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Match Previews

HERE'S LOOKING AT YOU: Grimsby Town

We take a closer look at this weekend's opponents

2 March 2018

Following a hard-fought win against Yeovil last weekend, Keith Curle’s men are in league action once again as they welcome Grimsby Town to Cumbria.

The managerless Mariners are on a poor run of form and will be keen to reverse their slide down the table this weekend. 

And with the Blues still in play-off contention, it could prove to be a pivotal fixture as both clubs look to secure an important three points.

We put Grimsby under the spotlight ahead of their visit to the Brunton Park: 

Dangerously Close 

Having looked at one point as if they could be outsiders for a play-off place, Grimsby’s recent form has seen them drop into a perilous position just above the Sky Bet League Two relegation zone. 

The Mariners haven’t won in their last fourteen games – a run stretching back to the start of December.

That form cost manager Russell Slade his job and, under the caretaker guidance of Paul Wilkinson, results have failed to improve and Grimsby sit just six points above the drop zone in 20th place. 

Results, therefore, are needed at the earliest possible opportunity or the Mariners could find themselves in trouble. 

Troubles on their Travels 

Grimsby have somewhat struggled on the road this season, having not won in their last seven games away from Blundell Park. 

Their last away victory came at the back end of November when they triumphed 2-0 at Barnet and Wilkinson will be keen to see his side start to pick up some points away from home. 

With just five victories on the road this campaign, improvements to away form are certainly needed. 

What Does History Tell Us? 

The two sides have met regularly in recent years - and it’s Grimsby who have the better of the meetings. 

Of the 43 times the pair have faced off, the Mariners have claimed victory in 22 of them with Carlisle triumphant on only ten occasions. 

Recent form somewhat favours Grimbsy, too, with the Black and Whites having claimed two victories from the last five meetings in all competitions, while the Blues have won just one of those five. 

That one, however, came earlier this season when Clint Hill’s header secured a 1-0 win for Carlisle at Blundell Park. 

Watch highlights from the 1-0 away win at Blundell Park earlier in the season here:

Record at Brunton Park 

United have a fairly favourable record against Grimsby at Brunton Park, with the Blues having lost just once in the last six visits of the Mariners 

That one defeat came last season, when Grimsby ran out 3-1 winners in Cumbria, but the Cumbrians have won two of the last six – the other three games ending in draws. 

Keith Curle will be hoping there’s another win added to that record come Saturday evening. 

Ones to Watch 

+ James McKeown - Having consistently been one of the best goalkeepers in the National League during Grimsby’s time in non-league, McKeown has stepped up into the Football League with no problems and has established himself as a fine stopper. Commanding in the area and with good distribution, the keeper is a real asset to this Grimsby side. 

+ James Berrett - A familiar face to United fans having spent four years at Brunton Park, Berrett joined the Mariners in 2016 having left York City. The box-to-box midfielder has matured with age and continues to prove effective at both ends of the pitch with some timely interventions in the defensive third and plenty of attacking contributions too. A leader within the Grimsby side, Berrett will need to be watched carefully or he could return to haunt his former employers. 

+ Martyn Woolford - Grimsby turned a few heads with their signing of Woolford over the summer, with the winger having departed Championship outfit Sheffield United following their promotion. Having netted almost 60 career goals, Woolford offers a real attacking threat and has plenty of experience of playing at a much higher level. Lively in and around the penalty area, United will need to pay attention to his creativity come Saturday.


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