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Preview: Grimsby v Torquay

By: Kevin Dolan
Date: 21/12/2006

AFTER last week's defeat, Grimsby Town look to return to winning ways as they host struggling Torquay in the first of four games in eleven days.

Home > 2006-2007 Season > Previews > Torquay (h)


The Opposition

Overview
After automatic promotion from League 2 in 2004, Torquay have had a miserable few seasons. Their stay in League 1 lasted only one season when they were narrowly relegated on the last day of the season and since then the club has struggled at the foot of League 2. Last season they look doomed when they were 6 points from safety with only 5 games left to play; but an incredible turnaround, including four straight wins and a season-saving victory at Champions Carlisle, saw them preserve league status.

The club went through three managers last season. Leroy Rosenior had overseen the promotion and relegation, but a poor first half of last season left the club in the relegation zone and Rosenior left by mutual consent in January. John Cornforth then took over as caretaker manager, but did little to stem the flow and with 6 games to go Ian Atkins was desperately appointed as manager; a move the paid massive dividends as he helped pull off the great escape. After starting this season well, Atkins couldn't continue the rich vein of form and, after a boardroom takeover this autumn, was recently replaced by ex-Czech Republic striker Lubos Kubik. Atkins then declined the position as Director of Football and left the club whilst Kubik has made a reasonable start, losing only one of his first five competitive matches.

The Team
Torquay currently lie in 23rd place in League 2, 6 points behind Town. The Gulls made a reasonable start to the season and were in the play off places in mid-September, but since then there has been a dramatic downturn and the club has failed to win any of the last 13 league games; including a 7 game run without scoring. The Gulls problems are mainly in their home form where they have only won two games this season and scored a paltry 6 goals; their away form is slightly better than Town's. Despite the poor run, they have progressed to the FA Cup third round after an impressive win at Leyton Orient.

Lee Thorpe (left), who had a loan spell at Town in 2004, joined The Gulls in February on loan from Swansea, made the deal permanent in the summer and has three goals so far this season. Jordan Robertson has joined on loan from Sheffield United and already has 4 goals under his belt whilst midfielder Lee Mansell was Oxford's player of the year last season and joined after their relegation. Their two ever presents so far this season are keeper Nathan Abbey and defender Lee Andrews.

Key Player
Jamie Ward was released by Aston Villa in the summer and, after spending a loan spell at Stockport last season, decided to join Torquay. Ward is the club's top scorer with 8 and has quickly become the club's main asset; he is tipped to be a departure in the January transfer window.

Recent Form

TownTorquay
LLincoln(a)0-2
WShrewsbury(h)2-1
WBarnet(a)1-0
WAccrington(h)2-0
LNorthampton(h)0-2 (FAC)
Currently 16th in League Two.
LBoston(a)0-1
WOrient(h)2-1 (FAC)
DHereford(a)1-1
DWrexham(h)1-1
DOrient(a)1-1 (FAC)
Currently 23rd in League Two.

Top Scorers

TownTorquay
Peter Bore5
Gary Jones5
Ward8
Robertson4

Team News

TownTorquay

  • Nick Fenton returns after serving a one-match ban.

  • Gary Jones serves the first of a four-match ban after his sending off at Lincoln.

  • John McDermott and Paul Bolland are both still doubtful with calf and foot injuries respectively.
  • Torquay have a full squad to choose from including Kevin Hill (virus) and Craig Taylor (back and thigh injury) who are both now fit for selection.
  • Probable Teams

    TownTorquay
    1Phil Barnes
    20Gary Croft
    5Nick Fenton
    6Justin Whittle
    3Tom Newey
    17Peter Till
    12Ricky Ravenhill
    11Anthony Pulis
    23Nick Hegarty
    12Isaiah Rankin
    14Martin Paterson
    1Nathan Abbey
    2Lee Andrews
    18Steve Woods
    6Matt Villis
    3Steve Reed
    21Adam Murray
    10Lee Mansell
    17Stevland Angus
    7Jamie Ward
    9Lee Thorpe
    15Jordan Robertson

    Subs

    TownTorquay
    13Robert Murray
    4Gary Harkins
    16Danny Boshell
    22Danny North
    9Michael Reddy
    20Martin Horsell
    4Matt Hockley
    11Kevin Hill
    5Craig Taylor
    19Chris McPhee

    Head to Head

    The Mariners have a good record against Torquay, especially at Blundell Park, where the visitors have only ever won once.

    P 18 W 8 D 5 L 5 F 30 A 22

    Torquay Head-to-Head (15th on The Opposition Ladder)

    Last Meeting

    The last time Town host Torquay was at the beginning of last season when two Michael Reddy goals helped steer Town to the top of League 2 and the visitors to the bottom.

    Grimsby3 - 0Torquay
    Jones 43
    Reddy 66, 77
      

    Grimsby Team: Mildenhall, McDermott, Whittle, Jones, Croft (Newey, 88), Cohen, Bolland, Kalala, Barwick (Toner, 67), Reddy, Jones (Gritton, 67)
    Subs: (not used) Crane, Ramsden

    Torquay Team: Marriott, Flynn (Hewlett, 72), Woods, Sharp, Hill, Sow (Priso, 67), Garner, Hockley, Kuffour (Taylor, 83), Constantine, Connell
    Subs (not used): Hancox, Coleman

    Attendance: 4,026   Report

    Prediction

    Town 2-0 Torquay

    Reader's POMs

    Directions

    Click on the link for directions to Blundell Park (left).

    Admission Prices

    Click on the link for ticket prices to Blundell Park.

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