tony Crane
    17Thomas Pinault
    18Rob Jones
    12Graham Hockless
    7Leo Bertos
    18Jamie Clarke
    23Leighton McGivern
    28Danny Woodhall
    24Kevin Gibbens

    Head to Head

    Town have the superior record to Dale, having beaten the Lancashire side 20 times, to their 10. There have only ever been six draws between the two sides, the last coming in a 1-1 draw in 1973. Town’s last few visits have been fairly successful with victories in the old Division Four under Alan Buckley, and a 5-2 in 1979, when Town were promoted under John Newman. Their last defeat at Spotland was in a 6-1 thumping in 1969. This 1968/69 was, incidentally, the only promotion in Rochdale’s entire history in the football league!

    P 36 W 20 D 6 L 10 F 67 A 46

    Rochdale Head-to-Head (6th on The Opposition Ladder)


  • Former Mariners legend Tony Ford, who made just under 400 appearances for Town, finished his long career with Rochdale. He made his Town debut in 1977, then finished his career some 25 years later in 2002. Ford is now assistant to Steve Parkin at Spotland.

  • Alan Buckley (left) had a brief and unsuccessful spell in charge of Dale last season. He was appointed in the summer of 2003, but by Christmas had left the club, winning just eight of his 28 games in charge. Buckley is regarded by many, although not all, as the greatest ever Town manager after leading us to three promotions including two Wembley visits and importantly, no relegations. Buckley managed West Brom in between his two spells with Town and also managed Lincoln between 2001 and 2002.

  • Mickael Antoine-Curier, now regarded as one of the worst players ever to pull on a Town shirt, had a short spell with Rochdale last season (as well as Town, Notts County, Sheffield Wednesday, Kidderminster and Oldham!). Alan Buckley signed him, and he actually scored - against Lincoln City at Sincil Bank in September 2003. He was then released, and he moved onto Sheffield Wednesday.

  • Kevin Donovan made four appearances for Rochdale last season when he acted as cover for Leo Bertos when he was on international duty. Alan Buckley knew all about Donovan of course, having managed him at Town and WBA. Donovan now plays his trade for York City in the Conference along with Paul Groves

  • Last Meeting

    For a long part of this season, Rochdale were the only team to beat Town at Blundell Park until recent losses to Northampton, Lincoln and Shrewsbury. In a tight game, Rochdale came away with all three points courtesy of a Grant Holt goal 10 minutes before the end.

    Grimsby Team: Williams, Whittle, Ramsden (Coldicott, 77), Gordon, McDermott, Pinault, Fleming, Crowe, Parkinson, Reddy, Sestanovich (Chris Williams, 65)
    Subs: (not used) Young,Bull,Robinson,

    Rochdale Team: Edwards, Evans, Griffiths, Burgess, Gallimore, Cash (Goodall, 81), Bertos, Jones, Brisco, Clarke, Holt (Tait, 87)
    Subs: (not used) Gilks,Probets,McGivern,

    Attendance: 4,795    Report


    Too much to ask for another win perhaps, but a creditable 1-1 draw.


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