Following a comeback from two down last week to pick up a point at Forest Green, the Mariners now play host to the other side in the relegation zone in Sky Bet League Two tomorrow when Sutton United visit Blundell Park (3pm KO).
The 2-2 draw at the Bolt New Lawn continued Shaun Pearson and Ben Davies’ four-match unbeaten run since taking interim charge of the side and they will be looking for a third home win in as many matches with this weekend’s game coming after victories over Morecambe and Slough Town.
Pearson confirmed today during pre-match media duties that the squad hasn’t had any withdrawals from that which was available for last weekend’s match and shared that Harry Clifton and Evan Khouri have returned to training this week, alongside right-back Michee Efete, although the latter hasn’t played a full part.
The returnees mean that the sole member of the squad currently not participating in training is long-term absentee Charles Vernam.
Striker Danny Rose will serve a one-match suspension after picking up five cautions.
After a positive campaign last season that saw a Play-Off push ultimately fade in the dying embers, this term has proven to be a far more challenging one for the Gander Green Lane club and they currently find themselves rooted to the bottom of the fourth tier.
Manager Matt Gray has been in charge since spring 2019 and, in his second season with the Club, led them into the Football League for the first time in their history by winning the National League. In their first season in the EFL, they reached the EFL Trophy Final, falling short against Rotherham United at Wembley Stadium.
After last season’s mid-table finish, Sutton saw a number of players depart and arrive in the summer with League Two promotion winner Craig Clay perhaps the pick of those following his arrival from Leyton Orient.
Omari Patrick, so impressive last term for Carlisle United – another promotion winner – also made the move to Sutton alongside strikers Scott Kashket (Gillingham) and Harry Smith (Leyton Orient), the latter scoring seven goals in eleven matches for Barnet in the National League after joining them in February.
Smith is Sutton’s top scorer so far this season with six to his name and Patrick has one fewer from his seventeen appearances.
Sutton have fallen to defeat in twelve of their eighteen matches so far this term with just three wins to their name and 38 goals conceded at an average of over two per game.
Despite that, they have avoided defeat in each of their last three matches with a 2-1 home victory over Bradford City coming before back-to-back 1-1 draws away to Colchester United and at home to Tranmere.
The point away to Colchester is, so far, their only return on the road this season.
The Mariners, off the back of scoring thirteen goals in Pearson and Davies’ interim spell, are certainly showing confidence going up the pitch but have also conceded seven in that time, including two in each of the league matches against Morecambe and Forest Green.
This weekend’s match will be able for overseas viewers to watch live on Mariners TV for just £10 with match passes available HERE.