STAGS LOSE TO LATE GOAL AT GRIMSBY
Grimsby Town 2 - 1 Mansfield Town
Reddy 9, Parkinson 86. Barker pen 79
Attendance: 4506 (512 from Mansfield)
Stags undone by late strike again
MANSFIELD Town had a deserved point cruelly snatched away from them as Andy Parkinson grabbed a winner for Grimsby Town four minutes from time in a 2-1 win at Blundell Park this afternoon.
Michael Reddy was the home hero, scoring one, making the winner and having another disallowed.
But Stags more than deserved a point on the day as they fought back well from the early blow of Reddy netting against the early run of play on nine minutes.
Home keeper Steve Mildenhall twice made good saves to keep out Stephen Dawson strikes and Rob Jones cleared an Alan Russell effort off the line before Stags finally hauled themselves level through a Richie Barker penalty 11 minutes from time.
But it wasn't to be enough as the third-placed Mariners stole all three points when Kevin Pressman could only parry Reddy's shot to the perfectly-placed Parkinson.
Mansfield made two changes from the side so narrowly beaten at Newcastle last week.
D'Laryea's return allowed Shirtliff to rest Coke and put him on the bench.
Day had spent all week struggling with a stomach strain so he was also put on the bench and Hjelde returned to the first team.
Pressman and John-Baptiste both shook off ankle injuries to keep their places.
But new signing, striker Danny Reet, could only make the bench.
Lincoln gave a debut to new signing, giant defender Futcher. It made for a formidable centre back partnership with both he and Joes standing 6ft 7ins tall!
Stags began well and Russell appeared to be caught from behind by Futcher in the second minute right on the edge of the box. But the referee decided it was neither a penalty nor a free kick.
Grimsby headed away the visitors' first corner kick. Then a neat move out of defence saw Stags work the ball to Rundle on the left of the box. He pulled back a low cross which Dawson blazed well over as the finish failed to live up to the excellent build-up.
However, the Mariners snatched the lead from their first shot at goal on nine minutes.
Parkinson fed Reddy into the box on the left and he accelerated towards goal before beating Pressman with a confident low finish.
Mansfield replied with another good spell of pressure and were almost level on 17 minutes.
Rundle's free kick from the right found Barker at the far post. He headed back across the box and Russell got a deflected shot on target which Jones was able to clear off the line.
Cohen was warned for a late challenge on Hjelde. And when Jelleyman then caught Cohen late a few minutes later he was shown the yellow card.
Grimsby quickly forced two successive corners which brought nothing. And Pressman was easily behind a tame poke from Reddy after a scramble just outside the box.
Three minutes from the break Jones sent in a cross from the right and Reddy was allowed to get in a glancing header which lacked enough contact to get it on target.
Russell turned well to get in a good low cross which Jones hooked over his own crossbar. And from Rundle's corner Barker headed well wide of the Grimsby goal.
In stoppage time Cohen was allowed to flash in a powerful 18-yard shot that Pressman held onto safely as the sides went in split only by that early Reddy strike.
Grinsby defended two early Mansfield corners while Barker had a header deflect just over from a Rundle cross,
Grimsby replied with two flag kicks of their own before Stags gave new boy Reet his debut on 57 minutes in place of Russell.
Three minutes later a Rundle corner was cleared out as far as Dawson on the edge of the box. And he let fly with a superb first time blast that Mildenhall could only parry. But the home side were able to clear the danger.
The Mariners then came close as Parkinson turned Buxton. The defender got in a challenge which saw the Grimsby man tumble and the ball run to Bolland who shot tamely at Pressman.
Stags hit straight back with D'Laryea cueing up Barker for a low shot that skidded just wide of Mildenhall's right hand post.
Birchall replaced Rundle on the left of midfield on 64 minutes for the visitors.
Jones got a head onto a long free kick from inside their own half, but Pressman was there to gather.
Reet was involved in a 72nd minute clash when he clashed with Jones as Jones tried to shepherd the ball out. Jones reacted angrily and Mildenhall raced over to get involved as well which saw the keeper booked for his troubles.
Coke took over from D'Laryea in the Mansfield midfield for the last 15 minutes.
Mildenhall denied Dawson for a second time with a magnificent save, diving to his right to parry. The ball ran out to Birchall who saw his follow-up deflect inches over and wasn't even awarded a corner.
Mansfield built up a head of steam with another good spell of pressure and were finally rewarded on 79 minutes with an equaliser from the penalty spot by Barker.
In a frantic scramble in the home box Bolland went in dangerously on Coke to give away the kick. Both players needed lengthy treatment before the kick could be taken.
Then up stepped Barker to drill home the penalty down the centre as Mildenhall dived despairingly to his left.
Straight away Grimsby forced a corner. And when Stags struggled to clear, a series of headers in the box saw Reddy finally beat Pressman just under the angle only to see an offside flag raised.
Home boss Russell Slade made a double change on 81, withdrawing Bloomer and Jones and sending on Croft and Gritton.
John-Baptiste was cautioned for hacking down Cohen and Newey's 30 yard free kick was straight to Pressman.
Reet headed tamely at Mildnehall at the other end as both sides went all out for the three points.
And they were snatched by Grimsby on 86 minutes.
Newey brought the ball forward before allowing Reddy to get in a shot that Pressman blocked. But the ball ran loose to Parkinson who made no mistake from seven yards.
After all the hard work they had put in earlier to be deservedly level, it was a bitter blow for Mansfield who must have thought they had at least earned a point.
Throwing caution to the wind, Stags piled on the pressure with Buxton blazing one shooting opportunity well off target.
Four minutes were added on at the end and Newey was booked for his late tackle on Buxton.
North replaced home hero Reddy in those final moments as time just ran out on the unfortunate Stags.
Grimsby 2 Mansfield 1
By Rob Sedgwick
GRIMSBY were made to work hard for three points today against industrious Mansfield. As against Carlisle, Town went into an early lead through Reddy, but looked to have thrown away three points when Mansfield were awarded a late penalty. The final twist, however, came as Town bagged an 86th min winner.
On loan Lincoln defender Matt Bloomer once again started at right back, alongside his former team mate Ben Futcher, making his debut for the Mariners in central defence.
Futcher almost got off to the worst possible start in his Grimsby career when the big defender almost conceded a penalty with a late challenge on Russell. The referee thankfully never awarded a spot kick.
Town scored somewhat against the run of play after just eight minutes. Top scorer Michael Reddy latched onto a ball bouncing around in the box and slotted it home from a narrow angle.
Town then almost conceded from a Mansfield free kick. Rob Jones managed to hook a ball off the line from a Russell shot, which had been headed back to him by Barker.
There were few chances in a first half which Mansfield generally had the better of. Town struggled defensively, but Michael Reddy always looked dangerous up front when he had the ball.
Reddy almost put Town 2-0 up just before half time but his header from a Bloomer cross went just past the post.
In the second half Mansfield continued to look for an equaliser and Mildenhall was twice called upon to make great saves from Dawson. The Town 'keeper was also harshly booked for his part in an altercation with Mansfield substitute Reet, with the Stags' striker incredibly going unpunished.
In the 76th minute the referee awarded a penalty against Paul Bolland, and Barker stepped up to level the scores. It was no more than Mansfield deserved.
Town almost scored immediately but their "goal" was disallowed for offside against Rob Jones.
Just when it looked like the Mariners would have to settle for a point, Tom Newey launched Town forward with a great run starting inside his own half. The ball broke to Reddy, whose shot was parried by veteran 'keeper Pressman into the path of Parkinson, who converted the chance.
Town survived the remaining six minutes plus four minutes of injury time. Three points may have been a shade fortunate, but in their previous game against Carlisle they were unlucky to come away empty handed.
Town's win and Carlisle's defeat at Shrewsbury means the Mariners have returned to second spot, but still have a game in hand over leaders Wycombe Wanderers.
Town 2 - 1 Mansfield
Grimsby Town returned to second spot in League Two with a hard win against Mansfield while Carlisle were losing. But for long periods it looked as though the Mariners would be under the cosh from a determined Stags side. In the end, the visitors couldn't score in open play and it took a penalty for Mansfield to revitalise the Mariners.
There was the great sight of a Futcher back on the Grimsby Town teamsheet as Town took on Mansfield Town this afternoon.
Some observers thought Futcher's first action could have resulted in a penalty to the Stags as Russell came in on the blind side, but the referee showed no doubt in waving play on.
The game started quietly, with a Mansfield corner causing no problems and the first shot from Mansfield being hit on the volley well over the bar. But after 7 minutes Reddy won Town's first corner and the chance to see Town's giant centre-backs at their first set piece. The corner failed to reach either of them though and Mansfield cleared their lines.
Goal!: 8:30 ... Michael Reddy took the opportunity of indecision between Mansfield's two centre-halves and went for goal hitting the ball past Kevin Pressman from a narrow angle. It was Reddy's ninth goal of the season equalling his total for his first season in a Town shirt.
There was a scare for Town on 16 minutes after a Mansfield free-kick when Rob Jones kicked the ball off the line from Russell after Barker had headed the ball back from the far post.
Futcher played the ball out for a corner when Jelleyman broke. Taken by Uhlenbeek, Parkinson took the ball away before being robbed.
Cohen was spoken to when he slid in as the ball was cleared, but no card was raised, and Mansfield wasted the free-kick.
Jelleyman himself was booked for a foul, with Newey taking the free-kick, and with Futcher not quite making the header it was diverted for a corner for Town. Newey's corner almost found Futcher again, and a second successive corner resulted, with Newey and Futcher again being involved - again to no effect.
Town went on the attack prompted by Bolland with Parkinson and Reddy interchanging, and when Parkinson shot it spun away towards Bolland, before Mansfield got the ball to safety.
Cohen won the ball with a good challenge and with three on three he tried to play in Reddy when he could have gone on himself.
There was a good cross from Matthew Bloomer, and as Michael Reddy got in front of his marker he tried to glance the ball goalwards.
As one minute of added time was signalled Cohen made an opportunity for himself and struck the ball well, but unfortunately straight at Kevin Pressman.
Half-time: Town 1 - 0 Mansfield
There were no changes at half-time.
Mansfield were the first to show, and won a corner early in the second half, but Town got it away successfully.
Parkinson sent Gary Jones away but Cohen's cross was too high.
Cohen did well, skipping past a challenge and crossed the ball, but D'Laryea chose to clear for a Town corner. Again the big men went up, and Rob Jones couldn't get in his header as Mansfield put the ball behind for another corner, with Rob Jones conceding a throw.
Redy won the ball, and played to Parkinson, with his return ball to Reddy being hit against a defender by the speedy Irishman.
Danny Reet, who scored against Town just a couple of weeks ago for Bury came on for the visitors.
Uhlenbeek won another corner at the Pontoon end, and the unmarked Stephen Dawson fired in a shot which produced a wonderful save from Steve Mildenhall.
Town had an opportunity when Cohen won the ball back and tried to find Reddy who couldn't quite get onto the cross. Then Parkinson went down, appealing for a penalty, which like the Mansfield shout early on, was met with a negative response from referee Mason.
Rundle was then replaced by Adam Birchall for the visitors.
Toner conceded a corner as Mansfield lifted in a free-kick, with Bolland and Newey combining to clear.
Mansfield had been pressing for most of the first half of the second period. A mistake by Matt Bloomer was rectified by Futcher winning the ball, and then Buxton centred the ball with Toner controlling the situation for the Mariners.
Cohen played to Bolland whose pass to Reddy was intercepted, and then Birchall won a free-kick for the Stags, and then Town gained a free-kick of their own with Gary Jones only heading into the hands of Pressman.
Reet seemed to hit Mildenhall, but the official booked the Town keeper without even speaking to the Mansfield frontman.
Uhlenbeek then seemed to dived theatrically to gain a free kick just outside the Town box, with the free-kick being headed over the bar.
Uhlenbeek then won a corner by hitting the ball off Parkinson, but Town cleared, and Mansfield replaced D'Laryea with Giles Coke.
Mildenhall saved the Mariners again when Dawson fired in a shot, and then the next incoming shot landed on top of the Town net.
Town were defending desperately as Mansfield piled on the pressure, and a challenge by Bolland saw the Referee award the visitors a penalty. There was a delay as Bolland received treatment for an injury caused when he was trying to clear the ball and Cope came on his blind side.
78:37: Goal! Mildenhall went the right way but the ball entered the net from Barker.
Newey won a corner as Croft waited to come on, and Town's Rob Jones forced the ball home with his head, but the linesman's flag was up for offside.
On 81 minutes, Bloomer was replaced by Croft and Gary Jones by Martin Gritton.
Cohen was scythed down, and with him and Toner down Baptiste was booked by referee Mason. Tom Newey had a shooting chance from about 25 yards, but it was straight at Pressman.
Goal!: 83:49 Town went back in front as Newey took the ball forward, with Reddy shooting, Pressman saving well and Parkinson picking up the pieces to slot the ball home.
Gritton the picked up the ball and fired in a shot which lacked power.
Reddy went on a run and passed Baptiste, but the defender recovered to clean up towards his keeper.
Parkinson and Reddy sped away, and Parkinson lost the ball as the clock wound down to full-time.
Four minutes of added time were signalled.
North replaced the tired Reddy two minutes into added time.
Full-time: Town 2-1 Mansfield
LESSONS MUST BE LEARNED
Evening Post, 16 January 2006
Grimsby 2 - 1 Mansfield
A WEEK on from facing another team who play in black-and-white stripes, Mansfield were again tasting bitter defeat.
But this time the disappointment was much harder to take.
Against Newcastle United, fans and players alike were delighted with the way the match had gone, despite going out of the FA Cup.
At Blundell Park, though, it was a frustrating experience all round because everyone connected with the Stags - and most of those who were not - felt they deserved at least a point.
For large parts of a scrappy game, the Stags were in control, although neither side passed the ball with any fluidity.
Grimsby often found it difficult to get out of their own half as they used the long ball forward to their front men.
Mansfield, meanwhile, tried to retain possession and get the ball to their wide men, which they managed with a fair degree of success.
But that was where they hit problems - the final ball into the box was just not good enough.
Too often Adam Rundle and Gus Uhlenbeek - and Gareth Jelleyman and Jake Buxton behind them, for that matter - were unable to produce the quality of delivery to unlock Grimsby.
For Richie Barker and Allan Russell it must have felt like they were playing the Harlem Globetrotters faced with the 6ft 7in defensive duo of Rob Jones and new signing Ben Futcher.
Long balls straight down the middle were never really an option, unless the Mansfield strikers had been allowed to take stilts on to the pitch.
So it was obvious to all and sundry that the supply to them had to be right. The service had to be accurate.
But it was like the train you needed to catch for that important meeting. It never came.
The chances Mansfield did create were either from set pieces or by working the ball down the middle - Stephen Dawson was twice denied by excellent stops from former Notts County keeper Steve Mildenhall.
And Mansfield's equalising goal - netted from the penalty spot by Barker - came after a thrust through the centre by substitute Giles Coke.
There were defence problems, too.
It was not that the Mariners opened the Stags up at will - far from it. It was more a lack of concentration at key times that cost the Stags.
After Mansfield had made a bright start and pinned Grimsby back, they failed to track the run of striker Michael Reddy as he ran from deep to score the opener.
Frustratingly for Shirtliff and the supporters, the Stags did not learn from that.
Having levelled with only minutes to go, the team switched off again, allowing Martin Gritton to run unchecked and work in a shot that led to Andy Parkinson's winner.
Shirtliff's team is young and young players can be prone to switching off.
But Saturday's lesson - that you will be punished for your mistakes at league level - has to be learned, and quickly.
It is all well and good scoring goals, but it is every bit as important to keep them out and that requires the utmost concentration for the full 90 minutes.
One real positive to come out of the game was to see Danny Reet in the colours of Mansfield for the first time.
The teenager had 30 minutes to make an impression, but struggled after only joining his new team-mates for a training session two days before.
But the fact he was on the pitch at all after the Stags paid £25,000 to Sheffield Wednesday for his services is an encouragement.
Mansfield have been calling out for competition up front while Simon Brown is out with a hamstring problem.
Shirtliff was correct in his after-match assessment that overall Mansfield did not play too badly.
But his players know they will have to do better if they are to enjoy a happier outcome at Gay Meadow, Shrewsbury, tomorrow night.
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