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PREVIEW: Grimsby v Harriers
2:00pm Friday 8th March 2013 in News
DEFENSIVE linchpin Josh Gowling believes defeat to Gateshead is the 'kick up the backside' Harriers needed ahead of tomorrow's top of the table clash at Grimsby Town.
Harriers saw their seven-match winning streak in the Blue Square Bet Premier ended at Bootham Crescent on Tuesday night during a lacklustre perfornance.
But defeat will only spur on the Aggborough outfit said Gowling.
Saturday's clash at Blundell Park could not get any bigger.
Harriers are second in the Blue Square Bet Premier but the Mariners are just behind in fourth place and boast three games in hand.
With the top five separated by just four points, it's too close to predict who will win the league and wins over title rivals could be key to the success.
"We got a really good result at Grimsby in the FA Cup earlier in the season but there's probably a bit more pressure on us this time around," said Gowling.
"We were all really disappointed to lose the game in York on Tuesday night but it could be the kick up the backside we needed.
"Grimsby are a team playing well but we go there believing we can win the game.
"It's a big game for both sides and both teams will be really going for it."
Chances could be at a premium as two of the division's tightest defences go head-to-head. Grimsby have conceded a miserly 24 goals in 33 matches, while Harriers have let in just 31 in 36 games.
Gowling has forged an impressive centre back partnership with Chey Dunkley, who is enjoying his first season as a professional.
"I've played in the Football League with a lot of good centre backs but Chey is up there with them," commented Gowling.
"He's going to be a top, top player and the best thing about him is that he doesn't think he is.
"Chey is always asking questions and willing to learn and to be honest I am learning as much from him as he's learning from me.”
Gowling has revealed he's also recovered from the clash of heads with Liam Enver-Marum in Saturday's win over Ebbsfleet.
He said: "I cannot remember the game after the 74th minute.
"I had a headache and felt sick afterwards but I feel fine now.
"I hate missing games, it knocks me out of my rhythm so it's important to keep playing."
Harriers boss Steve Burr said he is considering freshening up his side as the number of games begin to take their toll.
Meanwhile, Grimsby could be without key defender Shaun Pearson, who missed the Mariners’ 1-0 win at Forest Green on Tuesday with a knee injury.
Mariners midfielder Derek Niven also has a groin injury and could be out for up to seven weeks.
Fans unable to make the clash can follow all the action on The Shuttle's Live Match blog, which will reveal team news during the build-up to the 3pm kick-off followed by all the drama and goals.
That will be followed by a match report soon after the full-time whistle and reaction from the result.