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Cheltenham Preview

By: Richard Lord
Date: 13/10/2005

IT'S another Friday night game for the Mariners and they'll be hoping to regain the top spot from Wycombe when they face Cheltenham Town at Whaddon Road.

Home > 2005-2006 Season > Previews > Cheltenham (a)

The Robins have begun the season well, only losing three of their 13 league matches so far. They registered an impressive 5-0 win over Brentford in the first round of the League Cup and they will be no pushovers. Grimsby will be looking to get their promotion push back on track, after recording one win in their last four outings.

The Opposition

Manager John Ward (left) has done a good job in stabilising Cheltenham, and after a mid-table finish last season they'll be hoping for a play-off spot this time around. Their start has indicated that they can achieve just that, and with away wins at Northampton and Lincoln they have demonstrated that they can match anyone in this league. They spent time in League One (or Division Two as it was known in 2002/3) but they look well equipped in this division to push for promotion.

Their Squad
The Robins have a good keeper in Shane Higgs - the Oxford-born shot-stopper has made over 100 appearances for the Reds. Another long servant is defender Jamie Victory (left) - the left-back has made more than 250 appearances and has been with the side since their days in the Conference. Former Lincoln City midfielder John Finnigan is another player to have made more than 100 appearances for the Whaddon Road outfit, and he is accompanied in midfield by Grant Mccann - a player who trialled with Town in the summer of 2003. Former Town loanee Craig Armstrong signed for the club in July and could line up against the Mariners.

Key Player
Kayode Odejayi (left). Despite being a bit-part player over the past couple of years for Cheltenham, striker Kayode Odejayi has hit form this season and has knocked in five goals this term. The former Forest Green Rovers man is the Robins' top scorer and will have the physical presence to upset Rob Jones and Justin Whittle on Friday night. His brace at Northampton helped John Ward's side to a 2-1 win and he also scored the winner at Lincoln last week.

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WNotts Co(h)4-0
WSpurs (LC)(h)1-0
Currently 2nd in League Two.
LSunderland (LC)(a)0-1
Currently 7th in League Two.

Top Scorers


Gary Jones3
Rob Jones3

Team News



  • The Mariners will be boosted by the return of Jean Paul Kamudimba Kalala. He and Paul Bolland look set to be reunited in midfield, with Ciaran Toner making way.

  • Despite limping out of last week's game against Wycombe, John McDermott should make the starting eleven.

  • Slade has the option of drafting Martin Gritton back alongside Michael Reddy up front, but much depends on the fitness of Gary Jones.

  • Gary Croft has been told to rest so Tom Newey will retain his place in the side at left back.
  • The Robins have two long-term injuries, those of John Finnigan and Ashley Vincent.

  • New signing Gary Bradshaw, who has played for Hull City and Scarborough, has been working hard on his fitness, but it looks unlikely that he'll feature on Friday night,
  • Probable Teams


    1Steve Mildenhall
    2John McDermott
    3Tom Newey
    6Justin Whittle
    4Rob Jones
    28Simon Francis
    7JPK Kalala
    8Paul Bolland
    11Andy Parkinson
    10Martin Gritton
    9Michael Reddy
    1Shane Higgs
    7Brian Wilson
    19Craig Armstrong
    4Shane Duff
    5Gavin Caines
    11Grant McCann
    14David Bird
    16Adam Connolly
    22John Melligan
    17Kayode Odejayi
    10Damian Spencer



    4Simon Ramsden
    5Tony Crane
    14Terry Barwick
    15Gary Cohen
    19Gary Jones
    3Jamie Victory
    9Stephen Guinan
    12Scott Brown
    23Aaron Brown
    20Andy Gallinagh

    Head to Head

    Having never met until last season, we can only look at last season's meetings to draw statistics. Therefore it's true to say that the Mariners have never lost to the Robins and they have a 100% record at Whaddon Road!

    P 2 W 1 D 1 L 0 F 4 A 3

    Cheltenham Head-to-Head (not on The Opposition Ladder)


  • The only real connection between the Mariners and the Robins is utility man Craig Armstrong. The former Huddersfield defender spent the last couple of months of season 2002/03 on loan at Blundell Park and scored one of the goals in that 6-1 win over Barnsley. After an unhappy time at Sheffield Wednesday he signed for Cheltenham this summer following the completion of last season at Bradford.

  • Last Meeting

    It was a Friday night game at Cheltenham in January and the Mariners came out 3-2 winners. After taking the lead through a 40-yard Terry Fleming effort (one of his two goals for the club) the Robins equalised before Michael Reddy restored Town's lead after half time. Once again the home side drew level but with five minutes to go Reddy scored a classy winner.

    Grimsby Team: Williams, McDermott, Robert Jones, Forbes, Ramsden, Fleming, Coldicott, Pinault, Parkinson, Reddy, Gritton
    Subs (not used): Young,Crane,Hockless,Downey,North

    Cheltenham Team: Higgs, Gill (Spencer, 69), Caines, Duff, Victory, Wilson, Bird, Melligan, Devaney, Guinan (Odejayi, 75), Gillespie Subs: (not used) Scott Brown,Fyfe,Ward

    Attendance: 3,327    Report


    Town are undefeated on the road and Cheltenham have lost two at home this campaign, although the Robins have won three of their last four matches. Town have struggled to score without Kalala so his return is a timely boost for Russell Slade. John Ward's men know their way to goal just as much as Town, so I'm going for a 1-1 draw.


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    Click on the link for directions to Whaddon Road (left).

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