Brooding about Brodie: Grimsby v Southport preview

Richard Brodie playing for Southport.

Image courtesy of EMPICS.

It’s time to get back to league action – and after a little bit of a wobble in our home form, where we’ve picked up just two points from a possible nine, what better time to host a game against Southport, who currently have the worst away record in the Conference.

And, of course, for added ‘spice’ , if you can call it that, the visitors have an ex-Grimsby player in their ranks who was universally detested at Grimsby, and an ex-rumoured transfer target, who was probably never close to moving to Blundell Park. This has given the local media something other than ‘bog-standard league match for Mariners on Saturday’ to write about.

According to my flimsy research, Brodie played made 15 appearances for Town last season during a loan spell from Fleetwood, scoring two goals. I witnessed one of them, in a terrible home performance against Telford. The game was played in slow motion, which fitted Brodie’s performance like a glove. Up until the moment the ball ran in front of him 18 yards from goal, that is, which is when he suddenly showed a turn of pace to run onto it and finish well past the keeper to score the only goal of the game.

More half-arsed performances followed, in which he contributed little – if nothing – and then it all culminated in possibly the most dreary performance Wembley Stadium has ever seen in the FA Trophy final. Given that it’s a stage that most footballers can only dream of playing at, we all got to see the performance of a man who looked like he really couldn’t have been arsed to get out of bed that morning.

Oh yeah – and then he skied a spot kick in the shoot-out, which was like a frozen shard of piss through the hearts of every Mariner in the ground.

But let’s talk about Town. Their recent home record isn’t much to shout about, unless you’re the kind of person who is impressed by either one win in five, one defeat in five, or six points from a possible 15 and needs to announce this to the world (or anyone that will listen).

Manager Paul Hurst has been hinting that his starting XI may be different to the starting XI in Town’s previous match at home to Tamworth. Midfielder Paddy McLaughlin will be missing, that much we know; but reading between the lines it seems that Hannah will be restored up front alongside the immovable force that is Lenell John-Lewis, and Aswad Thomas will be ushered into the left-back position at the expense of Jamal Fyfield. I’d be surprised if Scott Kerr and Craig Disley don’t emerge as our central midfield pairing, with Scott Neilson on the right and Alex Rodman on the left (or visa versa).

But, as we’re already gathering, Hurst isn’t averse to springing the odd selection surprise. But whichever team he sends out tomorrow afternoon on a sodden and soggy Blundell Park pitch that Brodie will no doubt throw himself down to at every occasion possible, it should have enough quality to defeat a team that has lost 12 of its 15 away league games this season.

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