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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW: United face the Mariners on Saturday

We look ahead to the Grimsby away game

12 March 2020

Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW: United face the Mariners on Saturday

We look ahead to the Grimsby away game

12 March 2020

It's been a steady season for the Mariners, highlighted by their league position, as they sit smack in the middle of the pile in the League Two table.

Former boss Michael Jolley parted ways with the club in December, shortly before they came across to our patch to grind out a 0-0 stalemate, and three wins and a draw through January helped to steady the tumble and ease the nerves.

The six February fixtures brought two wins, two draws and two defeats, as winning consistency remains just out of reach, but four goals scored against Newport and three against Colchester suggests that they can be very effective when they are on their game.

They are currently 11 points shy of the play-off places and, with just nine games left to play, it would need a meteoric rise for them and a catastrophic fall for others for the top seven spots to become a significant interest, but new manager Ian Holloway is one who will accept nothing less than full tilt from the fixtures that remain.

In terms of goals, James Hanson has nine and Charles Vernam has seven, but there are threats from all over the pitch with net bulgers coming from a number of sources. 51 goals conceded suggests that they can be got at but, and as they showed at Scunthorpe last weekend, if they get their noses in front they can become a very stubborn prospect.

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From the management staff ...

SkeltonSpeaking ahead of the game, assistant head coach Gav Skelton said: "Grimsby have kicked on a little bit under the new manager, Ian Holloway. They had a bad result a couple of games ago, but they’ve bounced back again from that.

“We need to look to start in the same way did in the last two games and try and get our noses in front. It’s a good test but it’s one we got into with confidence.

“We go there in good heart and we have no illusions that it will be a really competitive game. But if we’re on the front foot and do the basics well, which is what we will aim to do, it gives us every opportunity to pick up some points.

“Like I say, Grimsby are on a good run of form, but so are we, and we’re desperate to continue it. I can’t understate how keen we are to keep winning games and finish as high up that table as we can."


Did You Know?

+ Traditionally, Grimsby were one of only two teams (the other being Hull City) who were allowed to play on Christmas Day due to the local fishing trade. The tradition has now disappeared.

+ In Grimsby’s 1939 FA Cup semi-final they were forced to play with an outfield player in goal for most of the match after stopper George Moulson picked up an injury, with rules forbidding substitutes for injuries.

Bill Shankly

+ Ex-Carlisle boss Bill Shankly managed at Blundell Park after he left the Cumbrians, before resigning in 1954 due to a lack of ambition from the board.


Head to Head

These two sides have met on a total of 46 occasions over the years - spanning all the way back to the 1907/08 campaign when the Mariners registered a 6-2 FA Cup home victory over the fledgling Blues.

Grimsby hold the bragging rights by some considerable margin, with 24 victories compared to United's 11. 

  Carlisle wins Draws Grimsby wins
League 9 9 19
FA Cup 0 1 2
Cup 1 0 0
League Cup 1 2 3
Total 11 12 24

The last time the teams met was at Brunton Park in December 2019. Both sides slugged it out, but it was clean sheets all round as the spoils were shared.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

It was a sunny Bank Holiday Monday at Blundell Park in April 2019, and the game appeared to heading to a draw until Joe Grayson grabbed a winner deep into time added on.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

United were left empty-handed at Brunton Park in October earlier in the season as a first half goal from Luke Hendrie proved to be enough to take the spoils. The Blues had chances, but it wasn't their night as the visitors shut up shop to frustrate the home crowd.

Watch the highlights from that game here:


Our November 2017 trip to Blundell Park saw United give as good as they got in a tight game. Grimsby shaded the first half with the woodwork and some heroics from Jack Bonham to thank for a clean sheet. The deadlock was eventually broken when defender Clint Hill got on the end of a superb cross from Gary Liddle. 

Watch the highlights from that game here:

Things were more comfortable in the home game with Hallam Hope opening the scoring with just three minutes on the clock. It was the perfect thank you to the fans who had turned up as early as 8am on match day to help to clear snow from the pitch, and the surrounding areas, to allow the game to go ahead. Mark Ellis secured the points with a close range header with just over 15 minutes left to play.

Watch the highlights from that game here:


Man in the middle:

Our referee for this fixture is Mr Ben Toner. Ben has taken charge of 28 games so far this season showing 94 yellow cards and six reds.

A regular with us over the years, we had him as our main match official in December 2019 when we made the trip to Walsall. Nathan Thomas and Harry McKirdy scored the goals in a well deserved 2-1 victory, and Aaron Hayden was United's only booking. James CLarke was a second half sending off for Walsall.

He was in charge at the start of the 2019/20 campaign for our Carabao Cup meeting with Barnsley at Oakwell. Goals from Harry McKirdy, Jack Bridge [pen] and Nathan Thomas sealed a comfortable victory, and no Carlisle names were taken on the night.

Our first meeting with him during the 2018/19 season was for the 2-1 victory over Port Vale at Brunton Park in August. A Danny Grainger penalty and a Tom Parkes header were enough to see the Blues earn the three points with no cards shown

The Checkatrade Trophy fixture at the Stadium of Light was the second United game he oversaw that term, with the Black Cats running out as 3-1 winners. Ashley Nadesan got the United goal and, once again, the cards stayed in his pocket.

New Year's Day 2019 took us to Morecambe, Jamie Devitt and Jack Sowerby got the goals, and Kelvin Etuhu and Anthony Gerrard had their names recorded in the book.

And last, but not least, was our 2-1 home victory over Swindon in March 2019. Hallam Hope and Callum O'Hare scored our goals with Gary Liddle going in the book for a late challenge. 

Referee - Ben Toner
Assistant Referee 1 - Abbas Khan
Assistant Referee 2 - Alix Pashley
Fourth Official - Wayne Grunnill


Ticket information:

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