MAGNIFICENT MARRIOTT EARNS POINT FOR STAGS
Blue Square Bet Premier
Grimsby Town 0 - 0 Mansfield Town
Attendance: 2553 (140 from Mansfield)
Date: 6 December 2011
Martin Shaw at Blundell Park
Mansfield Town picked up a useful point at Blundell Park on Tuesday evening against in-form Grimsby, largely thanks to an inspired display from goalkeeper Alan Marriott. Marriott made a string of outstanding saves and received high praise from Grimsby players and officials as the game ended. Grimsby were gifted two good chances in the first half through terrible errors, as first Dempster played a square ball across the back on 22 minutes, which was picked up by Grimsby who surged forward, had an initial effort parried by Marriott, then Thompson was just able to clear away before Elding could head in the loose ball, and finally Marriott made a magnificent save on his line from the third chance of a triple chance from Hearn's powerful close range shot. Then on 28 minutes, skipper Adam Murray made a similar mistake with a square ball inside the Grimsby half intercepted by Michael Coulson who surged forward and his shot was really well saved by Marriott with his legs. On 48 minutes, Marriott came off his line to make himself big and Elding could only left a glorious chance over the bar. On 60 minutes, Marriott brilliantly tipped over a splendid effort from Coulson. Finally on 83 minutes, Marriott somehow kept out a Rob Duffy effort from the edge of the box as he seemed to be going the wrong way, and stuck out his left boot to deflect the shot over the bar. Brilliant from Marriott. Mansfield's best chance feel to Matt Green on 33 minutes when he was through 1-on-1 against the keeper but could only shoot straight at the keeper. The Stags could have won it in stoppage time, when a terrific run from Ross Dyer set up sub Louis Briscoe who fired straight at the keeper from the edge of the box.
All in all, a good point for the Stags. Grimsby were unbeaten in 8 games and have been free-scoring at home this season, including 7 goals in their last home game. And as the Stags lost 7-2 here last season, a clean sheet and a nil-nil draw was satisfactory for the 140 magnificent Stags fans who braved the cold on the East coast.
The draw was the Stags fifth on the trot away from home, which we think is a club record. The Stags are also five games unbeaten.
Man of the Match: Alan Marriott
Stagsnet report in the Match Centre
Grimsby 0 Mansfield Town 0
Nottingham Post Match report by Matt Halfpenny
IT'S a good job Alan Marriott did not have far to travel home last night – he needed the extra sleep after almost single-handedly earning a point for Mansfield Town on the east coast.
The experienced shot-stopper still lives just down the road from Grimsby in Lincoln, where he spent a successful nine-year spell with City.
And he showed he still very much has it in his 'home' county, earning every minute of his extra shut-eye with a superlative display that underlined why he is rated as one of the best keepers in the Blue Square Bet Premier.
No less than four times he came to his team's rescue when a Grimsby opener looked likely.
And as the visitors held their nerve and defended doggedly in the final stages, it was enough to make it five games unbeaten for the Stags, albeit four of those matches ending in stalemate, and secured Marriott a clean sheet.
While Mansfield – and certainly their fans – might have considered draws in the previous two away games at Telford and Bath as two points dropped, this has to be considered one gained.
Not only is their record at Blundell Park particularly dismal – five defeats in six prior to last night – but Grimsby were eight games unbeaten coming into this fixture, having hammered Stockport 7-0 in front of their home faithful last time out.
It was certainly a lot better than the last meeting of the sides at the venue on New Year's Day, when a much different Mansfield team under the charge of Duncan Russell were massacred 7-2.
Mansfield made just one change. With Aman Verma ill, Paul Bolland came into the three-man midfield to face his old club. His place on the bench was taken by Marcus Kelly.
As Grimsby started well, Michael Coulson brought the first save of the game out of either keeper, with Marriott diving to his right to hold on.
When Mansfield went on the attack for the first time, Adam Murray blazed over the bar and over the stand before Lee Stevenson's snapshot was into the midriff of James McKeown.
The Stags finally strung several passes together and it took a last-ditch clearance to prevent Stevenson latching onto Murray's teasing far post cross.
A glaring error by John Dempster, with a misplaced square pass, almost gifted Grimsby a lead.
Luke McCarthy intercepted and saw his drilled effort half-stopped by Marriott.
As the ball came out, a second effort from Liam Hearn was cleared off the line by the recovering John Thompson before another shot from the Grimsby striker was brilliantly clawed away by Marriott, who had sprung back quickly to his feet.
Midway through the half, Lindon Meikle cut in from the left, only to curl his shot into the arms of McKeown.
Marriott again saved Mansfield after they had put themselves in trouble just before the half hour.
A loose pass from Murray and a slip from intended recipient Ritchie Sutton allowed Coulson to race clear and only the Stags keeper's legs stopped the visitors going a goal down.
Suddenly, Mansfield should have gone in front when Stevenson dispossessed Will Antwi and put Green away and clear but he delayed too long, allowing McKeown to save with his legs.
As half-time approached, Stevenson broke up play adeptly and fed Meikle who was unable to test McKeown with a tame shot.
Dempster then got his head on Kieron Freeman's free-kick, but his effort lacked the pace to find the net, while Stevenson mistimed his jump challenging for Sutton's centre.
Soon after the restart, Disley's flick found Anthony Elding, who lobbed over the advancing Marriott, but also wide of goal.
The Mariners continued to press but Hearn's glancing header following Disley's free-kick flew wide of the right-hand post.
Mansfield responded with a low drive from Meikle that McKeown fielded well on the stretch. Stevenson was much further away when blasting high, wide and not so handsome.
Thompson read the script perfectly when he blocked Hearn's fizzer from Elding's neat back-heel.
Marriott was at it again just after the hour, tipping over a rising drive from Coulson after he turned sharply on the edge of the area.
The action continued to switch from end to end as Ross Dyer used his strength to win possession 30 yards out only to fire off target as he ran on.
The scene was set for substitute Rob Duffy to be the hero against his former club when he was teed up by McCarthy in the closing stages, but Marriott somehow changed direction to keep out the resulting deflected effort. It truly was the Mansfield keeper's night.
Grimsby: McKeown, Townsend, I'Anson, Antwi, Wood, McCarthy, Disley, Panther (Thanoj 77), Coulson, Elding (Duffy 83), Hearn. Subs not used: Silk, Artus, Pearson.
Mansfield: Marriott, Sutton, Dempster, Thompson, Freeman, Bolland, Murray, Stevenson (Briscoe 72), Dyer, Green, Meikle. Subs not used: O'Neill, Redmond, Rodney, Kelly.
Referee: John Hopkins (Essex).
Attendance: 2,553 (140 visitors).
Grimsby Town 0 Mansfield Town 0, Tuesday 6th December
chad.co.uk by John Lomas
ALAN Marriott reminded everyone why he is one of the best goalkeepers at BSBP level with an accomplished show as Stags picked up an excellent point at Grimsby Town last night.
Marriott was the busier of the two keepers on a freezing East coast night at Blundell Park, making some excellent saves in a very open game.
Stags also had their moments and might have gone home with maximum points had Matt Green not allowed home keeper James McKeown to make a stop when through one-on-one in the first half.
For Mansfield it was a fifth successive game without defeat at a ground where they have lost five of their last six visits and not won since 1987. It was also an extension of an impressive unbeaten away league record that goes back to August, losing only their first one at Gateshead so far.
See this week's Chad for full match report and all the latest from Field Mill, as well as the chance to win tickets to the Stags' Boxing Day match
Aman Verma missed out with illness which saw Paul Bolland come into the midfield in Stags' only change of the night ahead of the BSBP match at Grimsby.
For the first time, new loan signing Marcus Kelly was also included in the 16 on the bench.
Former Stags star Craig Disley was in the Mariners' midfield, but other ex-Mansfield stars Gary Silk and Rob Duffy could only make their bench and Scott Garner was not in their 16
report by Mark Stevenson
Mansfield Town stretched their unbeaten run to five matches after a well-earned point at a bitterly cold Blundell Park.
Both sides could have snatched a victory, especially in a first half which saw passages of sloppy possession, which could have proved costly on another day.
Stags had to call upon Alan Marriott to make a string of outstanding stops, but in the end, a draw was about right as both teams lacked the killer touch in front of goal.
It was Grimsby who burst out the traps first through their star man Michael Coulson, the Mariners striker who caused so many problems for Mansfield in the same fixture last season, forcing Alan Marriott to make an early low save with just two minutes played.
At the other end, Ross Dyer flicked on towards Lee Stevenson who struck sweetly into the hands of James McKeown.
Grimsby frontman Liam Hearn registered an almost identical effort a minute later, but Marriott was well behind it.
With 15 minutes played, Mansfield captain Adam Murray delivered a dangerous right wing cross which only needed a touch goalwards to give Stags the advantage, but no one was on the end of it.
Grimsby almost took the lead on 22 minutes after a misplaced crossfield pass from John Dempster. Luke McCarthy pounced on the loose pass before rifling a shot at goal which Marriott could only parry, before he spectacularly saved another close range effort and was then aided by defender John Thompson who cleared off the line after Hearn tried to hook it in.
Marriott pulled off more heroics after Mansfield were again too casual in possession. Adam Murray's poor pass to the right failed to find Ritchie Sutton, who slipped over, allowing Michael Coulson a clean run through towards goal. But his final shot was fired at Marriott, who stood large to deny Grimsby again.
Grimsby were then guilty of some awful possession play after Will Antwi was easily dispossessed midway inside his own half. Lee Stevenson collected before slipping it through to Green who advanced before shooting directly at McKeown.
As the first half drew to a close, Lindon Meikle sent a glancing effort wide of the far post after being set up by Stevenson on the edge of the box. John Dempster then headed harmlessly into the hands of McKeown from Freeman's free kick as Stags entered the break on top.
Grimsby had a great chance to take the lead just three minutes into the second half when Elding latched onto a Craig Disley assist. But after trying to loft it over the outrushing Marriott in the centre, the effort bounced wide.
On 52, Hearn headed wide after connecting with a flick on from a right-sided free kick.
A minute later, Mansfield wing man Lindon Meikle's low drive was saved after he cut in from the left.
Stags defender John Thompson then flung himself in the way of a powerful shot inside the area by Liam Hearn after he had been put through by Elding.
Mansfield keeper Alan Marriott was soon in the thick of the action once more as the game passed the hour mark. He had to be alert to tip over a dipping shot from Michael Coulson on the edge of the area.
Louis Briscoe was introduced to the action with a little under 20 minutes remaining, replacing Lee Stevenson.
Ritchie Sutton sent a delicious cross into the box from the right wing, but it evaded everyone in the centre and Grimsby breathed again.
With seven minutes left, ex Mansfield forward Rob Duffy came on for Grimsby in one last throw of the dice for the Mariners and almost gave the home side the victory just moments after taking the field.
The Welshman started the move, sending McCarthy into space on the right, and after receiving the return pass in the centre, the striker's low effort was kept out by the heels of Marriott.
Louis Briscoe, who scored the goal of his career here last season, unleashed a hopeful shot from distance which flew over the target, as Stags searched for the winner.
McKeown felt the full force of Briscoe's power, as he had to keep out a powerful 20-yarder. But neither side could find a goal as the game, predictably, ended in a stalemate.
Attendance: 2553 (140 visitors)
Grimsby 0 Mansfield 0
By: Rob Sedgwick
McCarthy and Antwi returned as expected.
Both sides had chances in the first 20 minutes, with Marriott pulling off two good saves to deny Hearn.
On half an hour Coulson broke, ran 60 yards, got free of the defence and then failed to beat the 'keeper.
Shortly afterwards Antwi was caught trying to dribble a ball out of defence and McKeown did well to save with his feet from Green.
After a slow start to the second half Marriot once again denied a Coulson shot from the edge of the box.
With the game seemingly petering to a quiet 0-0 draw, Duffy came on and almost scored straight away but the goalkeeper saved at close range with his foot.
Town almost conceded in injury time when Briscoe broke but shot straight at McKeown.
Town had the better of chances but did not do enough to win
A SECOND goalless draw in the space of four days earned Grimsby Town a Blue Square Bet Premier point against Mansfield Town at Blundell Park.
The Mariners extended their unbeaten run to nine games but could not find a breakthrough to claim all three points on a cold night in Cleethorpes.
Grimsby created plenty of chances but were thwarted by Mansfield goalkeeper Alan Marriott, who denied Michael Coulson in what was possibly the best opportunity in the first half.
Mansfield also looked to attack whenever possible but lacked the cutting edge to seriously threaten the Grimsby goal.
Two changes were made to the Town team after the goalless draw with Salisbury City in the FA Cup on Saturday.
Will Antwi returned to the back four after being cup-tied for the trip to Wiltshire, while an injury to Jamie Green meant Luke McCarthy came back into the XI on the right wing.
James McKeown started in goal, with Bradley Wood, Charlie I'Anson, Antwi and Conor Townsend forming the defence.
Coulson moved to the left side of a midfield that also included Craig Disley, Manny Panther and McCarthy, with Liam Hearn and Anthony Elding selected in attack.
Former Mansfield striker Rob Duffy was among the Town subs, along with another ex-Stag in the shape of Gary Silk, Shaun Pearson and AndI Thanoj.
The visitors included midfielder Paul Bolland, who was a fans' favourite during his spell in the colours of Town at Blundell Park.
Others to watch in the Mansfield line-up would include midfielder Adam Murray, while defender Luke O'Neill, who scored in the reverse fixture at Field Mill, had to be content with a place on the bench.
Town were looking to make it three league wins in a row for the first time in close to four years and extend their unbeaten run in all competitions, while Mansfield also came into the game off the back of a good result following their 4-1 home win over Braintree.
Mansfield kicked off but the first opening went to the Mariners within the opening minute, when Elding fed Hearn down the left but his cross was handled by Coulson and a Mansfield free kick was the result.
Coulson was involved again soon afterwards, cutting in from the left and hitting a 20-yard shot that forced visiting keeper Marriott to dive and make a save.
Lee Stevenson hit a shot at McKeown from a narrow angle at the other end, before a shot from Hearn from 25 yards was comfortably taken by Marriott.
After the early flurry of attacks, the game settled down, with Mansfield perhaps shading possession but with both teams looking lively.
The first yellow card of the game was shown to John Dempster after he fouled Disley in a central position, close to the edge of the Mansfield box. Coulson's shot hit the wall but the ball was worked back into the penalty area, where I'Anson headed over the bar.
A great chance for the Mariners came when McCarthy picked up a loose ball in midfield and played Elding in but his shot cannoned off Marriott. The striker's rebound was then headed off the line before a follow-up shot from Hearn was well saved by the keeper.
Lindon Meikle had the next opportunity for Mansfield when he beat Wood down the left and cut inside but he fired his shot straight at McKeown in the Town goal.
Another good chance for Grimsby was not long in coming, as Coulson intercepted a loose ball near the halfway line on 29 minutes and raced forward but Marriott did well to make a save when the winger looked to slot the ball past him from inside the area.
Town had a scare at the other end when Antwi gave the ball away just inside his own half and Matthew Green broke clear but McKeown did well to rush off his line and block the striker's shot.
Grimsby won a corner on the right on 40 minutes and Coulson's kick was headed away by Green, before the ball was returned to the danger zone with a Wood cross that was headed over the bar by Elding.
Mansfield were also creating chances and Murray hit a shot wide of the mark from 20 yards two minutes later.
A foul by panther on Green gave the away side another opportunity to attack from a free kick midway inside the Town half and the delivery from Kieron Freeman was headed on inside the box by Dempster but McKeown made a comfortable save.
One additional minute was played at the end of what had been an even half and with no further chances for either side, the scores remained level at the interval.
Both teams had created opportunities, with Town maybe having the better chances but failing to capitalise.
No changes were made to either team before the restart and Grimsby had the first chance of the second half when the ball was played through for Elding inside the box and he looped it over keeper Marriott but also beyond the far post.
A Town free kick from right of centre provided another chance to create danger for the Mansfield backline and Disley's chipped delivery was headed goal wards by I'Anson but the effort took a deflection off a fellow attacker and went out for a goal kick.
McKeown dived to make a fairly simple stop from Meikle's 20-yard drive on 53 minutes as Mansfield put a good spell of possession and territory together.
Town were still creating the better chances in front of goal though and another one came when a clever backheel from Coulson found Hearn inside the box, although his first-time shot was blocked by defender John Thompson.
Coulson was booked for a foul on Murray, before an Elding cross from the left was put behind for a Town corner. Disley's first kick was poor but he managed to do better with a follow-up cross, which was headed clear before a shot from Coulson was tipped over the bar by Marriott.
That meant another corner on the right but this time, Disley could only float the ball into the grateful arms of the goalkeeper.
The game was still moving from end to end as both sides looked for a vital opening goal and the next opportunity went to the away side, with Ross Dyer firing wide of McKeown's near post.
Green then tried his luck from 30 yards for Mansfield but McKeown was not called into the action as the shot flew over the bar and bounced over the Osmond Stand.
The first change of the night was made by the visitors and saw Louis Briscoe come on in place of Lee Stevenson in midfield with 20 minutes left to play.
A foul on Hearn on halfway gave the Mariners a free kick and provided the necessary break in play for Thanoj to replace Panther in the hosts' midfield.
With 10 minutes to go, it was still anybody's game as both sides searched for what was looking increasingly likely to be a decisive first goal.
A change in the Town attack saw Duffy come on in place of Elding and the substitute was almost the hero when McCarthy jinked into the box from the right and pulled the ball across, only for Duffy's side-footed shot to be well blocked by Marriott.
A Disley cross was headed towards goal by Antwi with five minutes to go but Marriot only had to reach up to collect the ball underneath his crossbar.
Town continued to push forward and another attack was launched with a free kick from Townsend on the left but as the ball was sent into the box, the referee spotted an infringement and blew for a free kick to the away side.
Time was running out for either side to break the deadlock as the game moved into three minutes of stoppage time.
A drive from Briscoe was beaten away by McKeown at his near post and that proved to be the last chance, meaning both teams had to settle for a point.
Grimsby are next in action on Saturday, when Darlington will be the visitors to Blundell park in the first round of the FA Trophy
Grimsby Town 0 Mansfield Town 0
A SECOND goalless stalemate in four days saw Grimsby Town extend their unbeaten run to nine matches against play-off chasing Mansfield Town.
It may not have been the goal glut on home turf Town fans have become accustomed to this campaign, but this was definitely a sign that the team are heading in the right direction.
?Some detractors had questioned the standard of opponents in the recent run; strangely considering Town kept two clean sheets against League Two Port Vale.
But you can only face what is in front of you and if this was that sterner test the Mariners had needed in the Blue Square Bet Premier, they didn't fail it.
They didn't get the three points, but they were the team who deserved to nick it and they may well have done had it not been for ex-Lincoln keeper Alan Marriott being in defiant mood.
There were two changes for the Mariners with both expected as loan duo Will Antwi and Luke McCarthy came in from the start.
Antwi replaced the unlucky Shaun Pearson after being cup-tied at Salisbury while Bury man McCarthy came in for the injured Jamie Green with Serge Makofo still not fully fit for a return on the flank.
Otherwise, it was largely as you were as the Mariners went in search of a ninth consecutive game unbeaten.
The Stags arrived in good form of their own off the back of a 4-1 weekend triumph over Braintree that extended their own unbeaten run to four.
Boss Paul Cox recalled former Mariner Paul Bolland in midfield for the visitors as the Stags looked to avenge a 7-2 thumping on their last visit to Cleethorpes and complete a league double in the process.
Town started brightly with Coulson, on the opposite flank to accommodate McCarthy, trying his luck with an early low drive that was saved by Marriott.
Lee Stevenson also had a go in response for the visitors before Liam Hearn did likewise with both keepers in early action, albeit comfortably.
The game was slow in getting going on a chilly night as both sides toyed with spells of possession without any real impact.
Mansfield midfielder Adam Murray saw a wicked cross to the back post well cleared by an alert Bradley Wood, while Coulson could only hit the wall with a 20-yard free-kick after a great run by former Stag Craig Disley was abruptly ended by John Dempster who rightfully earned a caution for his cynical trip.
Other than brief moments, the game lacked quality as both in-form sides cancelled each other out in the first 20 minutes.
Then, on 22 minutes, it burst into life for Town. First, McCarthy collected a wayward pass across goal and advanced to hammer an effort at Marriott. He could only parry it and it hit Elding following in, to head back towards goal but Dempster got in the way to head out before Hearn tried his luck from the acutest of angles, only to see Marriott back guarding his near post.
How the ball didn't go in after the pinball action, no-one in Town colours could quite fathom.
Mansfield reacted with the lively Lyndon Meikle trying his luck from distance, but it was straight down McKeown's throat.
Then, it was Coulson's turn to take advantage of a Stags stagger in midfield as he nipped in when Ritchie Sutton slipped, raced through – wisely cutting in front of Dempster – but saw his 16-yard effort kept out by Marriott when it would have been better to try and find the corner of the goal.
Nevertheless, Town were starting to press their opponents more often.
But a similarly awful Mariners mistake in midfield let Matt Green race away in the same fashion as Coulson.
He was also denied, by McKeown who used his legs after wisely racing out to narrow the angle for the frontman.
As half-time neared, Town kept up the pressure in fits and starts and Coulson sent a header over on the stretch at the back post.
Dempster went closer for Mansfield but his effort was weak and bounced up into McKeown's arms.
Just four minutes after the re-start, the sloppy defensive theme continued with Mansfield, and Elding nipped in behind to poke a ball over Marriott but agonisingly the wrong side of the post from a few yards.
Coulson headed a Disley deep free-kick wide, minutes later as Town continued to probe around the Stags goal.
Mansfield weren't without chances themselves but most went straight at McKeown, like Meikle's low right-footer on 53 minutes.
Town were still looking the more likely to find the breakthrough as the hour mark arrived; Coulson in particular posing a threat whenever he drifted in onto his favoured right foot. And he forced Marriott into a fine tip over on the stretch when his curler from the edge of the box looked to be dipping just under the bar on 62 minutes.
The Mariners were far more expansive on home turf than at the weekend and that was helped by a much busier display from the midfield duo of Disley and Manny Panther.
The watching scout from Sheffield United – possible FA Cup opponents, of course – headed back to South Yorkshire with plenty to think about despite not seeing the seven goals Town had hit seven days earlier.
Andi Thanoj replaced Panther for the final 18 minutes to try and unlock a stubborn Stags back-line.
Soon after it was Rob Duffy and he almost had an immediate impact against his former employers but for an unbelievable save from Marriott with his feet to turn it over.
Duffy set McCarthy away down the right-hand channel and then waited in space for the return on the edge of the box. He looked certain to score when he got the ball but his low side-footer couldn't beat Marriott who had dived the wrong way but still got to it.
It looked like heading for stalemate and it did, despite a brief late flurry from the Stags that saw McKeown get strong hands to a powerful drive from substitute Louis Briscoe.
Town may have briefly lost that goal-den touch but the defence grows ever more miserly with another shut-out for McKeown and co
Latest | December 2011