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Season 12/13 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Bet Premier
Mansfield Town  
2 - 0
 Grimsby Town
Rhead 64, Chapman 82.
Attendance: 3896 (806 from Grimsby)
Date: 12 March 2013


Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium

On a magnificent night, Mansfield Town made it twelve wins from the last thirteen games, and an incredible eight wins on the trot which is a new club record since joining the football league in 1931. The win was sealed by a characteristic header by Matt Rhead, just 8 minutes after coming on as an inspired substitute by manager Paul Cox, and then a phenomenal goal from Adam Chapman who fired home a sweet strike left footed from outside the area to send Field Mill into raptures. In truth Mansfield had to rely on a superb defensive display and great goalkeeping from Alan Marriott against a hugely impressive Grimsby side. Wrexham also won tonight so Mansfield are still level on points with Wrexham, and second on goal difference but Mansfield have one game in hand on Wrexham. The win moves Mansfield seven points ahead of Grimsby. And so on to Forest Green for another really tough game on Friday night - come on Mansfield.

The game survived two pitch inspections earlier in the day with part of the pitch (in front of the West Stand) partly frozen after snow had fallen on the pitch on Sunday, and then the pitch covers had been put down on Monday, with more snow coming down after that. 15 fans came in to help clear the pitch in the morning and then some heaters were brought in to melt the frost, to the satisfaction of the referee.

The Stags were unchanged again. Grimsby included Craig Disley and Tom Naylor as their central midfield. Disley picked up an injury and had to be subbed at half time. Naylor was hugely impressive in central midfield and featured heavily in the match video highlights.

The Stags were the first to create a chance as Green scuffed a shot to the keeper from a Meikle cross on 5 minutes. Two dangerous long throws from Chapman followed but neither came to anything. From Grimsby’s first corner on 12 minutes, taken short, Marriott could only parry Disley’s fierce shot and Hannah was then offside as he fired the follow-up over the bar from three yards. Then a good break by Hannah on 16 minutes, and a good shot that was brilliantly saved by Marriott diving low to his right.

Grimsby were the better side in the opening stages.

On 17 minutes, from a Chapman cross, Daniel headed goalwards, the ball was tipped away by keeper McKeown and somehow went wide, off Stevenson. It may have clipped the post but it was difficult to tell.

On 24 minutes, Naylor tried a long range shot which bobbled up in front of Marriott, hit him in the chest and bounced away. Beevers had to be alert on 26 minutes as he headed behind for a corner under pressure following a cross from the right by Marshall. Chapman’s free kick on 28 minutes was deflected wide. Then Hannah was through on 31 minutes but Dempster blocked superbly. Grimsby had appeals for a penalty on 33 minutes but they were waved away. Another long throw from Chapman just evaded everyone on 40 minutes.

A first half in which Grimsby were the better side. The Stags defence was playing well but otherwise Mansfield were disappointing. At the break, I said to Stags fan-representative-director Darren Shaw that I thought Mansfield needed Rhead on straightaway as the only threat was coming from set pieces, including from Chapman long throws.

Half time 0-0

Yet another Chapman long throw, on 47 minutes, and Meikle’s shot was blocked.

On 51 minutes, Marriott made a fabulous save diving low to his right to tip away Hatton’s low free kick which was deflected. Moments later, the impressive Devitt crossed from the left, it hit centre half Pearson just a yard out and somehow went over the bar. A major escape for Mansfield.

Then Naylor made a good run to the edge of the box and was fouled. The referee, fortunately for Mansfield, decided that it was outside the box. The free kick from Hatton was straight into the wall.

Rhead replaced Stevenson on 56 minutes.

And on 64 minutes, it looked a master stroke as the Stags went in front. A corner from Jennings from the right was headed home by Rhead at the far post. Field Mill erupted.

Daniel made an incisive run down the left almost straight from the kick off, but as the ball was cleared back into Daniel it hit his hand and a free kick was given. Marriott saved from a low hard shot on 65 minutes. Then straight to the other end and Green cut inside and his left foot shot was deflected wide. And in a frantic period of play, Devitt got into the area on the left for Grimsby and shot over the bar.

Briscoe replaced Meikle on 72 minutes. On 74 minutes, Green headed a Jennings corner goalwards and it was cleared off the line, but the referee saw a foul somewhere. A minute later, Devitt got outside Beevers on the left and his cross was brilliantly handled by Marriott. Then on 79, Aswad Thomas’s cross was skied over the bar by Hannah from an awkward position.

The Stags made it 2-0 on 82 minutes with the goal of the season so far. Murray clipped a ball down the left channel for Green, who cut back inside and squared for Chapman who hit a crisp left footed shot straight into the net from outside the box. Fabulous from Chapman and the ground erupted again.

Howell came on for Green on 86 minutes.

The stuffing was knocked out of Grimsby. Dempster made a great tackle from sub Brodie on 88 minutes, but Grimsby were finished and Mansfield had a great victory.

Man of the match: Alan Marriott

Report by: Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium

Line Up:
Marriott 9 Excellent game. Wonderful handling and some very good saves.
Beevers 8 Really good, under considerable pressure.
Dempster 8.5 Some terrific last ditch challenges, one superb block in the first half and then a great tackle to deny Brodie.
Jones 8 Very good, alongside Dempster.
Jennings 8 Defended very well. Great corner for Rhead’s goal. Joined the Lee Beevers school of bravery with staples in his head at half time.
Meikle 6 Quiet game after his stormer on Saturday.
Murray 6.5 Got stuck in and led the team well. Super ball forward in the build up to Chapman’s goal.
Chapman 6.5 Didn’t play particularly well, but his goal will live long in the memory.
Daniel 5 Disappointing.
Stevenson 5.5 Didn’t get into the game enough.
Green 6.5 Worked hard. Set up Chapman for his wonder strike.
Sub Line Up:
Rhead (for Stevenson, 56) 7 Got the crucial goal with a trademark header.
Briscoe (for Meikle, 72) - Looked sharp.
Howell (for Green 86) - Great to see him back.
Subs not used: Sutton, Wright.
Opposition Line Up:
McKeown; Hatton, Pearson, Miller, Thomas; Marshall (Colbeck 69), Naylor, Disley (Thanoj 46), Devitt; Hannah (Brodie 81), Cook. Subs: John-Lewis, Wilson.
Graham Horwood (Luton) 7 Unfortunate to be from Luton, but had a good game, apart from a couple of minor errors.

Season 12/13 Reports