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Darlington Team News

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 17/03/2005

TOWN return to Blundell Park after three consecutive away games, hoping to keep their faint play-off hopes alive with three points against sixth place Darlington. It will be the first game since the decision to re-appoint Russell Slade was made this week.

Home > 2004-2005 Season > Previews > Darlington (h)

Grimsby's chances are boosted by the news that Michael Reddy and Jason Crowe, who went off injured in the defeat against Rochdale three weeks ago, are now both back in contention, although Crowe's comeback could be put on hold until next weekend.

Russell Slade told the Grimsby Telegraph: "Crowey is in with a chance but it's touch and go. He hasn't done a great deal of training but is a lot better. The decision is whether to bring him back in for Saturday, or leave it another week with two games in four days over Easter."

However, the Town boss is hoping that central defender Justin Whittle will be fit in time to face the Quakers. The former Tiger has missed training this week, and will face a late fitness test prior to the game.

"Whits has missed training but we are hoping he is okay for Saturday," said Slade. "It's just a strain rather than a pull so it's not as bad as it could be. We'll wait and see what Dave Moore (physio) thinks before we make a final decision."

With Simon Ramsden facing a long lay-off, Slade will be hoping that Whittle will keep fit over the busy Easter period.

Up front Slade will have to choose between Gritton, Reddy and two-goal Brentford loanee Matt Harrold, who has scored in both of his two starts for the Mariners. The chances are that Reddy will have to settle for a place on the bench, unless Slade opts to play all three.

For Darlington, forward Clyde Wijnhard starts a three match ban for his dismissal in the victory over Yeovil last weekend, and midfielder Bobby Petta is out with an injured hamstring. Either veteran striker Craig Hignett or former Sunderland forward Craig Russell are expected to slot in in Wijnhard's place alongside Alun Armstrong.

Town: 1. Williams, 2. McDermott, 6. Whittle, 28. Forbes, 16. Bull, 15. Fleming, 17. Pinault, 11. Coldicott, 10. Parkinson, 26. Gritton, 19. Harrold
Subs: 9. Reddy, 18. Jones, 25. Downey, 12. Hockless, 8. Crowe.

Darlo: 23. Sam Russell, 15. McGurk, 27. Close, 5. Clarke, 2. Valentine, 11. Convery, 33. Appleby, 31. Dickman, 7. Wainwright, 19. Armstrong, 14. Craig Russell
Subs 26. Fleming, 21. Hignett, 28. Webster, TBA. Logan, 16. Kendrick

Fishy Prediction: 2-0 to the Mariners!

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