Less than a month since the 1-1 draw at Princes Park, Grimsby and Dartford prepare to lock horns again on Saturday as league action resumes. By the end of November, the Mariners will have faced five Conference sides both home and away before having played some others at all.
While The Darts were perhaps the happier of the two teams in the aftermath of that 1-1 draw, the sides have endured contrasting fortunes since. Town have picked up seven points from a possible nine, including big wins at Wrexham and Torquay, while this weekend's visitors to Blundell Park have accumulated just two points in that time.
Victory this weekend would provide a great start to what could prove to be a significant month for Town's season. Paul Hurst's side will play seven league games in November, as well as the FA Cup tie against Oxford, and will be desperate to get closer to early leaders Barnet.
Nathan Arnold must be hopeful of a starting role having made such an impact in last weekend's FA Cup win, while Jon-Paul Pittman will be looking to continue his return to fitness. The American played the last 12 minutes of the 3-0 win over Guiseley and will likely come on from the bench again this weekend. One man certain to start is Lenell John-Lewis, with "The Shop" having netted five goals in his last three outings. Harry Pell, who signed on a one-month loan from AFC Wimbledon earlier in the week, is in contention to make his Mariners debut in the absence of the injured Scott Brown. Assistant manager Chris Doig explained why they had moved for the Don's player. He said: “It's a big factor in bringing him in, him knowing the league. He knows what it is about and he's got vast experience at this level, We are hoping that he will fit straight in.”
Meanwhile, Paul Hurst is still to make a decision on the future of Newzealand striker Hamish Watson. Doigy said: “His future at Grimsby Town is undecided yet. We are looking into possible issues that he might have on a visa or work permit. From a training point of view he has worked very hard and impressed us. But really the gaffer is still waiting to make a final decision on him.”
And of the visit of the Darts, Doig said:”We will have to match their work ethic and the physical aspect of their game. We've got to stand up to that. Then hopefully, if we do stand up to that, we can get the ball down and play and our quality will come out on top at the end.”
Tony Burman revealed on Thursday that striker Tom Bradbrook will travel to Cleethorpes having missed out on Dartford's last two games through injury. While the forward may have to settle for a place on the bench, brother Elliot Bradbrook will captain the side. Peter Sweeney is likely to start in what will be his first game back at Blundell Park since departing the club back in 2010.
Possible Mariners XI: McKeown, Magnay, Nsiala, Pearson, Thomas, Arnold, Disley, Clay, Neilson, Hannah, John-Lewis
Possible Dartford XI: Brown, Bender, McAuley, Mitchell-King, Green, Hayes, Daly, Bradbrook, Noble, Sweeney, Crawford