Grimsby Town v Stevenage [Preview]

By Pete H

Yet another two points passed up at home – and yet another blank in front of goal. Now we have a ‘must-win’ on our hands. And it’s somewhat inevitable that our next hosts are one of those teams that we’ve contrived to drop points against at the Lamex. Maybe our view that you win your home fixtures and pick up what you can on the road is outdated? Trying to do it the other way around seems like we’re asking for trouble. We guess we’re not going to have to wait long to find out if we’re right.

Let’s head back to that ‘must-win’ idea for a moment. Are we getting ahead of ourselves? Erm, nope – not in our opinion. We’re not going to be sent down if we lose this one. Well, not immediately. But we’ll be back in the bottom two; maybe even bottom if Southend get their act together too. And it’ll means we’re in the same position as we were this time last year. Just after we lost 3-1 at Blundell Park. With the same amount of points. If you never believed in deja vu before, there’s a risk it could hit you hard

The Details: Grimsby Town v Stevenage

Where’s the game?

Blundell Park is our destination. For the Boro’ lads, that is. Not for you.

Can I watch Grimsby Town v Stevenage?

As ever, you have the option to catch all the action as it unfolds. And, as ever, you’ll need  an iFollow Match Pass. This still costs a round tenner too. Just don’t try and work out how many goals you’ve got for your money so far this season if you’re a regular viewer.

How is Boro’s form looking at the moment?

After a nice little run of form coming into 2021, we’ve started falling back down the League Two form table. With 10 points from a possible 24, we’re smack bang in the middle of it all on that front. But our away form and our goal tally are just plain awful – and it doesn’t take to make that any clearer. It’s now more than 12 months since we last got three points on the road. That’s unacceptable.

… and how are the Mariners doing right now?

In recent times, it’s rare to find a side beneath us in the table – let alone two (as it stands). The Mariners are one of them and are not having a good time of it. Only Colchester are in worse shape based on current form. And look how well that panned out for us. Five points from a potential 24 is all our hosts have gained; one win in 13 league fixtures is the return if you take it back a little further.

At home, Harrogate Town are the only team with a worse record. But it’s yet again one of those situations where both sides are looking at this one as a possible short-term cure for our respective ills. The bottom line is that whoever wins this match will be on the right side of the relegation zone’s dotted line. The Mariners have scored two more than us and have let in nearly 20 (TWENTY) more than Boro’ this season.

It’s almost as if the Mariners’ form is taunting us.

Our story with Grimsby Town so far

Boro’ have quite a strong head-to-head record against the Mariners to fall back on. It isn’t worth anything in pure points terms, obviously. But it’s something to be getting on with. In nine past encounters, we’ve won five and drawn twice. Up until this season, however, we had won all our home matches. At their place, we’ve collected four points from a possible 12 – including a two-goal win in April 2019 when Kurtis Guthrie grabbed both goals.

If our away form against the Mariners is going to follow any sort of pattern, take a look at our results at Blundell Park. It shows L, D, W, and L. Are we going to keep the sequence up? Don’t bet against it. That ‘D’ was in March 2018 and ended goalless. Our speciality.

Last Time Out: Stevenage 0-0 Grimsby Town, 31 October 2020
Magic Moment: Grimsby Town 0-2 Stevenage, 06 April 2019

Who’s the referee in charge?

Anthony Backhouse.

The last time we saw Mr Backhouse was also on Humberside. It was last season’s trip to Scunthorpe United, if you’re curious. That’s the latest in four past meetings with this ref – none of which have gone our way. Our record on his watch is L D L D, and we’ve failed to score in the last two of ours he oversaw. It’s not a run of results that warms the cockles.

Mr Backhouse is on 19 games for the campaign to date; Leagues One and Two being his patch for the most part. In total, there have been 66 yellow cards and two reds to emerge from his pocket. That means we can expect a spattering of bookings here. But his lust for red might now be satisfied after Newport’s Josh Sheehan was sent off against Salford.

Last Time Out: Scunthorpe United 0-0 Stevenage, 02 November 2019

Grimsby Town v Stevenage: Our verdict?

If you can show us some evidence that we’re capable of scoring, we’ll show some faith in Boro’ this weekend. Until that happens, we’re bracing ourselves for the worst. We see the Mariners scoring the scrappiest goal ever and giving us the right hump on Saturday night. Home win, 1-0.