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Lincoln Preview

By: Richard Hubbert
Date: 11/05/2006

THE lottery of the play-offs now remains Town’s only route to League One. The Mariners travel to Lincoln City for the first leg of their semi-final on Saturday, hoping to avenge for that 5-0 defeat in March.

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

The Opposition

The Imps are in the play offs for the fourth season in a row, hoping that they will finally earn promotion through them. They secured seventh spot last weekend with a draw at home to Rochdale. Yet at just months ago, the play offs seemed but a distant dream. In early January, the Imps were in 16th place in League Two, level on points with now relegated Oxford United. Yet a tremendous run of form in January and February put them back in play off picture. Manager Keith Alexander will be hoping to finally secure promotion. Last season they lost in Cardiff to Southend, the year before that they lost to eventual winners Huddersfield Town, while in 2003 they were defeated in Wales again, this time by Bournemouth. Consequently, whoever beats the Imps always seems to go on and win the play offs - therefore if Town do manage to beat them, the omens are good!

Their Squad
A star performer at the back for the Imps this season has been giant defender Jamie McCombe. The former Scunthorpe United centre half has formed a strong platform at the back, in a defensive trio with captain Paul Morgan and Northern Ireland international Gareth McAuley. They can also chip in with a goal or two - McCombe has four this season, McAuley has five. In midfield, Jeff Hughes has recently returned to action down the left flank. The Northern Irish player has earned rave reviews this season, providing stiff competition for Paul Mayo. In attack, Jamie Forrester has netted five goals in nine starts since his move from Bristol Rovers, while Simon Yeo (left) returned from injury as a substitute last week and could feature. Yeo has scored five goals since his return to England in January.

Key Player
Marvin Robinson. A former trialist for Town, Robinson caused major problems for the Town backline in the game a few months ago. Scorer of 10 goals this term, he is an awkward striker who is capable of having either a blinder or a stinker. Rob Jones and Justin Whittle we want to make sure he wins nothing in the air, in order to nullify one of the Imps main threats.

Recent Form

Finished 4th in League Two.
Finished 7th in League Two.

Top Scorers

Gary Jones15
Michael Reddy14

Team News


  • The Mariners have been boosted by the news that there is no lasting damage to Michael Reddy’s groin injury. The 14 goal striker has been struggling to finish 90 minutes in the last month because of this injury. He was on the bench last weekend, though could be set for a recall to the starting eleven for the Sincil Bank clash.

  • Alternatively, Russell Slade may opt to play a 4-5-1 formation, with Gary Jones the lone man up front. One man who will hope to be included will be JP Kalala who looked impressive after coming on as a substitute last week.

  • Ciaran Toner and Tom Newey returned to training on Thursday. Gary Croft will hope to train on Friday, but is rated only 50/50 to make it. If neither Croft or Newey are deemed fit to start though, then Curtis Woodhouse will continue at left back, giving Kalala a chance again in midfield.

  • John McDermott and Rob Jones both came out of the Northampton game unscathed after recent knocks, so will continue in the Mariners' defence.
  • After returning as a substitute last week following a knee ligament injury, Simon Yeo will be pushing for a return to Keith Alexander’s starting eleven. However, with the good form of Jamie Forrester and fellow strikers Marvin Robinson and Francis Green, he may have to settle for a place on the bench.

  • Defender Jeff Hughes played for the Northern Ireland under 21s against Liechtenstein on Thursday night, but came out of the game unscathed and will continue down the left flank for the Imps.
  • Probable Teams

    1Steve Mildenhall
    2John McDermott
    20Gary Croft
    12Rob Jones
    6Justin Whittle
    15Gary Cohen
    32Curtis Woodhouse
    8Paul Bolland
    7JPK Kalala
    10Marc Goodfellow
    19Gary Jones
    1Alan Marriott
    2Lee Beevers
    4Gareth McAuley
    5Paul Morgan
    6Jamie McCombe
    24Jeff Hughes
    11Scott Kerr
    23Nat Brown
    22Jamie Forrester
    9Francis Green
    26Marvin Robinson


    9Michael Reddy
    4Ben Futcher
    11Andy Parkinson
    17Tom Newey
    31Junior Mendes
    8Gary Birch
    29Simon Yeo
    3 Paul Mayo
    17Colin Cryan
    19Lee Frecklington

    Head to Head

    Town have a decent overall record against the Imps - yet they are winless at Sincil Bank since 1958. Saturday’s meeting will be the 98th ever competitive meeting between the two sides. In fact, Town have only met Barnsley on more occasions than the Imps - whom they have played on a whopping 116 occasions.

    P 97 W 43 D 25 L 29 F 188 A 143

    Lincoln Head-to-Head (17th on The Opposition Ladder)

    Last Meeting

    Town fans need no reminding of the last time the two sides met - neither do Imps fans! Four first half goals from Luke Foster, Jamie Forrester, Marvin Robinson and Paul Mayo saw the appearance of the infamous flipchart on the pitch at half time. A goal on 83 minutes from Lee Beevers was enough to condemn Town to a 5-0 defeat.

    Grimsby Team: Mildenhall ,Croft (Goodfellow,84) ,Whittle (Robert Jones, 45) ,Futcher ,Newey ,Woodhouse ,Toner (Kamudimba, 45) ,Bolland ,Cohen ,Reddy ,Gary Jones
    Subs (not used): Parkinson, Mendes,

    Lincoln Team: Marriott ,Cryan ,McCombe ,Brown ,Mayo ,Beevers ,Foster ,Kerr (Frecklington 84 ) ,Green ,Forrester (Gritton, 78), Marvin Robinson (Birch, 71)
    Subs: (not used) Stirling, Steve Robinson,

    Attendance: 7,182   Report



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