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Johnstone Paint Final Preview

By: Alex Green
Date: 28/03/2008

TEN years ago I was sat on this same boat overlooking the same view and though Canary Wharf has been joined by two brothers and the Millennium Dome can be seen if I crane my neck, I still have the same feeling of excitement and anxiety whizzing around me like I did when I was eleven.

Home > 2007-2008 Season > Previews > MK Dons (w)


Wembley awaits every single one of us, after ten tumultuous years of agony and heartbreak we have the chance of an amazing turn around, when all seemed lost only a few months ago Buckley has once again made us feel proud to be Grimsby Fans. With a piece of silverware up for grabs and the revenue and the exposure this final will bring the thought of an enjoying day out won't be the only lasting effects this weekend has on the club. With it being such a time for celebration on both sides and many of our own fans wanting to make a justified stand against the opposition on the day this preview needs to be unanimous. Personally it only seems right that in this article at least, their players and their fans are given the respect they deserve for their recent form and as such no malice will pass my lips throughout this preview.

Right now with that out of the way here is what were up against at Wembley

The Opposition

Overview

MK Dons are favourites for the match, no if or buts, they have been thoroughly consistent throughout the season and have earned their right to be top of League Two and though equal on points with Peterborough, MK have a game in hand over their high spending rivals. Paul Ince (left) has worked wonders on a team who were in freefall falling through the leagues - like well like us if I'm been honest. From facing possible extinction and relegation out of the Football League entirely the former England international has been able to turn their fortunes around. Since leaving Macclesfield where he started a mini revival Ince has created an impressive team with an array of talent ready to move MK Dons back up the leagues after they have settled in to their new home or course.

The Team
The game at Blundell Park only a few weeks ago was hardly an intimidating display from the guys from the land of plastic cows with only a disputed goal to separate the two teams, Buckley won't be exactly quaking in his boots. Though Ince’s men took all three points Town's lack of presence in the first half (they didn't turn up) could well be the reason why the result didn't go our way. Other then that, they're the last team you want to meet out of League Two but then again who would you rather have these or Swansea? At the start of the season prolific striker McLeod’s departure for a substantial amount may have left most teams with a giant hole to fill but Ince seems to have found a replacement in midfielder Mark Wright (left) who is the leading scorer for the club. But this highlights one of their weaknesses and that's been the weakness of their quality up front. All of their top three leading scorers are all from midfield with only Gallen with a credible 8 up front laying behind the trio in fourth. In goal is the ever outstanding William Gueret and his replacement is none other then ex-Boston shop stopper Nathan Abbey (Those who remember him will remember the outstanding save he made in the league meeting way back in our first season in League Two). All round MK Dons have strength in numbers and have far more choices when it comes to looking at the bench for options. but they aren't Tottenham or Liverpool or Everton or any other number of teams that have fallen by the of our sword. So bring em on!

Key Player
It’s impossible to tell at a final who will freeze and who will take centre stage from Gueret to Wright MK Dons have a plethora of players ready to take the game to us but it all depends on how good we are on the day. So let's be all patriotic to our clubs and say the Key Player is ourselves be in good voice don't relent in giving our team encouragement because of them we have a fantastic day out and because of our support we can make it a very special one indeed.

Recent Form

TownMK Dons
LBrentford(h)1-2
WMansfield(a)2-1
LDarlington(a)2-3
WBarnet(h)4-1
LMK Dons(h)0-1
Currently 9th in League Two.
WAccrington(h)1-0
DPeterborough(a)1-1
WDagenham(h)4-0
WChesterfield(h)2-1
WGrimsby(h)1-0
Currently 1st in League Two.

Top Scorers

TownMK Dons
Danny North10
Danny Boshell7
Wright14
Andrews12
Dyer10

Team News

TownMK Dons

  • Striker Martin Butler is cup-tied, so will definitely miss out. Otherwise Alan Buckley has a full squad to choose from.

  • Midfielder Ciaran Toner is contention after his long-term ankle injury but is short of fitness.
  • Carl Regan, Jordan Hadfield and John Miles are all cup tied

  • Colin Cameron chould return in midfield after being rested against Accrington.

  • Defender Drissa Diallo (shoulder) is definitely out as is winger Craig Dobson (groin).
  • Probable Teams

    TownMK Dons
    G1Barnes
    D24Atkinson
    D6Fenton
    D3Newey
    M2Clarke
    M11Boshell
    M8Bolland
    M17Hegarty
    M7Till
    F9North
    F19Jones
    G12Gueret
    D2Stirling
    D6O’Hanlan
    D25Swailes
    D3Lewington
    M18Cameron
    M11Dyer
    M3Andrews
    M14Wright
    F8Gallen
    F16Wilbraham

    Subs

    TownMK Dons
    13Montgomery
    5Bennett
    4Hunt
    20Taylor
    7Till
    29Abbey
    10Cameron
    36Baldock
    20Navarro
    23Johnson

    Head to Head

    Town have a better record against Wimbledon they do against MK Dons, who they have beaten once and lost three times to since they were formed.

    P 22 W 8 D 7 L7 F38 A 36

    MK Dons Head-to-Head (39th on The Opposition Ladder)

    Last Meeting

    Grimsby 0 MK Dons 1 (Fri 07th March 2008)

    Just three weeks ago MK Dons completed the double over us at Blundell Park.

    Report

    Prediction

    Grimsby Town 3-1 MK Dons

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