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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

14 September 2021 Venue Blundell Park Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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Match Previews

PREVIEW | Grimsby Town v Wrexham

The clash of two traditional rivals promotion-chasing sides is a chance to meet up with an old friend.

12 September 2021

It was a shock to see Grimsby Town return to the National League, and they will surely make a robust attempt to bounce back into the Football League at the first attempt.

They've certainly made a solid start to the campaign, and stand in fourth place, three points behind the leaders with a game in hand over all the teams above them.

With a 100% record at home, they'll offer a formidable challenge for one of the other 5 unbeaten sides in the division.

Wrexham will be without the suspended David Jones, of course, and will have to check on the bumps and bruises accumulated in a rough encounter with Woking on Saturday. Match winner Jordan Davies had to go off after 55 minutes, while the man who set his goal up, Paul Mullin, got through his first game after missing the Southend match through injury.


This match is dominated by one person, of course. Shaun Pearson served Wrexham with distinction for four years before returning to Blundell Park in the Summer.

Pearson has history in this fixture, of course, as The Mariners’ skipper when we enjoyed victory in the 2013 FA Trophy Final, but he was also a notable figure when we met at Blundell Park the following season.

Grimsby had taken the lead, but a Pearson own goal at the end of the first half levelled matters, and it looked like we’d hang onto a point until two goals in the last 3 minutes earned the home side a 3-1 win.

We fared better the following season when we enjoyed a 1-0 win at Blundell Park. Joe Clarke scored the goal in the 17th minute, as Wrexham finished the season strongly under the caretaker management of Carl Darlington and Lee Jones.

Put in temporary charge after the dismissal of Kevin Wilkin following the FA Trophy final, Darlington and Jones suffered just one loss in 8 games, winning 4.

The following season Grimsby went up, and enjoyed a 1-0 victory over us as Gary Mills’ first season as a manger petered out disappointingly. In contrast to the previous campaign, that match was the start of a run of 2 wins in the last 8 matches of the season, with 5 losses.

A memorable recent clash at Blundell Park came in 2011 when Andy Morrell celebrated his first match as Wrexham manager in style. Unexpectedly hurled into the task following Dean Saunders’ surprise departure a couple of days earlier, Morrell immediately had to deal with the blow of losing Curtis Obeng to suspension.

He reshuffled his side, playing Chris Westwood at right back, and saw his side respond to his inaugural team talk. He enjoyed a stroke of luck with the opener, a header onto his own shoulder by Mathias Pogba which deceived the keeper as it looped gently over him, but his side showed resilience to respond to Liam Hearn’s equaliser with superb second half goals from Jay Harris and Lee Fowler to clinch a fine 3-1 win.

That result matched our best result at Grimsby, as it was the third time we’ve won 3-1 there. The first was in October 1954 through goals by Ron Hewitt, Dave Jackson and Dennis Griffiths, and we equalled that score in January 2004 thanks to Chris Llewellyn, Steve Thomas and Chris Armstrong.

In general, though, trips there tend to be tough. Our worst experience at Blundell Park came in April 1990. We’d struggled against relegation to the Conference all season, so perhaps the side felt a sense of relief after achieving their goal in the previous match. Whatever the reason, we were in for a depressing afternoon. Grimsby were celebrating promotion, so there was a natural gulf between the sides anyway, but we did nothing to poop their party! To be fair we showed some early resilience: one-time Manchester United striker Garry Birtles gave Grimsby the lead but Andy Preece equalised ten minutes before the break.

That seemed to provoke The Mariners however, and they rattled in five goals, with Birtles completing a hat trick, and to make matters worse Joey Jones was stretchered off with a broken leg.

Leaving Grimsby in pain is the norm for Wrexham though. We've lost over half our matches there; in 34 matches we were beaten 19 times, drawing seven and winning eight, keeping just seven clean sheets in the process. We’ve never won consecutive matches at Blundell Park: indeed, that Joe Clarke winner in 2016 marked the only time we’ve experienced two wins there within five years of each other.



Wrexham's next win will be Phil Parkinson's 300th as a manager.


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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT | Grimsby Town 3-1 Wrexham

Three excellent goals condemn us to our first defeat of the season.

14 September 2021

Wrexham suffered defeat for the first time under Phil Parkinson, as three well-taken goals, including one from ex-Red Dragon Luke Waterfall, earned The Mariners all three points.

Parkinson made two changes from the side which beat Woking on Saturday: Max Cleworth returned to the back three in place of Harry Lennon, and Jordan Davies failed to recover from the injury he picked up on Saturday and was replaced by Devonte Redmond. On the bench, Shaun Brisley was included in a first team squad for the first time, with Cameron Green returning to the 16.

The match got off to an even start, with the first spell of sustained pressure from either side ending after 10 minutes with a Hunt free kick which was headed powerfully wide by Waterfall from 10 yards.

Soon afterwards Wrexham had a fright when Rob Lainton came into a crowd to punch clear from another Hunt free kick, but landed awkwardly on his neck. Fortunately, after a lengthy spell of treatment he was able to continue.

In the 23rd minute Wrexham took the lead. A massive tackle on the half way line by Aaron Hayden allowed Luke Young to send Jake Hyde though on goal and he lashed the ball past James McKeown. 

The Mariners were temporarily shaken by the goal, and were nearly caught out again soon afterwards when Ben Tozer did well to clear the ball to Hyde. His accurate pass down the left found Paul Mullin, who cut inside and hit a twenty-yard drive which McKeown was able to hold onto.

However, Grimsby soon struck back with a pair of quality strikes which turned the game on its head. First, a terrific pass by Hunt opened Wrexham's defence up, the threatening Erico Sousa drove an excellent cross in from the right and Ryan Taylor finished emphatically.

The home side took the lead when a drilled corner from the right was met by the head of Waterfall, who planted the ball firmly inside the far post.

Wrexham finished the half well, however. An extravagant 30-yard volley by Luke Young dipped just wide of the right post, and Hyde thought he'd got another goal when a clever free kick by Young allowed James Jones to whip in a perfect cross for the striker to volley home, but the linesman foiled him by raising his flag for offside.

At the beginning of 4 minutes of added time, Wrexham enjoyed their best sell of possession, ending in Jones driving in a shot from the edge of the area which McKeown saved low to his left.

After the break, Giles Coke had the first effort, pulling a shot wide from the edge of a crowded area, but after that the game descended into a scrappy affair. In truth, The Mariners didn't really threaten again until their third goal in the final minute, and they were allowed to break play up with slow restarts by the referee. Wrexham, for their part, showed little threat up front apart from a period around the middle of the half - their best of the match - when Ryley Towler made a superb double block to deny shots by Hyde and Mullin, and a neat move ended with Liam McAlinden's dangerous cross evading both McKeown and French in the goalmouth.

Substitute Max Wright made a late burst and shot, but his 20-yard effort was smothered by Lainton. However, that run was a warning of what was to come. Wrexham forced a last minute corner as they pushed for the equaliser, but it was cleared easily to Wright, who burst through the middle of the pitch, rounded Lainton and slotted the ball home.

Mullin scooped a late effort wide of the right post in the closing moments, but in truth the game was long gone and Wrexham had to contemplate their first defeat of the season after failing to trouble Grimsby's defence often enough.

GRIMSBY TOWN: McKeown, Efete, Waterfall, Towler, Crookes, Coke, Clifton, Hunt (Pearson 90+1), Sousa (Wright 77), McAtee (Fox 90+1), Taylor. UNUSED SUBS: Revan, Bapaga.

WREXHAM: Lainton, Hayden, Tozer, Cleworth (Green 84), French, J Jones, Young, Redmond ( McAlinden 57), Reckord, Hyde (Angus 77), Mullin. UNUSED SUBS: Dibble, Brisley.

REFEREE: Adam Herczeg

Grimsby Town -
Clifton, Sousa.
Wrexham -
Redmond, French.


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