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🔎 The Opposition: Grimsby Town (A)

Jed Penberthy takes a look at Tuesday night's opponents

1 December 2020

Exeter make the gruelling midweek trip to Lincolnshire ahead of the fixture against Grimsby Town.

Here’s all you need to know about our northern hosts from the coast.

  • Founded: 1878
  • Nicknames: The Mariners
  • Honours: Division 2 (1900/01, 1933/34), Sivision 3 (1979/80), Division 3 North (1925/26, 1955/56), Division 4 (1971/72), Football League Trophy (1998).
  • Home Kit: ERREA Black and White striped shirt with red trim, black shorts, black and white socks.
  • Away Kit: ERREA Blue shirt with light blue sleeves, blue shorts, blue socks.
  • Form: LLLLW (18th in League Two)

Grimsby Pelham FC as they were originally known, came into being at a meeting at the local Wellington Arms in 1878. Pelham is the family name of the landowners in the area, the Earls of Yarborough. After a year, the club changed its name to Grimsby Town.

The Royal Dockyard is famous for its fishing and maritime history. The Youngs Seafood Company and long-time sponsor of Grimsby Town distribute 40% of the fish eaten in Britain today. During the Second World War, Grimsby dock was the largest base for minesweepers in the North Sea. Local trawlermen from Grimsby were inscribed through national service to work in the Patrol Service.

The Football Club have had an affluent past but have failed to make hay in recent years. In 1892, Grimsby were elected as an Original Member of Division 2. By the turn of the 20th Century Grimsby had won their first Division 2 title and were promoted to the First.

After several relegations, the Mariners were promoted to Division 1 again in both 1929 and 1934. In the post-war period, Grimsby were relegated out of the top tier for the last time. After brief spells in the Second tier in 1992-97, and 2003-04, Grimsby began their slide down the football pyramid until their relegation to the Conference in 2010. Upon promotion in 2016 the Mariners have yet to finish in the top half of the League Two table and ended last year in 15th.   

The Manager

Ian Holloway

Probably the most famous manager in the league, Ian Holloway took charge of Grimsby last December, at the same time becoming a shareowner of the club. “Ollie” has had a prevalent career in football, including an illustrious spell in the Westcountry. Born in Gloucestershire, the now 57-year-old spent three playing spells at Bristol Rovers.

Ian Holloway.JPG

As a manager, he moved to Queens Park Rangers in 2001 before returning the South West in 2006. After the spell at Home Park, Holloway preferred to move to Leicester before embarking on his most successful managerial spell at Blackpool. In 2010, he guided the Tangerines to the Premier League for the first time in 30 years (Div 1 1971).

A Westcountry wordsmith, Holloway had spells at Millwall and a short return to QPR before becoming a director at Grimsby. After the departure of Michael Jolley last season, Ollie stepped into first team matters with some at the club never being “so optimistic about the future” until now.

The Stadium

  • Name: Blundell Park
  • Capacity: 9,052
  • Year opened: 1899
  • Address: Blundell Park, Cleethorpes, North East Lincolnshire, DN35 7PY
  • Record Attendance: 31,651 (vs Wolves FA Cup 1937)

Blundell Park.JPG

Actually in Cleethorpes, not Grimsby, Blundell Park has been home to Town since 1899. Before then, the Mariners played at Clee Park (1880) and Abbey Park (1899). Situated in the heart of a residential area and just a stones throw from the Cleethorpes seawall Blundell Park is the UK’s Lowest football stadium at just 2 feet above sea level.

The all-seater stadium has had a plethora of renovations in its time, though the Main stand has stood since 1901, claimed as the oldest in the Football League. Only the central part dates back though, as the rest has been modified for obvious safety reasons.

As costs of renovations continue to rise in the last 30 years, Grimsby have hoped to move to a brand-new stadium. After the appointment of Ian Holloway in December 2019, a new stadium in the Freeman Street area was announced as the “top of the wish list” for the Council.  

One To Watch

Matt Green

A frustrating season so far for Grimsby but with one glimmering light. The 33-year-old journeyman is at his 11th club in his career. Joint top scorer with only 2 goals in all competitions this morning, Green offers in other areas rather than a consistent strike rate.

Matt Green.jpg

Like all good strikers he is composed in and around the six-yard-area, where both of his goals have profited from. Expect Grimsby to try and pass out from the back before diagonal balls towards the box try to get in behind the defence. Even against a team so short on goals, concentration on Matt Green is paramount for City to secure the points.    

Head to Head

Tuesday will be the 39th fixture between Exeter City and Grimsby Town. Out of the nine draws shared, five of them have finished 0-0. There have been 104 goals distributed but only nine in the last five games.

City are unbeaten in their last five visits to Blundell Park stretching back to 1991.

  • Exeter wins: 14
  • Draws: 9
  • Grimsby wins: 15

Recent encounters

Grimsby Town 0-1 Exeter City | January 18, 2020

Nicky Law scored the all-important goal in the Grecians last visit to Cleethorpes.

Exeter City 1-3 Grimsby Town | September 19, 2019

Ryan Bowman’s 94th minute goal was little consolation as Grimsby humbled City in the only home defeat of the 2019/20 season.

Exeter City 1-2 Grimsby Town | December 29, 2018

Mitch Rose’s 80th minute penalty was enough for the visitors just two minutes after Jayden Stockley’s headed equaliser. 

And Finally…

Whilst writing and producing the spy comedy “Grimsby”, Sacha Baron Cohen visited the town in October 2014, watching Grimsby Town play Cambridge United at Blundell Park and touring the fish market as well as pubs including Cottees Bar on Freeman Street and the Corporation Arms.

Hollywood screenwriter Phil Johnston also made the trip north, taking in Grimsby, Scunthorpe, Hull and Newcastle in a 10-day tour.

In the film, ‘Nobby’ played by Cohen supports the fictional Grimsby United.

How to Watch

Whilst we would love you to be there, showing your passionate support for the Grecians, you can get the next best thing by purchasing a match pass at the cost of just £10 in the UK. The stream includes the live BBC Radio Devon commentary, score overlay and replays.

To purchase a match pass please click here.

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