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Preview: Grimsby v Rochdale

By: Kevin Dolan
Date: 31/12/2006

ALAN Buckley faces Rochdale for the first time since being sacked three years ago as Grimsby Town attempt to continue their recent good home form.

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


The Opposition

Overview
After a promising two and a half years, Steve Parkin left for the Barnsley job in late 2001 (the club finished 5th that season). Dale then spent a few seasons barely giving anyone a proper chance; John Hollins, Paul Simpson and Alan Buckley were all manager for less than a year. Buckley’s 6-month reign ended in December 2003 when the club decided to reappoint Parkin; but he struggled to match the relative success of his first period.

A year ago things seemed to going so well. Dale began December 2005 in 4th place in League 2 and had the most fearsome partnership in the division with Grant Holt and Rickie Lambert. However, defeat at Blundell Park started a run of one point from a possible 24 and one win in 14 as the club plummeted into the bottom half. Grant Holt was sold in the transfer window and the season fizzled out as Dale finished 14th. Lambert was then sold at the start of this season and an erratic first half of the season saw the club sit next to the relegation zone, culminating in the sacking of Parkin. Youth coach Keith Hill has been given the job as caretaker manager and so far has four points from his two home matches, including the 4-0 win over Boston on Saturday.

The Team
Perennial basement boys Rochdale are likely to spend another season confined to League 2. They currently lie in 20th place in League 2, five points behind Town. They made a very poor start to the season, failing to win any of their first seven matches (until they defeated Town at Spotland), before an unbeaten five match run including a 5-0 win at Darlington pushed them into midtable. Another horrendous run then followed, losing eight of the next nine matches, signalling Parkin’s exit. Their away form is slightly better than Town’s although they have lost their last five away games.

Simon Ramsden left Blundell Park last January and despite usually being first choice, his injury problems have limited his appearances this season. Morike Sako, who scored the winner earlier in the season between the two clubs, has recently left the club after his short term contract was not extended whilst Glenn Murray has signed on loan from Carlisle to bolster the attack and has scored in each of the last two matches. Keeper Matthew Gilks and defender Alan Goodall (left) are the only ever presents so far this season.

Key Player
Signed last January as a replacement for Grant Holt, Chris Dagnall struggled to live up to his predecessor, scoring only three goals in the second half of last season. This season has been more successful and the ex-Tranmere youngster is the club’s top scorer with 10 goals.

Recent Form

TownRochdale
LStockport(a)0-3
LHartlepool(a)0-2
WTorquay(h)2-0
LLincoln(a)0-2
WShrewsbury(h)2-1
Currently 17th in League Two.
WBoston(h)4-0
DWrexham(a)2-2
LMK Dons(a)1-2
LHartlepool(h)0-1
LPeterborough(h)0-1
Currently 20th in League Two.

Top Scorers

TownRochdale
Peter Bore5
Gary Jones5
Dagnall10
Doolan5

Team News

TownRochdale

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

  • The club has appealed over Nick Fenton’s red card at Stockport and he will be available.

  • Gary Croft was replaced at half time on Saturday and is likely to miss out with injury.
  • Since Parkin’s departure the team has reverted from a 4-5-1 formation to 4-4-2.

  • Striker Morike Sako was released from his contract last week.
  • Probable Teams

    TownRochdale
    1Phil Barnes
    16Danny Boshell
    5Nick Fenton
    6Justin Whittle
    3Tom Newey
    17Peter Till
    8Paul Bolland
    11Anthony Pulis
    23Nick Hegarty
    12Isaiah Rankin
    14Martin Paterson
    1Matthew Gilks
    2Simon Ramsden
    18Nathan Stanton
    23Rory McArdle
    12Alan Goodall
    27William Mocquet
    5John Doolan
    8Gary Jones
    11Adam Rundle
    9Chris Dagnall
    17Glenn Murray

    Subs

    TownRochdale
    13Robert Murray
    4Gary Harkins
    22Danny North
    4Gary Harkins
    2John McDermott
    13Lloyd Rigby
    24Callum Warburton
    19Lee Crooks
    14Gary Brown
    20Clive Moyo-Modise

    Head to Head

    The Mariners have a good record against Rochdale, although last season’s home victory ended a run of three successive away wins at Blundell Park for the visitors.

    P 40 W 21 D 7 L 12 F 73 A 52

    Rochdale Head-to-Head (11th on The Opposition Ladder)

    Last Meeting

    The last time Rochdale visited Blundell Park was just over a year ago when, with both teams in the top four in League 2, The Mariners produced a stunning final 25 minutes to record one of their best wins of the season.

    06-Dec-2005
    Grimsby4 - 1Rochdale
    Jones 67
    Cohen 70
    Jones 74
    Reddy 90
     Lambert 27

    Grimsby Team: Mildenhall, McDermott (Croft, 40), Whittle, Jones, Newey, Toner, Bolland, Kalala (Cohen, 60), Parkinson, Jones, Reddy
    Subs: (not used) Hegarty, Ramsden, Gritton

    Rochdale Team: Gilks, Goodhind, McArdle, Gallimore, Goodall, Jones, Brisco (Cartwright, 82), Clarke, Lambert, Grant Holt (Tait, 88), Sturrock (Jaszczun, 73)
    Subs (not used): Griffiths, Warner

    Attendance: 3,896   Report

    Prediction

    Town 3-1 Rochdale

    Reader's POMs

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