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Match Previews

The Big Match Preview: Grimsby

3 March 2017

All you need to know ahead of Saturday's Sky Bet League 2 clash at Blundell Park (k.o. 3pm).

Grimsby Town vs Wycombe Wanderers
Saturday 4th March 2017, k.o. 3pm
Blundell Park, DN35 7PY
Referee: Nicholas Kinseley

It was cold, it was wet, and it wasn't pretty... but Tuesday night's draw at Accrington may just have been the turning point that Wanderers needed ahead of Saturday's trip to Grimsby.

February wasn't kind to the Chairboys in terms of the number of matches and ultimately the disappointing run of form that saw Gareth Ainsworth's side slide out of the top seven.

But a gritty resilience saw them leave the north-west with something to show for their efforts and spirits are high as they seek a return to winning ways against a Grimsby side experiencing mixed fortunes in their first year back in the league.

Their first away game of the season saw them visit Adams Park way back in August, when Anthony Stewart's last-gasp tap-in saw Wycombe come away with a 2-1 victory.

Since then, the Mariners have lost manager Paul Hurst to Shrewsbury and star striker Omar Bogle, while the new man at the helm - Marcus Bignot - has combined stunning wins at Plymouth and Carlisle with a frustrating recent run away from home, failing to score in their last four outings which included a 5-0 hammering at Crewe.

However, they've enjoyed happier times at home, winning three of their last four matches at Blundell Park, including the midweek win over Colchester.

They could come up against former striker Dayle Southwell, who was released by the club as a teenager but returns to the Wycombe squad following a successful loan spell with Lincoln City, looking to strike up a partnership up front with in-form marksman Adebayo Akinfenwa.

Gareth Ainsworth has hinted that his squad could be boosted by the return of a couple of players from injury, as he goes head-to-head with his former QPR team-mate Marcus Bignot in the dugout.

The two teams are locked on 47 points, just outside the play-offs, with Grimsby sitting one place higher due to superior goal difference.

The Mariners have won only two of the 17 previous meetings between the clubs, with Wanderers boasting eight victories during that time. The reverse fixture in August was the first encounter since 2009.

The most famous of those Wycombe wins came in the FA Cup third round replay in 2001, with the Blues going on to reach the semi-final that year.

Man in the middle
Nick Kinseley takes charge of his third Wycombe match so far this season; he was referee for the opening day clash at Crawley and the 1-0 home win over Exeter.

In total he's shown 95 yellow and six red cards in 23 matches so far.

Wanderers fans will be accommodated in the Osmond Stand (all seated, under cover, with some restricted view due to obstructive pillars).

Prices are as follows - tickets can be purchased on arrival at the stadium but will cost £2 more (with the exception of juniors).

Adults: £18
Seniors (65+): £11
Students: £11
Young Adults (15-18): £11
Unaccompanied junior (14 and under): £7
Accompanied junior (14 and under): £5

To book in advance, you must do so by 1pm on Friday by calling 01494 441118, visiting the shop at Adams Park, or you can go online to book. Pre-booked tickets can be collected from Adams Park until 1pm on Friday, or from Blundell Park from 1.30pm on Saturday.

By Adrian Wood

Postcode: DN35 7PY

Recommended road directions
(Note – the ground is not in Grimsby, but in the neighbouring town of Cleethorpes!). From Wycombe take the M40 towards Birmingham. Exit at J10 taking the A43 towards Northampton to pick up the northbound M1 at J15A. At Junction 32 take the M18 (signed The North, Doncaster, Hull). At J5 take the M180 (signed Grimsby). At the end of the M180 continue along the A180 towards Grimsby. After around 14 miles you will near Grimsby town centre. Continue along the A180 following signs for Cleethorpes. On reaching a McDonalds sign on your left and the Blundell Park Hotel on the right, turn left into Imperial Avenue for the Club entrance.

Mileage from High Wycombe = 214

Recommended area for car parking
There is no car park at the ground; therefore it is street parking only. As you drive along the A180 towards the ground, the home end appears first, then after the McDonalds is the away end. There are plenty of side roads off the A180 Grimsby Road mostly before and immediately after Blundell Park so you should be able to find a suitable spot OK.

Using the train?
The best route is from London Kings Cross changing at Doncaster. Journey time is a little over three hours, for example depart Kings Cross at 09:48, change at Doncaster, arriving Cleethorpes at 12:51. The station is about a mile from the ground and the walk will take you 15-20 minutes. First available return times off Cleethorpes are 17:26 and 18:26 arriving back in the capital at 20:46 and 21:42 respectively. On both services you need to change at Doncaster.

Facilities for away fans
The capacity is 9,052 (all seated). Away fans are housed in the Osmond Corner stand at the south end of the ground, where there are around 580 seats. This stand was built in 1939 and has a total capacity of 1,904 seats - shared between home and away fans. One downside of this stand is that there are a number of supporting pillars which could impede your view of the game. Remember to wrap up warm as there can be a biting wind coming off the North Sea. There is a bar in the away end which is run by the Mariners Trust. The room is decked out in flags, scarves etc. donated from many different clubs.

Facilities around the ground
Coming recommended is the Blundell Park Hotel, which is located just across the road from the ground. This can however get pretty full so it is advised to arrive early. It also serves some good food at reasonable prices. There are also a number of pubs along Cleethorpes sea front but this is around a 20 minute away. With Grimsby and Cleethorpes renowned for its Fish & Chips, GTFC recommend you visit the County Fish & Chip shop on Grimsby Road, which is just a short walk from Blundell Park. Or alternatively Steel's Fish & Chip restaurant in the Market Place in Cleethorpes.

Can't make it?
Live commentary will be available on Chairboys PlayerHD and the FLi Player app. Alternatively you can follow regular updates on our Twitter account - @wwfcofficial. Also keep an eye on Facebook and Instagram for more content.

Last time out

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