STAGS WIN AT FIELD MILL AT LAST
Mansfield Town 2 - 0 Grimsby Town
Brown 35, Rundle 85
Attendance: 3,424 (397 from Grimsby)
Match stats (Stags/Mariners)
12 Goal Attempts 9
8 On Target 4
4 Off Target 5
0 Hit Woodwork 0
4 Offsides 4
9 Corners 3
14 Fouls 10
Palmer all smiles as Stags end home misery
FOR once Carlton Palmer and the Stags fans all left Field Mill with a smiles on their faces after this 2-0 home success against Grimsby Town this afternoon.
But injury-jinxed striker Colin Larkin has kicked his last ball for the club after another disappointing and premature end to his afternoon.
This may been a meaningless game as far as promotion and relegation issues are concerned.
But Stags had not won any of their previous five home games, had not scored twice at home in their previous 14 home games, and Palmer had not had a single game at Field Mill where he didn't get some abuse from a section of the crowd.
But goals from Simon Brown, his second in as many games, and Adam Rundle - one in each half - ended all that and Palmer even had the novelty of a section of home fans chanting for him to give them a wave!
Stags just about deserved this success though they have played better at home and found their luck out.
Grimsby wasted three good chances, two of them forcing the best out of home keeper Kevin Pilkington. But Stags defended well, with Rhys Day much improved, and the afternoon was crowned by a superb solo effort from Adam Rundle.
"Everywhere I have been in my career I have been vilified but I have always won them round and that's what I am doing here," said a delighted Palmer.
"It's my job to win them round by doing a good job with the team and I was delighted with the lads today.
"I am starting to smell a togetherness in that dressing room now and if you've got that you can achieve anything."
"I said to them at half-time that we needed to up the tempo a bit.
"I know a few of the lads were feeling tired out there as I have been working them hard. But I thought we could score a few more and we probably should have done.
"The only player I had a question mark over before the game was Colin Larkin and he's asked to come off injured before half-time when I would have pulled him off anyway as I don't believe he was giving us his lot.
"He won't play for this club again now. He doesn't show the hunger and desire we require.
"I gave Rhys Day one rollicking after the Oxford game and he has done very well today while Alex Neil has given me no option but to offer him a new contract with the way he has played.
"I don't want to talk about the play-offs as I just want to finish the season strongly. But it would be interesting if we won at Yeovil next week!"
Stags made three changes from last weekend.
Teenage midfielders Giles Coke and Callum Lloyd were rested and dropped to the bench as was full back Scott McNiven.
Rhys Day returned to the centre of defence, Gareth Jelleyman came in at left back and Colin Larkin shook off his dead leg to partner Richie Barker up front in a 4-4-2. Alex Neil was given a central midfield role.
Grimsby had the first goal attempt in the second minute. When the ball ran loose in the Mansfield box during a scramble, Harrold tried a shot that flew well wide.
Stags quickly replied with pressure at the other end that produced two corners.
Neat work from Larkin set up Jelleyman on 12 minutes for a low 18-yard shot that wasn't far wide.
However, Larkin picked up a thigh strain and had to be replaced by Coke on 22 minutes. Neil moved to right of midfield and Brown joined Barker up front.
When Stags failed to clear Grimsby's second corner, Gritton controlled the ball and then lashed a finish well wide.
The best move of the game so far saw the Mariners break down the right through McDermott. He crossed low to Parkinson whose backheel found Harrold 12 yards from goal and he curled a finish inches wide of Pilkington's left hand post.
But Stags were ahead after the ball cannoned off Gritton into the path of Rundle. He ran on and got in a powerful blast which keeper Williams did well to parry.
Williams then did supremely well to get in the way of Barker's follow-up but could not nothing as the loose ball rolled to Brown in front of goal and he turned it over the line just inside the near post.
Mansfield were now easing into a higher gear and Rundle forced a save from Williams from 35 yards and, soon after, Brown was over with an effort from 30 yards.
Rundle again came close with a volley across the face of goal from a tight angle after being picked out by McLachlan's far post cross after the midfielder had battled his way into the box on the right by-line.
The fourth official indicated an extra minute to play at the end of the first half but the referee decided to blow up with only an extra 15 seconds played.
McLachlan was booked within 26 seconds of the restart for a needless foul on Coldicott.
And on 52 minutes he was replaced by teenager Lloyd.
Neil's through ball gave Brown a chance which was blocked by the alert Whittle.
Grimsby then made a change with Pinault replaced by Soames.
The visitors then threatened when a corner was cleared as far as Fleming who drilled in a low 20 yard shot. The ball bounced just in front of goal where Gritton tried to net only to see Pilkington quickly smother his effort.
Shortly afterwards a long cross from the left by Parkinson was just too high for Harold at the far post where he would have had an empty net to head into.
The visitors came very close again on 70 minutes as Parkinson cut in from the left to rifle a vicious drive just over the bar.
And four minutes later Pilkington had to spread himself to deny Soames who had got in down the right channel.
Fleming was booked for dissent on 78 minutes for the visitors who then withdrew Gritton to bring on Ramsden which drew boos from the away supporters in the 3,424 crowd.
Stags sealed the points on 85 minutes with a solo special from Rundle. The left winger made ground onto Barker's through ball before teasing and then cutting inside Forbes and then drilling a superb finish across Williams.
It was his last action as Heron replaced him for the last four minutes.
Barker should have made it 3-0 in the last minute but blazed over before, seconds later, Stags - and Palmer - were cheered from the field in the warm afternoon sunshine.
Grimsby boss Russell Slade said: "We missed Michael Reddy again and Matty Harrold is going back so scoring goals is a bit of a worry right now.
"But this game helped shape my ideas in terms of individuals and next season.
"If players think there is nothing to play for at this time of year when we find ourselves in mid-table then they are foolishly mistaken.
"They are playing for contracts and they needn't come knocking on my door asking where is mine gaffer. I won't name individuals but I have my own ideas.
"Both goals stemmed from us giving the ball away in bad areas. The first was Mansfield's first real opportunity in the half which was disappointing, though the lad took their second goal very well."
Mansfield 2-0 Grimsby
Mansfield grabbed their first home win in six attempts with strikes from Simon Brown and Adam Rundle.
The Stags dominated throughout and their goalscorers were a constant thorn in Grimsby's side.
Brown put them ahead in the 36th minute, tapping the ball home from two yards following a goalmouth scramble.
After the break, Brown had another shot parried wide but, with five minutes left, Rundle cut in past Terrell Forbes and blasted home to seal the victory.
Mansfield: Pilkington, Jelleyman, Baptiste, Day, Buxton, Rundle (Herron 86), McLachlan (Lloyd 52), Neil, Brown, Barker, Larkin (Coke 22).
Subs Not Used: White, McNiven.
Goals: Brown 36, Rundle 85.
Grimsby: Williams, Crowe, Whittle, Forbes, McDermott, Parkinson, Pinault (Soames 58), Coldicott, Fleming, Gritton (Ramsden 80), Harrold.
Subs Not Used: Jones, Heggarty, Crane.
Ref: L Mason (Lancashire).
Football First match report:
By John Lomas
transcribed by carole
Fans start warming to Palmer:
CARLTON PALMER took a huge step in winning over his critics at Field Mill as he was finally cheered from the pitch following this long awaited home victory.
Palmer had suffered torrents of abuse since he stepped in as caretaker manager when Keith Curle was suspended in November and there has been little let up since he took on the job full-time.
Home games have been a nightmare in recent weeks with Mansfield's away record of three wins and two draws in the last five away matches in stark contrast to the two points gained from five winless home games.
But against Grimsby, Simon Brown and Adam Rundle found the net – the first time the Stags have scored more than once at home in 15 games – and Palmer was a happy man as some of the fans finally chanted his name.
“I knew it would come eventually,” he said.
“Everywhere I have been in my career I have been vilified, but I have always won them round and that's what I am doing here.
“I am delighted with the young players. In fact the only player I had a question mark over before the game was Colin Larkin and he asked to come off injured before half-time when I would have pulled him off anyway as I don't believe he was giving us his lot.
“He won't play for this club again – he doesn't show the hunger and desire required.”
Matt Harrold fired wide from 12 yards for Grimsby just three minutes before Brown took away a loose ball at the other end as keeper Tony Williams lay helpless.
Home keeper Kevin Pilkington had to be at his best to smother close-range efforts from Martin Gritton and David Soames after the break.
But teenage winger Rundle crowned a fine afternoon when he ran onto Barker's through ball, cut inside Terrell Forbes and blasted home.
Grimsby manager Russell Slade said: “We missed Michael Reddy again and Matty Harrold is going back, so scoring goals is a bit of a worry right now.”
Mansfield Town………. Grimsby
42-----------Possession %---- 58
8------------Shots on Target----4
4------------Shots off Target---5
Mansfield finally put an end to their barren spell at Field Mill by securing their first win in six home games defeating Grimsby Town 2-0.
Teenage winger Adam Rundle was Mansfield's hero securing victory five minutes from time with a fine solo goal to leave Grimsby without a win in five matches.
Mansfield manager Carlton Palmer had rested young midfielders Callum Lloyd and Giles Coke after three impressive performances to give the versatile Alex Neil the chance to strengthen his bid to earn a new contract.
But injuries early in the game forced Palmer to rethink his new look midfield, Coke replacing injured striker Colin Larkin as Neil switched to the right wing.
But the shake up failed to dampen the Mansfield boss' enthusiasm and they went on to dominate against a poor Grimsby side.
The Mariners had created the better chances in the early stages with Matty Harrold almost marking the end of his loan spell from Brentford with a goal. In the second minute he lofted his close range effort over the bar in a goal mouth scramble and then in the 33rd minute curled a shot wide after a clever back heel from Andy Parkinson.
Mansfield finally clicked to take the lead in the 36th minute. Grimsby keeper Tony Williams beat away a Rundle pile driver and also parried Ritchie Barker's follow up, but he was powerless to save Simon Brown's tap in.
Brown, who had scored his first goal for the club just six days earlier, almost doubled the lead two minutes into the second half and Rundle also flashed a drive across the face of goal.
At the other end Kevin Pilkington denied Martin Gritton an equaliser on the hour and Parkinson blasted over from 20 yards after a surging run as Grimsby pressed hard for an equaliser.
Pilkington repeated his heroics to block a close range shot from substitute David Soanes and within five minutes Mansfield had made the point safe.
Barker cleverly held the ball on the half way line as Mansfield launched a counter attack, before releasing Rundle to race clear and score with a curling 20-yard drive into the top corner.
Grimsby Town Official Site:
Town 0 - 2 Mansfield
Russell Slade named an unchanged team at Field Mill, Mansfield, with youngster Nick Heggarty on the bench.
Matt Harrold, who has been called back to Brentford from Monday, had the first shot of the game but his right-footed effort failed to be on target.
Mansfield got a couple of early corners which Town dealt with competently, before Town earned their first corner in the 7th minute.
Larkin produced a chance for Jelleyman whose well-hit strike was just off target.
After 15 minutes the game had been entertaining without either goal being under serious threat.
Stacy Coldicott tried a lobbed shot which was caught by Pilkington in the Stags goal.
Harrold got past Day, but the ball ran out.
After 19 minutes Mansfield won another corner, which was taken short, and when Brown slung over the cross Williams collected calmly.
A good Town build-up was broken up, as Mansfield prepared their first substitute.
Parkinson and Gritton combined, and Parkinson's shot was blocked clear for a corner. The ball was initially cleared, but was played back in and Gritton unleashed a shot that was wide.
A minute later, Gritton was dumped on the grass by Day, who had a lengthy lecture from the referee who made it clear that he would be in severe problems if he repeated the action.
Town again pinged the ball round the Stags box before Gritton's shot was charged down.
On 33 minutes, Matty Harrold turned and shot with the best chance of the game, with the ball squeezing past the post.
Mansfield's next corner came on 34 minutes.
Goal!: 35:35 Mansfield attacked the Town goal, and Williams was forced into a great save, but as the ball bounced clear Simon Brown was first to react and hammered the ball home.
Mansfield applied pressure immediately after the goal, and won another corner, which resulted in a poor effort from Rundle.
Scorer Brown had another shot on 40 minutes but it was a wasted effort.
Though a minute of added time was signalled a few seconds only were added.
Half-time: Town 0 - 1 Mansfield
Williams did well after 46 minutes to tip away a Brown shot for a corner, cleared by Forbes.
Harrold found himself in acres of space, but failed to find a Town man, and immediately McLachlan was replaced by Lloyd - possibly because McLachlan had had a booking just seconds into the second period.
Town needed to be at their best as Brown made for goal.
Harrold played in Fleming, then Gritton, and Fleming's cross went straight to Pilkington.
Soames replaced Pinault
Parkinson took Town's corner with Pinault having just gone off, and it required a great save from Pilkington.
Harrold was inches away from getting Town level when he couldn't divert the ball into the net.
Parkinson raced into the box and fired in a shot which was just wide and high.
Soames fired in a shot as 4 Town players closed, but Pilkington brought out a wonder save to keep his team in front.
Terry Fleming was booked for defence after 78 minutes.
Ramsden replaced Martin Gritton after 79 minutes.
After 83 minutes, Mansfield threatened the Town goal with some good passing football but the Town defence held firm.
Goal!: 84:20 Rundle ran at Town's defence and blasted a screaming shot into the Town net.
With two minutes left, Mansfield won an eighth corner, which came to nothing.
Richie Barker then shot over with one minute of normal time left.
Full-time: Town 0 - 2 Mansfield
Town: Williams, Crowe, Whittle, Forbes, McDermott, Parkinson, Pinault, Coldicott, Fleming, Gritton, Harrold
Subs: Crane, Heggarty, Jones, Ramsden, Soames
Mansfield: Pilkington, Jelleyman, Baptiste, Day, Buxton, Rundle, McLachlan, Neil, Brown, Barker, Larkin
Subs: McNiven, Lloyd, Herron, White, Coke
Latest | April 2005