Match Preview: Grimsby Town (A)
EFL League Two
Saturday, November 12, 2016 – KO 3pm
Team News: Long-term absentees Michael Gash (knee), James Pearson (knee), Shaun Batt (hamstring) and Sam Togwell (hernia) are all unavailable.
Jamal Campbell-Ryce, Elliott Johnson and Gavin Hoyte have all been out of action in recent weeks too.
However, John Akinde returns from a one-match ban which he served against Shrewsbury Town in the FA Cup last weekend.
Last Time We Met: Barnet last played Grimsby during the Vanarama Conference-winning campaign of 2014/15.
Barnet had begun 2015 with a 4-1 loss at Lincoln City, followed up with a 3-1 defeat to Paul Hurst’s side at Blundell Park in front of the BT Sport cameras.
However, coming off the back of a 1-0 loss to Wrexham, the Bees were beaten again by two last-gasp goals when the Mariners visited The Hive in February.
Christian Jolley put Town ahead but loanee Conor Clifford equalised in the 56th minute with a stunning strike into the top corner.
But, as the clocked ticked into the 90th minute Grimsby skipper Craig Disley won it for the away side before Jon-Paul Pittman made sure of the points with a killer third.
Manager: Newly-appointed Marcus Bignot, 42, will take charge of his first EF League Two match since succeeding Hurst as Mariners boss.
The former Telford United and Queens Park Rangers full-back left National League Solihull Moors to take up the reins at Blundell Park after Hurst was appointed as Shrewsbury Town manager.
A full-back in his playing days, Bignot’s managerial career actually began in 1998 when, aged just 24, he became boss of Birmingham City Ladies.
Under Bignot Birmingham City won the Midland Combination League, the FA Women’s Premier League Northern Division and reached the FA Women’s Premier League Cup Final.
He stepped down in 2005 after the club ran into financial problems but later returned as a football consultant in the FA WSL era.
In 2011 Bignot took his first managerial post in the men’s game, replacing Micky Moore as Solihull Moors manager following the latter’s resignation. Moore is now his number two at Town.
The 2015/16 campaign saw Moors win the National League North title with three games to play, reaching the National League for the first time in the club’s history.
Bignot left Moors on November 7 with the midlands outfit comfortably in mid-table. He is married to Arsenal Ladies goalkeeper Emma Byrne.
Dangerman: Striker Omar Bogle has an impressive nine goals in just 12 EFL League Two starts this season.
The 23-year-old England C international worked with new boss Bignot at Solihull Moors and it was his form for the midlands outfit which earned him a move to Blundell Park in the summer of 2015.
Bogle bagged 16 goals in 48 outings for the Mariners during his first season at the club – including three in the play-offs – helping Grimsby back into the Football League with a Play-Off Final win over Forest Green Rovers.
In 65 outings for Grimsby Bogle has 28 goals to his name and he has one goal from one international cap for Paul Fairclough’s England side.
Connections: Bees forward Ben Tomlinson spent time on loan at Blundell Park last season, making seven appearances without finding the back of the net.
Grimsby were Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro’s first English club. The Bees forward moved to England from FC Brussels in 2008 and spent two seasons at Blundell Park, scoring eight times in 45 league starts.
Further back, midfielder Michael Leary moved directly from Underhill to Grimsby in 2009.
He made 59 appearances in all competitions for the Bees between 2007 and 2009 before turning out 52 times for the Mariners.
Former Wales international John Oster started his career at Blundell Park and make 25 appearances for Town before a £1.5 million move to Everton.
The midfielder played for the Bees towards the end of his career, making 28 appearances and scoring twice during the 2012/13 campaign.
Last Time Out: Bignot’s first game in charge of Grimsby ended in a 4-2 defeat to EFL League One side Sheffield United in the EFL Checkatrade Trophy.
In front of a record low home crowd of 597, Kayden Jackson gave Grimsby the lead only for Regan Slater to level eight minutes later.
Grimsby Town: McKeown; Mills, Gowling, Collins, Andrew; Comley, Disley (c), Berrett, Summerfield; Bogle, Vernon.
Ticket info: Supporters wishing to attend Saturday’s match can buy in advance or on the day, but are advised there will be a £2 increase in prices from 1.30pm. Full information available here.