RHEAD HEADER AND CHAPMAN WONDER-GOAL SINK MARINERS
RHEAD HEADER AND CHAPMAN WONDER-GOAL SINK MARINERS AS STAGS SET CLUB RECORD
Blue Square Bet Premier
Mansfield Town 2 - 0 Grimsby Town
Rhead 64, Chapman 82.
Attendance: 3896 (806 from Grimsby)
Date: 12 March 2013
Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium
Mansfield Town made it twelve wins from the last thirteen games, and an incredible eight wins on the trot which is a new club record since joining the football league in 1931. The win was sealed by a characteristic header by Matt Rhead, just 8 minutes after coming on as an inspired substitute by manager Paul Cox, and then a phenomenal goal from Adam Chapman who fired home a sweet strike left footed from outside the area to send Field Mill into raptures. In truth Mansfield had to rely on a superb defensive display and great goalkeeping from Alan Marriott against a hugely impressive Grimsby side. Wrexham also won tonight so Mansfield are still level on points with Wrexham, and second on goal difference but Mansfield have one game in hand on Wrexham. The win moves Mansfield seven points ahead of Grimsby. And so on to Forest Green for another really tough game on Friday night - come on Mansfield.
Man of the match: Alan Marriott
Stagsnet player ratings in the Match Centre.
Mansfield Town 2 Grimsby Town 0 - 12th March, 2013
chad.co.uk report by John Lomas
Gutsy Mansfield Town begin their last 10 games countdown to the end of the season joint top after second half goals from Matt Rhead and Adam Chapman secured a sensational victory over promotion rivals Grimsby at the One Call Stadium last night.
It was the first time since joining the Football League that Stags had won eight games on the bounce and was a 12th win in a sensational 13-game run, only goal difference keeping Wrexham on top after they had fought from behind to win at Lincoln.
But Stags now face more promotion rivals this week with a live TV date at Forest Green before a crucial trip to Wrexham on Tuesday.
Grimsby arrived with the meanest defence in the league plus an army of over 800 noisy fans, and they had the best of the first hour.
But sub Rhead headed the opener on 64 minutes with new boy, Oxford loanee Chapman striking a sensational second eight minutes from time to settle only Grimsby's third loss in 24 games.
Amid a great atmosphere, Stags created the first half-chance on five minutes as Murray sent Meikle down the right, and his low cross beat the first defender to reach Green, who finished tamely.
From Grimsby's first corner on 12 minutes, Marriott could only parry Disley's fierce shot and was then relieved to see Hannah sky the follow-up over the bar from three yards.
On 16 minutes the dangerous Hannah turned the lunging Jones 30 yards from goal and raced forward to let fly with a low shot that Marriott saved at full stretch to his right.
Stags' next raid saw Daniel meet a far post Meikle cross with a looping header that keeper McKeown managed to block.
Cook's near post header was well off target from Grimsby's second corner.
Then Naylor put in a superb shot from 30 yards that Marriott got his body behind and was happy to be able to grab it at the second attempt.
A mistake by Jennings let in Hannah for a shot that Dempster did well to get in the way of as the visitors continued to have a slight edge in a tense contest.
A minute from half-time Dempster hauled back Hannah to earn a booking, Hatton joining him soon after for his challenge on Daniel as he tried to break over the halfway line, the half ending goalless.
At the start of the second-half Stags were almost left red-faced when Hatton put in a free kick from 10 yards into the Stags half and it somehow passed through everyone via a deflection and, seen late by the keeper, needed Marriott to turn it round the post at the last minute.
A Devitt cross right across the face of goal from the left by-line then thankfully ended up behind for a goalkick off a mass of bodies.
Grimsby had come back out with fire in their bellies and Jones had to bring down Naylor in the D, the ex-Stags tumbling into the box and the visitors screaming for a penalty, Hatton's free kick straight into the wall.
Stags needed some relief and on 56 minutes swapped Stevenson for Rhead.
And what a substitute it turned out to be as, within eight minutes, he had broken the deadlock.
Jennings curled a corner to the far post where Rhead rose to bury his header and then leap over the boards to celebrate with the jubilant home fans.
Meikle did well to stay with Devitt and do enough to force him to shoot off target on a Grimsby break as they looked for a quick reply.
Briscoe came on for Meikle with 18 minutes to go.
With 10 minutes to go, Hannah was just unable to keep a very difficult volleyed chance down from six yards from Thomas' cross.
And two minutes later Chapman clinched victory with his fourth goal in four days to spark joyous scenes around the ground.
Murray's pass picked out Green who saw Chapman running in, laid it into his path and the Oxford loanee met it with a sweet, curling first time left foot from 20 yards that gave McKeown no chance.
STAGS: Marriott; Beevers, Jones, Dempster, Jennings; Murray, Chapman, Stevenson; Meikle, Green, Daniel. Subs: Sutton, Briscoe, Wright, Howell, Rhead.
GRIMSBY: McKeown, Hatton, Thomas, Pearson, Miller, Disley, Cook, Devitt, Hannah, Marshall, Naylor. Subs: Colbeck, Brodie, Thanoj, John-Lewis, Wilson.
REFEREE: Graham Horwood of Luton
Match report: Mansfield 2, Grimsby 0
Nottingham Post report by Paul Taylor
MANSFIELD Town powered to a club record eighth consecutive victory as they edged out promotion rivals Grimsby Town. But it was not enough to carry them to the top of the table.
Goals from substitute Matt Rhead and Adam Chapman steered Paul Cox's side to a hard-fought but deserved 2-0 win over the Mariners.
But with Wrexham claiming a 2-1 win at struggling Lincoln City, the Welsh side continue to keep the Stags in second place, albeit only by a matter of goal difference.
Still Mansfield will have been buoyed by a record-breaking victory at the One Call Stadium, along with another performance that was full of promise, as they look to secure a return to the Football League.
It was no surprise that Stags manager Cox named an unchanged side following their 4-1 demolition of Stockport at the weekend.
One player in particular, Chapman, could have been certain of a starting place after netting a hat-trick from midfield on his home debut after being allowed to join the Stags from Oxford.
Mansfield were always going to face a tough battle against a Mariners side who boasted the best defensive record in the division.
But it was Mansfield who carved out the first opening of the game – and it was a good one – as Lindon Meikle sprinted into space down the right before delivering an enticing ball into the centre, where Matt Green failed to make proper contact with a shot from eight yards.
It was Meikle's turn to put the Grimsby defence on the back foot with a flurry of probing runs down the flank, although he could not find the same quality of end product to match his early cross.
The two sides both started the evening with promotion aspirations, so it was no surprise that it was an evenly contested opening period, with former Stag Craig Disley forcing an awkward save from Alan Marriott with a powerfully driven shot from the edge of the box.
A flowing move that culminated in a fine ball from Adam Murray out to James Jennings wide on the left might have carved out a chance for the home side, but the defender's cross was too strong for Meikle.
Marriott had to make a strong save again when Ross Hannah powered down the centre before letting fly with a rising shot, which the keeper pushed away strongly. While, following a high ball into the Grimsby box, Meikle stabbed a close range, instinctive effort just the wrong side of the post, after McKeown had stretched himself to save a header from Green.
Chapman was the first player booked after he had rather cynically hauled down Jamie Devitt as the Grimsby man launched himself into a probing run.
Marriott made hard work of saving another crisp shot from Grimsby, this time from Devitt, with his effort almost deceiving the keeper after bouncing awkwardly in front of him.
But, when Naylor lifted a fine cross to the far post from the right, the keeper did well to force a header from Andy Cook around the post.
When Lee Stevenson was fouled 22 yards from goal, a curling Chapman free kick took a deflection that sent it looping just the wide of the angle of post and bar.
Then Green put Ian Miller under pressure as the duo chased a long ball, and though the Grimsby man clearly put the ball out for a corner, referee Graham Horwood gave a goal kick.
John Dempster was the second Stags player to be booked, after pulling back Hannah as he threatened to progress into the box. But Grimsby's Sam Hatton followed him into the book almost immediately for a foul.
Chapman's long throw-ins had been a feature of the first half – and another huge, looping throw into the penalty area from the midfielder almost saw Mansfield take an early lead after the break but, after the ball fell to him in the box, Meikle saw an instant shot well blocked.
But Grimsby too almost went in front when Devitt drove to the by-line and cut the ball into the centre where Shaun Pearson somehow managed to direct a header narrowly over, from close range.
Sam Hatton had already come close with one driven free kick, pushed away by Marriott – and a second effort from the defender had to be scrambled away, as Mansfield battled to keep a clean sheet.
Mansfield added some physical presence to their front line when Cox introduced Rhead off the bench in place of Stevenson.
And the big striker did not take long to make an impact as he rose to plant a towering header into the back of the net from a Jennings corner and put Mansfield ahead in the 64th minute.
It was a powerful, strong effort from Rhead, who leapt into the crowd in celebration.
Devitt had a reasonable opening from which to pull Grimsby level, but lifted a shot high over the bar to cap off a decent move in disappointing fashion for the travelling fans behind the goal.
Stags brought on Louis Briscoe to add some guile and he had a shot charged down as the home side pushed for a second goal to ease the pressure.
That goal came in the 82nd minute as Chapman added another one to his Mansfield tally, making it four goals in three games since joining the Stags, with Green cutting the ball back for the midfielder, who sent a powerful, bending shot into the corner of the net from the edge of the box.
In the final stages, Stags took off striker Green and replaced him with Anthony Howell as they looked to hold out until the final whistle for three points that were not only vital, but also historic.
Man of the match: Alan Marriott. Made a number of saves to keep Grimsby at bay and help Mansfield to secure a vital three points against one of their promotion rivals.
Referee: Graham Horwood, Luton. Made some odd – and clearly wrong – decisions at times, but generally let the game flow and got most of the important decisions right.
Mansfield: Marriott, Dempster, Jones, Meikle (Briscoe 72), Green (Howell 86), Beavers, Murray, Stevenson (Rhead 57), Chapman, Jennings, Daniel. Subs: Sutton, Wright.
Grimsby: McKeown, Hatton, Thomas, Pearson, Miller, Disley (Thanoj 45), Cook, Devitt, Hannah (Brodie 81), Marshall (Colbeck 69), Naylor. Subs: John-Lewis, Wilson.
Attendance: 3,896 (806 away).
Other Blue Square Bet Premier results: Alfreton 3 Ebbsfleet 0; Barrow 0 Stockport 2; Dartford v Braintree ppd; Lincoln 1 Wrexham 2; Luton 1 Hyde 2; Macclesfield 0 Woking 0; Southport 1 Forest Green 2
Match report: Mansfield Town 2 Grimsby Town 0
Mar 13th, 2013
GRIMSBY Town lost back to back league games for the first time this season when they went down 2-0 at promotion rivals Mansfield Town last night.
Two second half goals – the second a stunning strike from Adam Chapman – was enough to hand the Stags a crucial three points in the Blue Square Bet Premier title race.
Shaun Pearson returned from injury to regain his place in the heart of defence, with Tom Naylor being pushed up to partner Craig Disley in midfield instead of Andi Thanoj.
Elsewhere, Sam Hatton came in for Bradley Wood, with Jamie Devitt replacing Joe Colbeck, while new signing Dougie Wilson was named among the substitutes.
Town started brightly, pinning Mansfield in their own half in the opening exchanges, but when Lindon Miekle found space on the right, his pull-back fell to Matt Green.
However, the livewire striker couldn't connect properly and his weak effort bobbled harmlessly back to James McKeown.
Town fought back, and won the game's first corner in the 11th minute.
When that was played short, Devitt jinked inside and laid the ball off for Disley to fire in a wicked strike that Alan Marriot found too hot to handle in the hosts' goal.
Hannah was first on the scene to pounce on the rebound, however, the frontman was flagged offside.
But the Stags were showing plenty of the football that has seen them win their last seven league games.
A flowing move two minutes later saw the ball swept out to Colin Daniel who shaped a fine cross that just evaded the Stags' front line.
At the other end, Hannah showed good strength to hold off his marker and drive at the host's back-four, and with Devitt bursting into the box on his left, the former Bradford man opted to shoot with Marriot doing well to palm away.
Mansfield, like Kidderminster on Saturday, carried plenty of threat on the break.
And when that Town attack broke down, the ball was worked to the right before being swung into the far post where Daniel produced a looping header that drifted just wide of McKeown's post.
In the 19th minute, Chapman received a booking for cynically pulling back Devitt as the Irishman looked to burst through the middle.
When the resulting free-kick was blocked, the tricky winger won the Mariners another corner which Naylor, on his return to One Call Stadium, headed over.
Minutes later, the Derby midfielder was in action once again. He picked up a loose ball, 25-yards out, and struck a dipping shot that Marriot fumbled unconvincingly.
Hannah was then presented with a chance on the half hour mark when the ball bobbled through to him in space, however, John Dempster got back well to block his left-footed effort.
Two minutes before the break, Hannah again turned Dempster on the touchline with a clever flick, but the frontman was hauled back, and the Stags defender went into the book.
Hatton followed him just seconds later for a foul in the middle of the park.
That flurry of cards was the last meaningful action of the first 45 as the referee brought a well-fought and entertaining first half to a close.
Disley was replaced by Thanoj after taking a knock in the first half but other than that, Town were unchanged as visitors got the game back underway, with Pearson wearing the captain's armband.
And when Town won a free-kick just over half-way, Hatton hit a free-kick that was drilled in low and hard. When that took a deflection, Marriot sprang low to parry it away.
When the resulting corner was again worked short, Thanoj played a clever one-two with Devitt and the Irishman powered in a cross that Pearson headed over.
Minutes later, Naylor danced through midfield to the edge of the box where he was brought down to win the visitors a dangerous free-kick but Hatton could only drill into the wall.
But on 64 minutes, the hosts won a corner, and with Miller on the sideline after receiving treatment, Mansfield took full advantage.
The set-piece was swung into the back post and substitute Matt Rhead got up highest to power home with the Stags first effort of the half.
The goal was a sucker-punch for Town, who had equipped themselves well and had forced much of the play. But undeterred, they pushed on and after a decent move, Devitt ballooned over from just inside the box.
Buoyed by their goal, the Stags pushed on and sub Louis Briscoe won another corner that Thomas did well to block on the line, not knowing that the referee had already blown for an infringement.
Hannah lifted over an overhead kick after Thomas' cross and was replaced by Richard Brodie.
Town had equipped themselves well but, with eight minutes to go, the Stags broke and the ball was worked up to Green. He laid the ball back to Adam Champan who caught a stunning left-footed piledriver that arrowed past McKeown into his top corner to kill the game off as a contest.
It was perhaps a little harsh on the Mariners, but after losing two on the bounce for the first time this season, Rob Scott and Paul Hurst must now regroup their squad for the visit of Cambridge United on Saturday
Latest | March 2013