Tonight sees the second attempt for this fixture to be completed, after the original game was abandoned due to fog.
That happened 52 minutes into the game on tuesday, 15th March with the Diamonds leading 2-1 and the Mariners down to ten men – Darran Kempson having seeing red after two yellow cards.
Just over a week later, Grimsby Town appointed their joint managers, Rob Scott and Paul Hurst, who tonight will be looking for their first win in charge at Blundell Park.
Rushden & Diamonds are one of a host of clubs currently facing financial problems. The February wages were late in being paid, and when they did not receive wages for March on thursday 31st, the players did not train the following day, 1st April.
The club had also been hit with a transfer embargo, due to an unpaid tax bill.
The club has since set up an ‘Early Bird’ scheme for the purchase of 2011/12 season tickets, and have also introduced a share issue for fans to participate in.
Together, it is hoped that these initiatives will provide a sufficient financial boost for the remainder of this season.
Both Grimsby and Rushden are sitting disappointingly outside the play-off places, despite both clubs having been realistic contenders just a few weeks ago.
Paul Hurst spoke to the Grimsby Evening Telegraph, firstly about the abandoned game and the opposition :
‘We have been made aware of what happened when they came here last and some of the things that were said at the time. Rushden will be right up for it, that’s for sure’.
‘They have their own problems at the moment financially, but they will be looking to put that to one side and come here and beat us.
‘We have had them watched and spoken to people about them. They will probably play 4-3-3 and be quite attacking.
‘The lad (Nabil) Shariff, who came on for them on Saturday and scored, will look to cause problems, and Aaron O’Connor is another one to watch. I’ve played against him, he’s quick and a real threat up front’.
Focusing on his own team, Hurst added :
‘If we can play like we did in the second-half on Saturday then we’ve got a good chance. We looked like we had some real energy about us and there were far more tackles going in.
‘In general, we pressurised Kidderminster in possession and got bodies forward well. We had more than enough chances to win it and should have won it, but that’s how it’s going at the moment.
‘We just need to get a win or two together and go on a run.
‘The challenge for the team is can they match that second-half performance tonight? Can we replicate that kind of determination and drive for a whole game? If we get that then we will have a very good chance’.
Diamonds assistant manager, Paul Driver, said of the re-arranged game :
‘It’s going to be different to when we went there a few weeks ago.
‘Grimsby’s new managers are still searching for their first win, but it sounds like the performance was an improvement in the 3-3 draw with Kidderminster at the weekend’.
Grimsby Town Team News:
Dwayne Samuels (back) and Bryan Hughes (achilles) will not be available having had to be replaced during last saturday’s game.
Lee Ridley is still sidelined, but it is hoped he will resume training this week.
Charles Ademeno was injured in training last week, and will not feature tonight, although he could be ready for the visit of Bath City on saturday.
With Rob Duffy over his illness, Scott and Hurst still have plenty of options for their team selection.
Player to watch: Lee Peacock
The inspirational club captain was at the heart of most of Town’s attacking moves in the second half of the game against Kidderminster – scoring the third goal with a neat glancing header.
It will be interesting to see if Lee can put in another action packed 90 minutes in the space of five days.
Rushden & Diamonds Team News:
Manager Justin Edinburgh will give late fitness tests to striker Craig Farrell (achilles) and defender Michael Corcoran (illness).
Former Town loanee Paris Cowan-Hall(knee) has been absent since being injured in the early stages of that abandoned match four weeks ago.
Alan Power begins a two match suspension, whilst fellow striker Neil Cousins is back in contention after being out for 15 months.
Striker Ryan Charles is hoping for a recall, and young forward Nabil Shariff is pushing for a place, having come off the bench to score against Wrexham on saturday.
Player to watch: Michael Gash
Rumoured to have been a transfer target of former boss Neil Woods, Gash has been in good scoring form since his loan switch from York City on 1st January.
Gash has netted six times for Rushden, including a four goal haul in the last month’s 5-1 victory over Bath City.
Match Facts & Stats
The reverse fixture at Nene Park.
Sat, 28th August 2010 Att : 1,575
Rushden & Diamonds 4 (Miller,41 Charles,59 Howe,60 Porter,66)
Grimsby Town 1 (Hudson, 47)
Bath City (home) Sat, 16 April – 3pm