Read Andrew Pettit’s programme notes from Saturday’s issue of ‘The Mariner’…
A warm welcome to everyone for our game today against Mansfield Town. Following our excellent Tuesday night win against Salford, we go into this game with a bit of momentum, hoping to get some revenge for the disappointing Carabao Cup defeat 10 days ago at Field Mill. Tuesday’s win showcased a few players who hadn’t featured in the first couple of games, showing the importance of the squad and the professionalism of the players waiting patiently to make their contribution. I was also really pleased to see the big smile on the face of Abo Eisa as he opened his account for the Mariners with a brace and hope that he will be a big player for us this season.
It is still early in the season and we have already been through a mix of emotions with a win, a loss and a draw as the Mariners settle into a new year in League Two. But I guess we get used to it as Town fans…
I would like to pay tribute to the 2,818 Town fans who made the trip to Meadow Lane last Saturday. Even though the result ultimately proved disappointing, to travel in numbers only bettered by Sunderland across the entire EFL was truly magnificent. We took 1,200 more fans than any other League Two club over the opening two weekends and that support is truly appreciated by everyone and will hopefully translate into another great year on the road.
League Two this year looks to be very competitive and early results have upset the pre-season odds. Promotion favourites Stockport County have yet to win and relegation favourites Crawley Town have yet to lose! It usually takes 10-12 games for the league to settle down and take shape so we will all take stock at the end of September but it does already seem that the standard is higher than last year.
I am a big fan of the rule changes that have been introduced this season, notably the crack down on time wasting and ill-discipline towards match officials. Hopefully, as ever, we get a level of consistency across the game and throughout the season but seeing the ball in play more should mean a better spectacle for all of us.
Finally, I would like to give a warm welcome to the players, officials and fans of Mansfield Town and wish you all as pleasant a day in Cleethorpes without taking any points home with you!