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Preview: Grimsby v Darlington

By: Kevin Dolan
Date: 19/01/2007

A desperate Grimsby Town begin a crucial set of fixtures as they welcome Darlington to Blundell Park this Saturday.

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

The Opposition

League 2 regulars Darlington (they have been in the division since 1992) have made little progress in recent years. After losing the play off final in 2000, and despite a deluded aim to get the club in the Premiership by building a 25,000 stadium, The Quakers finished in the bottom half for the next three seasons. They spent the majority of last season sitting on the fringe of the play offs, but ultimately fell short and finished 8th for the 2nd year running.

This season has been one of large peaks and troughs. A decent first 8 games saw Darlington sit 6th, before a few poor results and negotiations with Bournemouth about their vacant manager position saw Dave Hodgson sacked at the beginning of October; another manager to serve his last game in charge against Town. Dave Penney, who had a very successful period in charge of Doncaster, then took over and won his first 6 games before losing the next eight. The club look a safe bet for another season in the basement division.

The Team
Darlington currently lie in 16th place in League 2, 5 points ahead of Town. After the recent eight match losing streak, The Quakers have finally turned the corner and recorded four points in their last two games although they have failed to keep a clean sheet in these last 10 matches. So far this season they have recorded three away wins at Accrington, Peterborough and Lincoln.

Goalkeeper Lee Jones has joined on loan from Blackpool with a view to a permanent deal and has immediately taken the No1 jersey. Alun Armstrong (left), who has played for Middlesbrough and Ipswich, should feature although ex-Sunderland forward Martin Smith, who scored twice against Town in September and has 8 goals in total, is currently injured. Tommy Wright has just joined from Barnsley and the striker scored on his debut in midweek.

Key Player
Julian Joachim scored one of this season’s 11 goals (3 for Boston, 8 for Darlington) at Blundell Park on the opening day before sealing a move to Darlington in the middle of August. Despite never proving himself fully in the top flight and playing for a long list of clubs, Joachim is one of the players to be wary at this level and also scored for Boston against Town last season.

Recent Form

Currently 20th in League Two.
Currently 16th in League Two.

Top Scorers

Peter Bore5
Gary Jones5

Team News


  • Nick Fenton Fenton returns after serving a two-match ban, although he may be doubtful for the weekend.

  • Michael Reddy and Isaiah Rankin have both trained this week but are destined for the bench at best.
  • Ricky Ravenhill has joined Darlington, but it is unknown whether he will be selected for the match.

  • Evan Horwood starts a three match ban after a sending off against Bury in midweek.
  • Probable Teams

    1Phil Barnes
    20Gary Croft
    6Justin Whittle
    24Simon Grand
    3Tom Newey
    17Peter Till
    8Paul Bolland
    25James Hunt
    10Ciaran Toner
    19Gary Jones
    14Martin Paterson
    24Lee Jones
    18Brian Close
    15Tim Ryan
    30David Wheater
    3Craig James
    7Neil Wainwright
    10Clark Keltie
    TBADavid Rowson
    12Julian Joachim
    TBATommy Wright
    25Alun Armstrong


    13Robert Murray
    2John McDermott
    16Danny Boshell
    23Nick Hegarty
    9Michael Reddy
    1David Stockdale
    11Simon Johnson
    4Darren Holloway
    6Kalusivikako Ngoma
    32Sean Reay

    Head to Head

    Despite a good historical record, The Mariners have failed to beat Darlington in any of the last 8 meetings.

    P 49 W 22 D 10 L 17 F 74 A 53

    Darlington Head-to-Head (25th on The Opposition Ladder)

    Last Meeting

    The Quakers’ last two visits to Blundell Park both resulted in infamous 1-0 defeats for The Mariners, including last season when Town conceded two penalties (although one was saved) and had two players sent off.

    Grimsby0 - 1Darlington

    Grimsby Team: Mildenhall, Ramsden, Crane, R Jones, McDermott, Bolland (Toner, 88), Croft, Newey, Parkinson (Cohen, 57), Reddy (Andrew, 72), Gritton
    Subs: (not used) Whittle, G Jones

    Darlington Team: Russell, Martis, Hutchinson, Clarke, Valentine, Wainwright (Duke, 85), Dickman, Peacock, Logan, Wijnhard (Sodje, 67), Johnson (Ndumbu-Nsungu, 76)
    Subs (not used): Webster, Jameson

    Attendance: 3,904   Report

    Bookings: Mildenhall, Newey (Grimsby)

    Sent Off: Newey, Crane (Grimsby


    Town 1-1 Darlington

    Reader's POMs


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

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