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Rochdale v Grimsby Preview
By: Alex Green
LEAGUE leaders Rochdale may be on the brink of finally getting out the league after 36 years but they won’t stand in the way of a Town team finally finding its feet will they? Around a thousand Grimsby supporters are expected to cheer the Mariners on at Spotland.
The fourth division's permanent residents are finally realising the dream after well over a quarter of a century. The club has become the torch bearer with the division and after near misses and nearly being kicked out the wrong way in the late 70’s promotion as champions is just a few months away if they don’t balls it up! Currently Rochdale are 10 points clear of the rest of the chasing pack and are only improving. One of the most impressive parts of Rochdale’s season is their consistency even when Notts County were the be all and end all at the beginning of the season Rochdale quietly went about their business collecting points and sneaking up on the early leaders after a disappointing start. Runs of 4 straight wins, 6 straight wins and numerous back to back victories have meant that the points they do drop mostly during a draw aren’t as damaging to them as they are to others. One other bright spot so to speak at Spotland is the pitch itself. The ground has come under a flurry of complaints for numerous seasons and usually by this time in the season Rochdale can have some 6 games in hand on the rest of the teams in the league all primarily down to games abandoned or not even been attempted. The usual Rochdale trick was to be sat just outside the play-offs around now and be spurred on by the games in hand to try and take the last spot. This added pressure usually ended in failure for the Dale but this season now with some 10 games remaining and only Notts County with more games to play then them surely it’s time for Rochdale to experience life in the league above just for a short while anyway.
Last Time Out
Grimsby Town 0-2 Rochdale, October 17th 2009
The Mariners suffered their 4th straight defeat as Newell’s tenure was coming to an end at Blundell Park. Town were looking to get out of the relegation places while Rochdale were looking to cement their place in the top 3. Unsurprisingly it was Rochdale who came away with the 3 points despite an impressive display by Bradley Woods. Rochdale took the lead on 24th minute when Adam Rundle managed to squeeze the ball past Nick Colgan. Chris O’Grady added a second close to the end in similar fashion while the Mariners hit the aluminium work just before their second when a shot from Josh Magennis (who!? Yes the season really has gone on this long) crashed the ball against the bar. I say crashed, I can’t really remember it. It most probably meandered on to the bar followed by bobbled. Anyway back then they were good we were rubbish and now. Well we’ve had Christmas since then.
Key Player: Chris O’Grady
In 2003 O’Grady was brought on as a sub for Leicester City against Town for his debut. Unfortunately for O’Grady his chances in the East Midlands were limited to substitution appearances and occasional loan adventures with Notts Co and Rushden. Rotherham swooped in for the striker at a prices tag of £65,000 in 2007. 46 appearances and a 13 goal return hardly uprooted any trees in the Sheffield suburbs but in a team like Rotherham who at that time were in free fall is not anything to laugh at. Then in 2008 Oldham took him on a free and then spent their time kicking him out to other clubs like the hottest of potatoes Bury, Bradford and Stockport all took him on without much success. Then at the start of this season Rochdale took him on loan 15 goals were returned in just 24 games and in January Rochdale got a huge break signing him for free from Oldham. Now in a team firing on all cylinders O’Grady has become one of the hottest players in League Two only Adam Le Fondre could possibly come across as a better striker in this league and with 8 goals in 11 matches of his most recent matches we find ourselves facing him in a rich vein of form.
Prediction We raise our game against top teams they don’t get much topper than these. Lets go get a huge shock.
Rochdale 0-1 Grimsby
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