Cambridge v Grimsby: ruthlessness


Paul Hurst –

“Success always necessitates a degree of ruthlessness.” – a quote once made by rock star Sting. On that basis, Grimsby Town manager Paul Hurst deserves credit for his controversial summer transfer policy.

Rather than stay loyal to those who helped the club to promotion, he has instead made big changes. Nine of the 15 players who started 10+ games in the National League last year are no longer at the club. So far, most of the players brought in have proved upgrades on those they have replaced.

Right-back Ben Davies and left-back Danny Andrew perhaps offer more attacking verve than the full-backs they replaced. Winger Ashley Chambers has provided creativity on a consistent basis. Loanee Brandon Comley has looked dynamic in midfield and Hurst hopes to partner him with Sean McAllister, who impressed pre-injury. Some areas might be debatable but all in all, the squad is stronger than last season.

The same cannot yet be said of Cambridge, but the hosts have climbed the table lately with four wins in their last five games. The turnaround in form started when Harrison Dunk was fielded in his natural left wing position, having recently returned from injury. The team was losing at half-time at Newport when Greg Taylor came off the bench to allow Dunk further up the left flank, where he had more of an influence and helped the U’s to a 2-1 win. Since then, the handsome speedster has started three consecutive league games on the left wing, a move that has coincided with seven points from a possible nine.

That total would have been nine from nine, but for an impressive stoppage time free-kick from Blackpool’s Andy Taylor. Shaun Derry said after the match that he wanted his team to get further up the pitch when defending the lead, and this may be an issue to address.

The ex-QPR defender’s side have conceded six equalizers in the league and dropped nine points from winning positions. That would have been 11, were it not for two stoppage time penalties saves from goalkeeper Will Norris against Accrington, a match Derry’s troops finished with nine men.

Bearing in mind that Grimsby have scored six of their 17 league goals in the last 15 minutes of matches, there is potential for more late drama.

Omar Bogle may be the man to provide it, having scored nine goals this term, his form making him 6/4 to score anytime in the football betting odds. The Mariners just need Bogle and co. to be as ruthless on the field as their manager is off it.

The Football Lab’s Verdict: 1-1

Other League Two Predictions
Accrington v Blackpool Both sides in a lot of tight games this season. 1-1
Barnet v Exeter Grecians losing 2/3rds of games, Bees to end winless run. 2-1
Carlisle v Hartlepool No three-goal comeback for Pools this time. 2-0
Cheltenham v Crawley Robins becoming draw specialists. 1-1
Doncaster v Colchester Williams to star in convincing Donny win. 3-1
Leyton Orient v Luton O’s divided, Hatters to get back to winning ways. 1-3
Mansfield v Wycombe Stags solid, Chairboys awful away. 1-0
Morecambe v Stevenage 14 places apart yet both have -4 goal difference. 1-1
Notts Co v Crewe Magpies must react after awful display last night. 2-1
Plymouth v Portsmouth Chance for both to dodge flat track bully tag. 1-1
Yeovil v Newport Winning start for Westley, Glovers ship too many. 1-2
Last week: 2 correct results/12