Football – England – Blue Square Premier
Tuesday 26th February 2013 – Kickoff: 1945hrs
Fourth placed Grimsby Town will be looking to return to winning ways immediately following their last week’s loss at Braintree Town, when they take on second from bottom club Ebbsfleet United at Blundell Park on Tuesday night.
Despite losing 0-2 away at Braintree, The Mariners could actually reclaim top spot of the Blue Square Premier if they win by three goals or more and displace current leaders Wrexham should the welsh outfit lose at Barrow which I know is a pretty tall order in itself.
Nevertheless, Grimsby Town will no doubt be keen to return to familiar surroundings as they look to bounce back with all three points against a poor Ebbsfleet side. Up until that Braintree defeat, Grimsby had strung together a twelve match unbeaten run which had lifted them to the summit of the non-league elite and they know they need to win these sort of matches, particularly at home if they are to have a shot at automatic promotion back up to League Two.
Grimsby’s home record stands at 11-3-3 33/12 and they are surprisingly second only to Gateshead (11 goals conceded) in terms of defensive prowess at home in the division. No less than eight clean sheets sets them up nicely for the visit of Ebbsfleet and is a contributing factor in my final selection for this fixture. They are also unbeaten in their last nine at Blundell Park incidentally.
Visitors Ebbsfleet United have lost their last three away matches on the trot and a Tuesday night up in Cleethorpes is perhaps not a trip that ‘Fleet will be looking forward to with much relish given Grimsby’s promotion carrot that is dangling in front of them.
Defeats at Mansfield Town 1-4, Dartford 1-3 and a 0-1 loss at Woking have resulted in Ebbsfleet remaining in the bottom four of a very congested lower section of the league with up to ten clubs possibly being involved in a relegation battle in a few weeks time. Just two away wins from their last twelve on their travels is just not enough at this stage along with just a point at woeful AFC Telford, Fleet will probably have to wait until mid-March for more points when they face Alfreton Town as their next four opponents are Grimsby Town, Kidderminster, Wrexham and Newport County!
Grimsby Town should have the bit between their teeth on Tuesday night to ensure all three points stay at Blundell Park and with that in mind, I’ll back them to cover the -1 line here and post a solid 2-0 win for the home crowd.
Pick: Grimsby Town AH-1 @ 1.71 Pinnacle