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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW - Grimsby head to Harrogate in Boxing Day bout

22 December 2022

Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW - Grimsby head to Harrogate in Boxing Day bout

22 December 2022

After a break of just over three weeks, due to recent postponements, we welcome Grimsby Town to the Envirovent Stadium on Boxing Day for the first of three fixtures over the festive period.

Despite the enforced break, Simon Weaver and his side will be hoping to pick up where they left off as our recent form saw us post back-to-back league wins against Mansfield and Rochdale.


Our opponents

The Mariners are back in League Two for the 2022/23 season after an absence of just one season following relegation to the National League in Town's debut season in the Football League.

A thrilling playoff run saw them overcome both Notts County and Wrexham before an extra-time victory against Solihull Moors booked an immediate return.

And they have acquitted themselves well since returning, coming into the game in 14th position with 27 points to their name. This season they have a better return away from home, taking 16 points from 10 games so far.

Their last time out saw them earn a 2-1 home victory against Tranmere, the first win after six games without taking maximum points.

Previous meetings

The two clubs met three times in the 2020/21 season. After a 2-2 draw in the Papa Johns Trophy thanks to a late Kevin Lokko strike, Grimsby took the bonus point courtesy of a 5-4 shoot-out win.

Town would triumph in both league meetings though, winning 2-1 at Blundell Park thanks to a Jack Muldoon brace and won by a solitary goal in the return fixture when Mark Beck struck fifteen minutes from time.

The man in charge

Paul Hurst will be in the dugout for Grimsby, with the 48 year-old now in his second spell in charge at the club.
Hurst had managed at non-league Ilkeston Town and Boston United before taking the Grimsby job over a decade ago.

After a couple of seasons of near misses he took the club back into the Football League at the end of the 2015/16 season.

Early the following season Hurst departed to join Shrewsbury where he remained for two seasons before taking over at Ipswich. However, his spell with the club was only brief.

He returned to management with a brief spell at Scunthorpe before re-joining Grimsby in December 2020.

Prior to his time in management Hurst spent almost the entirety of his playing days at Rotherham United, making over 400 appearances, before a short spell at Burton Albion.

Ones to watch

The Mariners are averaging just over a goal per game so far, with forward Harry Clifton leading the way with five goals.

John McAtee has recently returned from injury and could be a threat to the Town defence with the creativity being provided by Otis Khan and Gavin Holohan.

Veteran captain Luke Waterfall will be a pivotal part of the visitors defence whilst Grimsby also have former Town forwards Brendan Kiernan and Danilo Orsi in their ranks, with both likely to be involved in the clash.

Team news

Town continue to have Will Smith, Dior Angus, Stephen Dooley, Matty Daly and Lewis Richards on the sidelines but will hope to have Max Wright back in contention against his old side after his pre-season injury that has curtailed his season so far.

Joe Mattock will be available after he missed out on our victory over Rochdale through suspension.

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