STAGS HANG ON FOR VITAL VICTORY AGAINST LEADERS
Mansfield Town 2 - 1 Grimsby Town
Barker 19, Coke 40. Jelleyman sent off 73. Woodhouse 79
Attendance: 3053 (737 from Grimsby)
10-men Stags topple leaders
Ten-man Mansfield pulled off a magnificent tonic 2-1 victory over League Two leaders Grimsby Town in a real nailbiter at Field Mill tonight.
The Mariners have the best away record in the division with nine wins and struggling Stags had only won once in nine matches since the turning of the year.
But the visitors played their part in both goals for the plucky home side as Gary Cohen had the ball stolen off him by the outstanding Stephen Dawson before setting up Richie Barker.
Then Grimsby keeper Steve Mildenhall let a soft Giles Coke shot past him as Stags led 2-0 at the break.
But, just when it seemed they had soaked up all the Mariners had to throw at them, they had Gareth Jelleyman sent off for two yellow cards in 13 minutes and then saw Curtis Woodhouse pull one back to leave a nail biting last 10 minutes.
But with that away point at Wycombe followed by this superb win, it left Stags looking forward to Saturday's visit of Wrexham as they try to stay clear of the relegation dogfight.
John-Baptiste passed a late fitness test on his groin strain and came in at right back rather than his expected central defensive position to combat the pace of Grimsby's Cohen.
Buxton continued in the centre of defence with Jacobs left out.
Rundle and Uhlenbeek were dropped to the bench with Dawson coming in on the right and on-loan Wilson making his full debut on the left, while Grimsby included ex-Stag Mendes.
There was danger for Stags in the first two minutes as Cohen appeared to foul John-Baptiste but was allowed to continue and drilled in a dangerous low cross which Buxton cleared for a corner.
Then John-Baptiste made a great sliding challenge on Mendes in the box.
Pressman had to leave his box to beat Reddy to a through ball as the Mariners continued their promising start.
In Stags' first forward excursion Reet and Coke moved the ball along to the right where Dawson, under pressure, shot wide.
Grimsby struggled to clear a long John-Baptiste free kick and Reet almost had a shooting chance, but the ball wouldn't come down quickly enough for him.
Mansfield went close on 13 minutes as Wilson fed Barker and his stinging shot was parried by Mildenhall before Newey conceded the corner.
But Barker did put the home side ahead on 19 minutes with his 17th goal of the season.
The hard work was done by Dawson who robbed Newey in possession on the right and took the ball on to the by-line before looking up and pulling a low cross back for Barker to blast home from eight yards.
Another moment of Dawson magic almost earned Stags a second goal on 28 minutes.
He chased a clearance from a Grimsby corner and showed great strength to win possession before curling a ball with the outside of his boot to set Reet free on goal. But Mildenhall got in the way to deny him and concede a corner.
Chances continued to flow and Pressman was alert to beat away Cohen's attempt to fire past him at the near post on 31 minutes.
And, from Woodhouse's corner seconds later, Pressman was well placed behind Cohen's firm header on target.
However, a howler by Mildenhall saw Stags extend their lead five minutes from half-time.
Coke latched onto a clearance and ran at the defence. They held him up well, but the youngster dragged the ball back, turned and shot at goal from 18 yards.
It still looked a comfy stop for Mildenhall, but somehow he allowed it to slip through him and could only watch in horror as it slowly crossed the line.
Grimsby were upfield within a minute and almost produced an immediate response as Woodhouse's neat chip clipped the top of Pressman's crossbar.
Deep into time added on Newey was booked for bringing down Dawson but Stags wasted the free kick, Wilson eventually shooting tamely wide.
There were boos round the ground as Mendes went down easily in the box under John-Baptiste's tackle in the first real incident of the second period.
An off-balance Cohen was well off target from 18 yards shortly afterwards as the visitors looked for a quick way back.
Stags might have had a penalty on 54 after a neat move down the right got Dawson to the by-line. He pulled the ball back and Reet went down under Jones' challenge. Both players needed treatment but the referee judged the challenge fair.
Jelleyman was booked for a foul on Cohen on the hour and Pressman had to make a smart save from the free kick after Barker's glancing header almost found his own net.
Referee Colin Webster infuriated Stags with a series of decisions and when Coke vented his frustration, his name was added to the list.
Within a minute Croft joined him for a late tackle on Dawson. Before play resumed Barker had to change a bloodied shirt from a head wound and Jones replaced Parkinson for the visitors.
Wilson almost sealed the win on 71 when he met Jelleyman's pass with a superb low drive that beat Mildenhall but cannoned back off the foot of the far post.
However, the visitors were given a huge lift when Jelleyman was red-carded on 73 minutes.
His shove on Reddy saw a second yellow card produced and off he went.
The free kick came over and seemed to skid off a Stags head as Pressman made a good save and sub Gary Jones tapped the loose ball tamely wide from close range.
Midfielder Lloyd replaced striker Reet for the last 14 minutes while Kalala came on for Croft for the visitors.
Pressman made another good stop as he turned aside a close range Reddy volley at his near post on 86 minutes.
The tension mounted and Grimsby launched another long ball forward as we entered four minutes of stoppage time which saw Jones head narrowly wide.
It was an unbelievably tense finish, but Stags stood firm to take the points.
STAGS: Pressman, Jelleyman, D'Laryea, John-Baptiste, Dawson, Barker, Buxton, Coke, Hjelde, Wilson, Reet (Lloyd 76). Subs not used: Uhlenbeek, White, Rundle, Arnold.
GRIMSBY: Mildenhall, Cohen, Croft (Kalala 76), Futcher, Jones, Newey, Parkinson (Jones 67), Woodhouse, Reddy, Bolland, Mendes (Toner 85). Subs not used: Downey, Barwick.
REFEREE: Colin Webster of Tyne and Wear.
SCORERS: Stags - Barker 19; Coke 40. Grimsby - Woodhouse 79.
CAUTIONS: Stags - Jelleyman 60 (foul on Cohen); Coke 64 (dissent). Grimsby - Newey 45 (foul on Dawson) Croft 65 (late challenge on Dawson).
SENT OFF: Stags - Jelleyman 73 (second caution, foul on Reddy).
STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Stephen Dawson.
Town 0 - 2 Mansfield
With just a minute on the clock Cohen won Town's first corner, and Woodhouse found Rob Jones but the ball was knocked away.
Mendes had a chance when Reddy set him up, but a firm tackle from a Stags defender stopped the Town man getting in a telling shot.
Mendes had a chance from a free-kick followed by Parkinson picking up the pieces screwing the ball over the bar.
Bolland had a shot after ten minutes as the Mariners pinned the home side into their own half in one of their best starts of the season. Croft was next to set up a period of Town pressure without the Mariners getting a shot away. Then Rob Jones conceded a free-kick which created problems at the back for Town, before a corner was conceded with the danger being eased as Barker headed wide.
Mildenhall then had to make a good save on 13 minutes from Richard Barker, and after some Mansfield pressure Mildenhall collected and set Town on the attack agin with Gary Cohen.
Goal!: 18:35: Newey made a mistake on the wing as he failed to clear with the ball at his feet, and the ball was crossed to Barker who smashed the ball home from 8 yards.
Town won a corner straight from the restart, but the home team dealt easily with the cross, and went on the attack through Jelleyman.
After another spell of Town pressure, Bolland raced towards the box, and missed the target.
Reddy won another corner after 27 minutes, but it went over the inrushing Jones, and Mansfield broke away. Despite Town appeals the linesman reckoned the forward wasn't offside and it took a save from Mildenhall to save the Mariners' blushes.
Parkinson raced away and found Cohen, but he pushed it too wide and Pressman saved well.
Cohen headed well towards goal after Town's next corner, but again Pressman saved well.
Town won another free-kick and with Futcher being held down Reddy won another corner, which failed to bring any end result.
Goal!: 40:05 Cope unleashed a shot, which Mildenhall appeared to have saved well, but it crept under his body and crept slowly towards the line, the linesman flagged that the ball had crossed over the line before Mildenhall struck the ball clear.
Barker got passed Newey but Rob Jones rescued the situation.
With a minute to half time, Reddy won another Town corner, taken by Woodhouse, and Jones volleyed wide as Cohen was adjudged to have fouled.
Newey challenged Coke on the edge of the box, and went into the refs book.
Half-time: Town 0 - 2 Mansfield
Parkinson had half a chance from a throw-in and gained Town the first corner of the second half, but as it came in to the near post it was headed clear by the defender place there by Mansfield.
Mendes got in the box and went down looking for a penalty but the referee showed no interest and another chance went begging as the ball drifted out for a goal-kick.
Town worked a series of throws to the Mansfield box, but it came to nothing when the ball was smashed upfield by the home defence.
Cohen went upfield with two men against him, got past them, found Woodhouse, and then Mansfield raced away again as the new Mariner was robbed, but he sped back and retrieved the situation.
Cohen was scythed down on 60 minutes, and the first Mansfield player to be booked was Jelleyman. The free-kick had to be fielded by Pressman as his own defender headed goalwards.
Mansfield's Coke was booked after 65 minutes presumably for something that he said, and then after the free-kick was cleared back towards Town's goal, Croft jumped in and he received a booking.
After 66 minutes, Parkinson was replaced by Gary Jones.
On 70 minutes, Wilson fired in a shot, and Town were relieved to see it coming back into play off the far post.
Reddy was taken out by Jelleyman and the referee had no option but to dismiss the Mansfield defender, who had committed the foul just 3 yards from the linesman.
From the free-kick a shot was saved and Gary Jones put the ball wide from about a yard out.
Mansfield substituted Reet with Lloyd, and Town put Kalala on for Gary Croft. On 76 minutes.
Goal!: 78:55: Futcher was having his shirt pulled and the ball came out to Woodhouse who hit home from 20 yards giving Pressman no chance.
Town won the ball from a Mansfield corner and went up to the other end with a series of throws, before Cohen slung the ball over too strongly for the waiting Town man.
With 6 minutes left, Toner replaced Mendes.
Reddy was denied by Pressman after he tried an overhead free-kick and the corner taken short came to nothing.
Newey launched a long centre towards Rob Jones, and Town won another corner as the massed ranks of Town fans tried to lift their heroes, and Bolland tried a rising shot which just cleared the bar.
With normal time up, Town won yet another corner, but it was knocked away. As it came back in Rob Jones headed just the wrong side of the post with Pressman beaten.
Full-time: Town 1 - 2 Mansfield
Latest | February 2006