The Reds are back on the road as we take on Grimsby Town at Blundell Park on Tuesday night in Sky Bet League Two action, almost three months after the reverse fixture in a game we disappointingly lost 1-2 in West Sussex.
After a winless run in four league games, the Reds picked up an important three points on Saturday against Colchester United at The People’s Pension Stadium, as new signing James Tilley struck in the 93rd minute to score his first Crawley goal to clinch the victory in the dying stages of the game.
Tom Dallison and Tony Craig both picked up injuries that forced them off the field, as the two will be assessed in the lead up to our Tuesday night away trip, with the extent of the injuries not yet published.
Before Saturday, the Reds had struggled for points and goals in recent weeks, following a very difficult outbreak period which meant that training was halted and limited for a phase. Our first league game after our break was away to Cambridge United, in a game that we lost 3-1. Jake Hessenthaler scored his first for the Reds but Joe Ironside and Wes Hoolahan both scored and impressed for the home side who took the three points.
We then returned to The People’s Pension Stadium to welcome Leyton Orient who held us to a goalless draw, despite going down to 10 men only 30 minutes in. Harrogate were our next visitors, but a strong overall performance from the away side meant that despite losing a player in the second-half, the result ended 1-3, with the likes of Josh March impressing.
In a third consecutive home tie, struggling Stevenage were the opposition in another match that the Reds couldn’t find their usual form in. Elliott Osborne’s wonder strike was enough to clinch all three points for the Boro to lift them further from danger in the table.
Grimsby haven’t played for over two weeks, with their last fixture taking place in South Wales where they lost out 1-0 to Newport County. Since their 1-2 away victory against us in the reverse fixture in November, the Mariners have only won once in fifteen games, dropping to the bottom of the Sky Bet League Two table, with 21 points.
Since 2016, after Grimsby Town were promoted to League Two, the two sides have met nine times, with three draws, four Crawley wins and two wins for the Mariners.
Last season, the Reds earnt a 1-1 draw in Grimsby as our very own Jake Hessenthaler gave the home side an early lead only 2 minutes in. Ashley Nadesan equalised later on in the first-half but the Reds couldn’t quite find a winner.
Later on in the season, Crawley were victorious on home soil after a brilliant comeback inspired by Ashley Nadesan and Ollie Palmer, who set each other up for goals that turned the game on its head. 3-2 the final score.
Physical forward James Hanson is likely to start up front for the home side tomorrow, after scoring nine times for Grimsby last season, possessing vast experience after spells at Bradford City and Sheffield United. Hanson stands at 6”4’, and is known for his success in the air up against challenging defenders.
Captain Luke Waterfall will play in the heart of defence, and has partnered Rollin Menayese in Grimsby’s last three games. Menayese was brought in on loan from Mansfield Town in January, but is yet to keep a clean sheet with his new side.
Manager Paul Hurst returned to manage Grimsby once again in late December to replace Ian Holloway after a short spell at Ipswich Town before he left for north-east rivals Scunthorpe United, where he lasted only one season.
Reece Grego-Cox and Henry Burnett remain unavailable for tomorrow’s game. Tony Craig and Tom Dallison will be assessed following their injuries against Colchester United.
HOW THEY BET*
Grimsby Town 15/8
Crawley Town 7/5
*Odds correct with EFL partners Sky Bet at the time of writing. Please gamble responsibly.
You can watch the match live on iFollow from 18:50 with coverage from Harry Maynard and Ken Blackmore.
You can purchase a match pass for £10 by clicking here.