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|Macca: Last BP Game|
Preview: Grimsby v Lincoln
By: Alex Green
TOWN hope to finish the season on a high at home with a confidence boosting win over local rivals Lincoln. Though a big game in Lincolnshire it will be remembered most for the last ever game Sir John McDermott will play at Blundell Park since signing in 1987.
Though a win over Lincoln, which would dent their confidence for the playoffs, is a great way to finish an unsuccessful season it will be an emotional end to the legend that is Sir Macca.
The Imps lay 5th in the league and are almost certainly guaranteed a place in this years play offs and a point on Saturday would make sure of it. Like always it seems Lincoln's inconsistency continues to be the pain of all Imps fans, as they prepare for another go at the playoffs for the fifth year running. After Keith Alexander left and found himself at rivals Peterborough, former youth coach John Schofield was promoted to the hot seat. His work in the background in the club for years made him a prime candidate and it seemed to work as he led Lincoln on an impressive run which had them fighting for the championship not just promotion by Christmas time. Schofield has turned Lincoln's fortunes around heâ€™s transformed a team that epitomised lower league football to one which oozed class and confidence. Few Lincoln fans have complained and are enjoying an attractive style for the first time in years, though the grounds man has complained that he has more work to do now.
Since January the wheels have come off as they struggle to find the form that put them in the hunt for promotion at the start of the season. All doesn't seem rosy on Sincil Bank with Captain Paul Morgan handing in a transfer request only a fortnight ago. Not to mention strike partners former Grimsby player Jamie Forrester and Mark Stallard finding their impressive partnership faltering with the pair of them notching up only 3 goals together in their last 13 games. A win is essential to boost Schofieldâ€™s men confidence.
Lincoln have to find some form and quickly to take in to the play offs and a possible trip to Wembley. Though an away draw against fellow promotion chasers Bristol Rovers is an encouraging sign for The Imps. An awful run has seen them win only 1 in a 11 games and its form like that which has left many Lincoln fans assuming another playoff defeat is on their hands. With strikers faltering and the defence struggling to hold fast Lincoln's form will take something big to turn it round. That something big may well be a good win over a local rival who defeated them in last years play offs and who they would love to spoil an end of season party for.
To do that Lincoln certainly have the pedigree, enterprising midfielders Lee Frecklington and Lee Beevers have added goals to Lincoln's campaign. While at the back experienced defenders like Paul Green and Nicky Eaden (On Loan from Forest) add a strong and hard to beat defence to already mentioned strikers Stallard and Forrester.
Lee Frecklington The former Lincoln youth player is going to be hard to keep hold of this season. Brought up through the youth system by Schofield himself the 21 year old has set Lincolnâ€™s midfield alight since playing against Manchester City in a pre season friendly in 2003. Scoring 10 goals this season the Lincoln born player has been touted by some top clubs and has recently been placed in the PFAâ€™s team of the season.
John McDermott is preparing to don his black and white shirt for the final time at Blundell Park
Michael Reddy and Gary Cohen will not make an appearance at home now this season due to long term injuries.
Junior Mendes is expected to make a return to Blundell Park as is Jamie Forrester.
Robert Olenjik will be on the bench after he scored the penalty against Hartlepool for Lincoln Reserves during the week.
Prediction 3-0 Grimsby will be too much for woeful Lincoln as they struggle to keep up with the pace in the local derby or so I hope.
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