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A New Beginning
A New Beginning

Grimsby v Rochdale Preview

By: Alex Green
Date: 07/08/2008 (Last updated: 08/08/2008)

THE season is finally upon us and after a few months of rumour and speculation. Town welcome play-off finalists Rochdale, to Blundell Park for the start of the 2008-09 campaign.

Home > 2008-2009 Season > Previews > Rochdale (h)


The Opposition

Overview

Rochdale are ready and willing for the start of the new campaign after nearly escaping the clutches of the bottom rung of the Football League and ending nearly 40 years of soul destroying monotony. Alas it wasn't to be, a 3-2 defeat to local rivals Stockport County resigned them to yet another year in League Two for the time being at least and hope for an end to the run is high. Pre-season has been fairly positive with draws against Bolton and Hyde United, yes people Hyde! But with wins over Southport and two wins against Marbella and Rossendale - both games in which Rochdale managed to score 6 - was the sort of stuff we ourselves would have been looking for against lower opposition during our own torrid pre-season kick abouts. It is all in the end just semantics, a good pre-season or a bad one rarely means much by September and both sets of fans are still wondering how their team will perform come Saturday.

The Team
Gary Jones (not that one) will surpass Graham Smith's record of most appearances for the Dale on Saturday (318 league appearances) if selected to play. An achievement for any player to reach. Other then that Rochdale’s dip into the transfer market during pre-season have been sparse with the acquisition of our own Ciaran Toner and Jon Shaw of Halifax .I can't find much more activity which happened at Spotland. They took on our loanee Heslop on trial for a time been but nothing came of it. The play-off finalists seem to have kept a large number of the squad intact from last season with only David Perkins departing for Colchester and youngster Matty Hughes leaving for giants Celtic. With the transfer window open till the end of August Keith Hill can still add if he feels he needs to after the first couple of games. If last season is anything to go by Hill won't need to strengthen and playing a Town side who have faced much criticism of late after under performing Hill will feel he has a squad more then capable of bringing something back from the seaside and who would argue with him? Town usually start slow and with ex-players like Ramsden and Toner in the squad it would be a certain law for one of them to get on the score sheet.

Key Player
Adam Le Fondre. Local born Le Fondre (born in Stockport honestly don't let the name fool you) was last seasons talisman with 16 goals to his name during the campaign one of which he got against ourselves in the 2-1 defeat back in October last year. The 21 year old number ten has already had a memorable start to his career scoring 4 goals against Wrexham in 2006 and also scoring on is Dale debut against Bury in 2004 (god don't you love Wikipedia?) After being sought by other big clubs during the summer months Dale fans will be happy to keep hold of their high flying youngster and another season as successful as last will most probably hail bigger and better things for the striker.

Team News

TownRochdale

  • Paul Bolland (knew) and Danny Boshell are both ruled out with injury, meaning a possible start for new loan signing Simon Heslop.

  • Peter Till (hamstring), Danny North (hamstring), Robbie Stockdale (calf) and Tom Newey(back) are all minor niggles, but they are expected to be fitt.

  • Town (probable): Barnes, Stockdale, Hope, Heywood, Newey, Hunt, Clarke, Llewellyn, Heslop, North, Butler. Subs: Montgomery, Hegarty, Taylor, Bore, Fenton.
  • Dale have virtually a full-strength squad to choose from, with no injuries to the first choice XV.

    Squads

    TownRochdale
    1GKPhil Barnes
    2DFRobbie Stockdale
    3DFTom Newey
    4DFRyan Bennett
    5DFMatthew Heywood (c)
    6DFRichard Hope
    7MFPeter Till
    8MFPaul Bolland
    9FWMartin Butler
    10MFChris Llewellyn
    11MFDanny Boshell
    12DFJamie Clarke
    13GKGary Montgomery
    14MFJames Hunt
    15DFMatthew Bird
    16DFNick Fenton
    17MFNick Hegarty
    18MFPeter Bore
    19FWDanny North
    20FWAndy Taylor
    21MFSimon Heslop
    22FWNathan Jarman
    23MFGrant Normington
    24GKLeigh Overton
    1GKSam Russell
    2DFSimon Ramsden
    3DFTom Kennedy
    4DFNathan Stanton
    5MFClark Keltie
    6MFCiarán Toner
    8MFGary Jones (c)
    9FWChris Dagnall
    10FWAdam le Fondre
    11MFAdam Rundle
    12DFNathan D'Laryea
    14DFScott Wiseman
    15MFJoe Thompson
    17FWJon Shaw
    18MFKallum Higginbotham
    19FWLee Thorpe
    20DFRaphale Evans
    21GKJames Spencer
    23DFRory McArdle
    26MFKyle Lambert
    30FWWill Buckley
    31DFMarcus Holness

    Head to Head

    Town a great record against Rochdale, the problem is it all a long time ago! Town have lost four matches on the trot to Dale and only won one of the last ten.

    P 43 W 21 D 7 L15 F75 A 61

    Rochdale Head-to-Head (20th on The Opposition Ladder)

    Last Meeting

    Rochdale 3 Grimsby 1 (Sat 05th April 2008)

    Rochdale applied the final nail in the coffin to any lingering play-off hopes that the Mariners might have had with a comfortable win over Town.

    Report

    Prediction

    Grimsby Town 2-2 Rochdale

    Reader's POMs

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