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Grimsby v Kidderminster Team News
By: Rob Sedgwick
TOWN face the second of three consecutive games against their promotion rivals. Saturday's game at home to Kidderminster is sandwiched between two away matches with Forest Green and Mansfield.
Grimsby successfully negotiated the first of the trio against FGR and will be looking to avenge the FA Cup defeat by Kidderminster. Town drew 0-0 at the Aggborough Stadium back in September, and were beaten 4-2 at Blundell Park in the FA Cup game with Kiddie, so will be looking to make it third time lucky against the West Midlands outfit.
Kidderminster lost to Gateshead in midweek but prior to that has won the last seven games to climb to the summit of the table. It certainly didn't look like that back in September after when Kidderminster had started the season with 5 defeats, then following it with 5 draws (including the 0-0 match with Town). But Steve Burr's team quietly started winning games and last month completed the journey from bottom of the league to briefly top the division. Kidderminster are currently in second place, but have played more games than some of the other teams around them.
Win, lose, or draw, nothing will be decided tomorrow but defeat for either side would make it difficult to win the league. The top five teams are now so tightly packed and all the teams on such good runs that there might not be the opportunity to recover lost ground. Forest Green and Luton have fallen away after losing games and look like missing out on the promotion picture altogether.
Grimsby have 3 injury worries. Derek Niven (groin) is ruled out, Sean Pearson (knee) is doubtful, but Aswad Thomas is expected to recover in time from his knock. That means Andi Thanoj should start in midfield in place of Niven, and Tom Naylor partner Ian Miller in defence. Any other changes will be tactical/rotational as the managers try to keep the players fresh and pick a team which they feel with match Kidderminster.
Kidderminster won 4-2 in the cup and also won at Blundell Park in the league game last season so Steve Burr will be confident his team can bounce back after losing in front of 273 spectators at Gateshead in midweek. Harriers have signed Cambridge striker Michael Gash on loan for the rest of the season, with a view to sign him in the summer. However they have lost loan striker Morgan-Smith who was recalled by Macclesfield.
Postscript: Grimsby Town have signed 19-year-old Hull City and Northern Ireland youth international midfielder Dougie Wilson on loan until the end of the season.
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