STAGS COLLAPSE DEFENSIVELY AGAIN
Blue Square Bet Premier
Grimsby Town 4 - 1 Mansfield Town
Artus 34, Greg Pearson 45 (pen), 76, Colbeck 61. Rhead 85. Roberts sent off 81.
Attendance: 3397 (526 from Mansfield)
Date: 27 August 2012
Martin Shaw at Blundell Park
Mansfield Town conceded four goals for the third time in 5 games this season. This time it presented Grimsby with their first win of the season, and was again largely self-inflicted with some awful defending. It was another shocking result to follow the 4-3 defeat to Newport and the 4-1 defeat at Gateshead. After an even opening 34 minutes in which the Stags had a couple of good chances to score from Green and Speight, Daniel allowed a ball to come in from the right, and Artus was not closed down on the edge of the box, and he fired an absolutely brilliant shot into the top left corner giving Marriott no chance. The second goal, right on the stroke of half time, was down to a ridiculous challenge by Jake Speight to concede a penalty. Speight had misjudged a ball cleared from a Grimsby corner, Grimsby defender Aswad Thomas got in front of him and into the penalty area, and Speight dived in from behind to chop him down. It almost happened in slow motion as you knew exactly what Speight was going to do. Greg Pearson sent Marriott the wrong way from the spot. The third goal came on 61 minutes when Beevers, on as sub at left back, was beaten too easily down the wing by Greg Pearson who crossed and Colbeck scored. The Stags then conceded from a set piece, as a corner from the right was back-headed in by Greg Pearson. Gary Roberts was sent off for a second yellow on 81 minutes with a late challenge. The Stags scored a consolation on 86 minutes as sub Briscoe crossed from the right and another sub Rhead headed in from close range. Not good enough defensively from the Stags, and manager Paul Cox vowed to get it right. Cox said : “you can't defend like we have been defending and expect success.” He confirmed that he is trying to bring Exodus Geohaghon, who was so instrumental in the Stags success from February onwards last season both defensively and offensively, back to the club.
REPORT ON TUESDAY
Man of the Match: Lindon Meikle
Grimsby 4-1 Mansfield Town, Monday 27th August
chad.co.uk report By John Lomas
MANSFIELD Town's rocky start to the new season took a downward turn again as they conceded four goals for the third time in five matches with a comprehensive 4-1 defeat at Grimsby Town this afternoon.
Stags also had Gary Roberts sent off eight minutes from time for a second bookable offence to complete their misery.
The Mariners had not won a game so far and looked far from a side likely to challenge.
But Paul Cox will once again be furious with his side's defending and lack of punch up front as they let in two goals in the final 10 minutes of the first half, the second a killer penalty in stoppage time.
Joe Colbeck's goal on 61 minutes, two minutes after Stags' first decent effort on target, killed off any hopes of a second half fightback.
Greg Pearson completed his brace as dreadful memories of that New Years Day seven-goal hiding two years ago began to return.
In the end sub Matt Rhead, whose physical approach upset the home fans, stole a consolation four minutes from the end.
But, after seeming to steady the ship with two wins after those first two defeats, Cox knows he still has much work to do to justify the bookies' odds of Stags being among the promotion favourites.
Stags made two changes, Chris Clements making his debut in midfield and Jake Speight finally getting his first start up front.
Louis Briscoe and Matt Rhead were the men to make way, both dropping to the bench.
After two successive wins, Mansfield were hopeful of success at a club without a win in their opening four matches.
The game began in typical English Bank Holiday Monday rain with Stags taking the game to the home side.
But a loose header by Dempster in the box offered the first shooting chance with Cook seeing his effort deflect for a corner, which was over-hit and sailed into touch.
That seemed to encourage the home side who then put three dangerous low balls into the Stags box, the last of which was put out for another corner. But Cox's men again survived the flag kick.
Roberts screwed a half-chance well wide from a half-cleared free-kick for the visitors.
There was more danger for Mansfield on 11 minutes as Pearson slipped Colbeck into space on the right wing, Daniel bringing him down to take the booking and halt the move.
That sparked a series of late tackles from both sides.
A poor ball from Niven set Green into space. But the break was halted by an offside flag.
On 19 minutes Artus almost conjured something from nothing with a curling effort from wide on the right which deflected onto the roof of the Mansfield net.
Stags then broke quickly from a poor short corner by the Mariners and it ended with Green firing wide.
Artus sent the next effort well wide from 20 yards as he saw Howell steaming towards him out of the corner of his eyes.
A neat move involving Clements and Meikle saw keeper McKeown push the low cross round his near post before Speight could reach it to give Stags' their first corner on the half-hour mark. That was wasted as the referee spotted pushing and gave Grimsby a free kick.
However, a scrappy game was brought to life in the 35th minute by a goal for the home side.
Colbeck teased Daniel on the right before pulling the ball back to Niven who rolled a square pass for Artus to slam home a superb finish from 20 yards high to Marriott's right.
Roberts' name was added to the book a minute later for a late tackle on Wood.
The home side had a good shout for a penalty when a Dempster slip almost let in Cook, Jones racing over to cover but the ball striking his hand. Thankfully the referee decided it was ball to hand.
Stags were rightly annoyed when the referee played advantage on the by-line, Artus eventually crossing onto the roof of the net. But the referee then brought play back to award the free kick which led indirectly to a second Mariners goal.
Howell rose magnificently to head clear where Speight failed to take possession. Tracking back chasing Thomas, he made a final desperate lunge and clearly brought him down in the box, getting booked for his troubles.
Up stepped Pearson to send Marriott the wrong way in the first minute of stoppage time and Mansfield went in with a massive uphill task ahead.
Roberts had McKeown worried with a long free kick from the left which caught on the wind and almost dipped under the bar, the keeper tipping it over.
Some half-hearted Stags defending then saw Pearson thread a ball to Colbeck, who fired over from 16 yards Wood was booked for bringing down Daniel in full flight on 53 minutes.
Stags sent on Rhead for Clements to go 4-4-2 on 53 minutes, the big striker immediately being manhandled by Pearson in the box before play restarted, earning the defender a silly booking.
Meikle caused concern when he lost the ball to Colbeck, who burst out his own half and raced away, Meikle giving chase and eventually making the tackle to halt him and make amends.
Daniel was pushed up into midfield from left back with Speight replaced by Beevers on 57 minutes.
Soon after Cook almost made it 3-0 when he latched onto a poor headed clearance and lashed the ball over the near angle when he should have hit the target.
Stags finally got the ball on target on 59 minutes with a low Daniel shot that McKeown saw all the way.
But the points were all but sealed on 61 minutes. Pearson attacked down the right and drilled a low back in that wasn't cleared, the ball rolled towards Colbeck who gleefully drilled it high into the net.
Thomas was booked on 68 minutes for being fractionally late on Daniel.
The Mariners were celebrating a fourth goal on 76 minutes.
Artus sent in a corner from the right and Pearson met it with a backheader that looped over Marriott and under the angle at the far post.
Mansfield's misery increased on 82 minutes when Roberts unnecessarily clattered Disley and, having been booked and warned, was shown his second yellow card and was already heading for the tunnel as it was followed by the red.
However, the 10 men did grab a consolation four minutes from the end as Briscoe whipped in a great cross from the right which bounced once in front of goal where Rhead needed no second invitation to steer home a close range header.
Howell and Pearson had to be separated by Sutton as they squared up two minutes from the end of a highly disappointing afternoon for Mansfield.
GRIMSBY TOWN: McKeown, Thomas, Niven, Pearson, Colbeck, Disley, Artus, Cook (Elding 89), Pearson, Wood, Pond. Subs: Hatton, Soares, Southwell, Thanoj.
STAGS: Marriott; Sutton, Dempster, Jones, Daniel (Briscoe 77); Howell, Clements (Rhead 53), Roberts; Speight (Beevers 57), Green, Meikle.
Subs: Wright, Hand.
REFEREE: Karl Evans of Greater Manchester.
ATTENDANCE: 3,397 (526 away).
GOALS: Grimsby - Artus 35, Pearson 41+1 (pen), 76, Colbeck 61. Stags – Rhead 86.
CAUTIONS: Grimsby - Wood 53, Pearson 54, Thomas 68. Stags - Daniel 11, Roberts 36, Speight 45+1.
DISMISSAL: Roberts 82 (second bookable).
STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Matt Rhead
Match report: Grimsby Town 4 Mansfield Town 1
Nottingham Post considered report by Stevie Roden
IT WAS a chance to finally get the ball rolling.
For Mansfield Town, it had been far from an ideal start. Two opening defeats rocked the club and despite hitting back with two victories, the performances still raised questions.
To say the Stags had been far from their best was an understatement but the hope was, after a first clean sheet in the 1-0 win against Hyde at the weekend, adding to the three points from the game at Kidderminster, Mansfield were finally finding their feet.
The so-called building blocks were at least being put in place, the team starting to knit as they arrived at Blundell Park yesterday with six points in the bag.
But far from shift through another gear, from second to third, they had hit reverse by half-time, two goals down after an unconvincing opening 45 minutes.
And by the final whistle, it had gone from bad to worse as the disjointed Stags shipped another two, the game eventually ending in a 4-1 defeat with Gary Roberts sent off towards the end, just before Matt Rhead grabbed a late consolation.
It was a dreadful afternoon, especially for the 526 hardy souls who had made the trip from Mansfield to support a team that let them down badly – conceding four times for the third time in five matches.
Boss Paul Cox made two changes to the side that beat Hyde 48 hours earlier, with midfielder Chris Clements coming in for his first appearance in a Mansfield shirt and Jake Speight getting a first start since re-joining the club. Rhead and Louis Briscoe dropped to the bench.
But there was a scare for Mansfield early on when a hopeful ball forward dropped for John Dempster to clear but somehow, he headed across his line and into danger when under pressure from Greg Pearson. The ball dropped to Andy Cook but his shot from the edge of the box was deflected wide.
It set the tone as Joe Colbeck twice tried to get shots away in quick succession from eight yards out, only to see both blocked. Pearson then released Colbeck down the right flank and into space but Colin Daniel, aware of the danger, cynically pulled him down and was booked.
Stags finally threatened through Derek Niven's misplaced pass in the middle of the park. Matt Green broke, fed Speight but when the ball was slipped into the six-yard box, the offside flag went up.
At the other end, Frankie Artus curled an effort that dipped just over the bar.
Green then broke at pace for Stags after a short corner came to nothing but he failed to hit the target.
The visitors were edging their way into the match but ten minutes before the break, Grimsby took the lead. Colbeck worked his way inside the box on the right, pulled it back for Niven and he casually slipped it inside to Artus. The number 11 did not waste the invitation, rifling a 20-yard effort into the top corner.
The frustration was evident as Mansfield midfielder Gary Roberts needlessly chopped down Bradley Wood on the edge of the Grimsby box a minute later, picking up a yellow card in the process – his fourth in the opening five games.
Then a minute before half-time, Speight gave away a needless penalty. After a controversial free kick was cleared, Aswad Thomas picked up the ball and darted down the right side of the Stags box only for Speight to give chase and dive in recklessly.
As the clock ticked into first-half stoppage time, Greg Pearson made no mistake from the spot.
Just after the restart, Roberts used the blustery conditions to whip in a free kick from the left and the inswinger had to be plucked from under the bar by McKeown and turned over.
Grimsby were quick to respond as Pearson broke and after cutting the ball inside for Colbeck, the midfielder fired over from just inside the box to the relief of the visitors.
On 53 minutes, Cox changed matters as he brought on the imposing Rhead for Clements but there was to be another lucky escape for the visitors, as Cook pounced on a half clearance but his vicious volley was inches over the bar.
But the third came when Pearson all too easily ran at the defence on the right. He cut inside to Colbeck, who hammered a shot that Marriott got a hand to but couldn't stop it rocketing into the roof of the net.
On 76 minutes, it was four as Greg Pearson doubled his tally, meeting a corner at the near post and his backward header looped all the way across and into the far corner.
And to make matters worse, eight minutes from time, Roberts clattered into Disley and saw red for a second booking. Rhead headed home Briscoe's cross from the right four minutes from time but it was too little, too late..
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