PREVIEW | Walsall (H)

The Mariners begin the new year with a home game against Walsall on Monday afternoon.

Town ended 2023 with a 0-3 win away against Salford City on Friday night ending a run of two straight defats and now face an in-form Walsall side at Blundell Park.

Team News

Rekeil Pyke, Arthur Gnahoua and Alex Hunt who all sustained injuries on Boxing Day at Mansfield missed out on Friday but could feature in the squad to face Walsall should they be deemed fit enough with a two week break following for David Artell’s side.

Charles Vernam returned to the matchday squad at Salford as an unused substitute as he continues his recovery, the winger could be in line to return to the pitch on New Years Day despite being ahead of schedule regarding his return to action.

Harvey Cartwright earned his first professional clean sheet on Friday night, in a game of firsts Toby Mullarkey also scored his first league goal, and first for the Mariners since arriving in the summer. Danny Rose netted his tenth of the season capping off the victory in Greater Manchester.


The last meeting between the two sides came back in August, a 1-1 draw at the Poundland Stadium meant the points were shared after Abo Eisa opened the scoring with an outstanding effort from range in the 52nd minute, his goal was cancelled out however in the 81st minute by Ryan Stirk before Chris Hussey was shown a straight red card in the 82nd minute, the hosts held out for a share of the spoils.

The Saddlers are managed by Mat Sadler who took the reigns initially on an interim basis following his retirement at the end of the 2021/22 season. He took charge in April 2023 before being given the job on a permanent basis in May 2023.

After twelve consecutive seasons in League One Walsall were relegated in 2019/20, the West Midlands side failed to bounce back immediately and have since had varied mid-table finishes in the fourth tier of English football, ending 12th & 19th before back-to-back 16th places respectively in the last two seasons.

Walsall are still in the FA Cup and face a familiar foe in Southampton in the third round on Saturday and will be looking to show similar heroics to the Mariners who have previously tasted victory at the St Marys Stadium.

Monday’s visitors currently sit 13th in the table, six points better off than the Mariners, having played once less so far this season.


The Saddlers come into the game on the back of four wins in their last five league outings including a triumph over Wrexham on Friday night at the Poundland Stadium.

Jack Earing, who has recently signed a new 18-month contract opened the scoring before Isaac Hutchinson and Taylor Allen sealed the points despite Paul Mullin’s penalty midway through the first half.

Walsall’s away form is where they have faltered at times this campaign, Sadler’s side have won only three times on the road, losing seven and drawing the other two. Their last away trip saw them pick up their only league defeat in the last five, a 2-1 loss at Accrington Stanley.

Freddie Draper is the club’s top scorer with ten strikes so far, he is followed by Isaac Hutchinson with six and Oisin McEntee with four.

Last season’s top scorer Danny Johnson, who struck twelve times last term currently has three.


UK and overseas supporters will be able to watch Monday’s match against Walsall on Mariners TV with match passes available for £10 – they are available HERE.



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