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Season 19/20 Stagsnet Match Report
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Grimsby Town  
0 - 1
 Mansfield Town
 
 White sent off 60. Pearce 90+6
Attendance: 5087 (681 from Mansfield)
 
Date: 5 October 2019

TEN MAN STAGS WIN IN STOPPAGE TIME AT GRIMSBY

Martin Shaw at Blundell Park

Mansfield Town won 1-0 at Grimsby this afternoon with a goal from captain Krystian Pearce in the 6th and very final minute of stoppage time. The goal came right in front of the 681 travelling Stags fans, a great following despite the poor run of form, and sent them into raptures for a rare moment of unbridled joy this season. In a tight game with few chances for either side, the Stags were reduced to ten men after 60 minutes when Hayden White was sent off for sliding in on Ethan Robson in the middle of the park. White got the ball but his studs were showing and it was a poor challenge. Tellingly, from the pitchside video footage, Danny Rose, who had a great view of the incident, immediately put his hands on his head fearing what was to come as White made the challenge and well before the referee had decided what to do. Incredibly, it was Mansfield’s 5th red card (Preston 2, Sweeney, White and Mellis) in just 12 league games this season, a ridiculous record, albeit Sweeney’s was undeserved and rightly over-turned.
However rather than folding badly as they did against Cambridge, the Stags showed true grit to dig in and make it difficult for Grimsby to take advantage of the extra man. CJ Hamilton was brought on to provide pace on the break and it was he who won a free kick deep in stoppage time, as he was cynically and deliberately chopped down by Luke Hendrie. Mal Benning took the free kick into the middle from the left, 25 yards out. It was a good delivery and it was headed down by a combination of sub Andy Cook and Ryan Sweeney who got to the ball at the same time, it fell kindly for Krystian Pearce who turned and gleefully hammered the loose ball into the net from 6 yards. Pandemonium amongst the Stags players and fans, and indeed in the Stags dugout where assistant manager Lee Glover was booked for over-celebrating. It’s been a tough season for the Stags so far and especially for new manager John Dempster, but you have to enjoy these moments when they come along, and everyone of a Stags persuasion certainly did that.
This win should give the Stags some confidence and belief, and of course Mansfield have to build on this in the league to kickstart the season, starting with a game against Oldham next Saturday, in order to cut the gap to the top sides. Before that, the Stags have a game in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday night at home to Crewe, which will give some players who haven’t been playing regularly, a chance to stake a claim to start in the league.

Under pressure Stags boss John Dempster made two chances to the side that lost at home to Plymouth. Hayden White was back from illness (stomach cramps). He was replaced Conor Shaughnessy. Nicky Maynard also returned from injury as CJ Hamilton, who was very poor last week, dropped to the bench. It was a 3-4-1-2 formation with Khan behind the front two of Maynard and Rose. With White coming back into the 18, the player dropping out of the 18 was Jacob Mellis.

Grimsby included former Stags centre half Luke Waterfall. Matt Green started on the bench, but was to come on due to injury midway through the first half and was, in truth, ineffective.
Before the game, I had a good chat with Green. We talked about very good times when he played for us. The club has a special place in his heart.

It was a pleasant sunny October day in Cleethorpes.

Conrad Logan was in the action after 2 minutes as Waterfall headed down and back across goal from a diagonal ball into the area from Hessenthaler, and Logan saved easily.

Grimsby fans wanted a penalty after 12 minutes as a cross was blasted against Pearce’s hand from a couple of yards away. The referee rightly wasn’t interested.

Grimsby had the ball in the net after 13 minutes but the offside flag was already up. Jordan Cook chipped the ball into the area and Hanson headed down and past Logan, but as Hanson headed it, the flag was already up for a clear offside. From the video, Hanson was a yard offside.

The Grimsby tactic was already clear: get balls into the box for Hanson to head down.

Benning did well to head a cross over his own bar after 18 minutes. From the resulting corner, Hanson headed wide.

A great chance for Grimsby after 20 minutes. Left back Liam Gibson curled a great ball forward for Hanson to run on to, giving him a one-on-one with Logan. Logan was out quickly to narrow the angle and Hanson swept the ball over and wide of Logan and wide of the right post. Good alert keeping from Logan, not great defending from White and Pearce who allowed Hanson to get away.

The Stags first chance of the game came after 22 minutes. Khan crossed from the byline to Maynard who teed MacDonald up perfectly for a shot, but MacDonald’s shot cannoned into Maynard and away. MacDonald’s shot was going wide anyway. Within seconds, Bishop had been gifted the ball by Moses Ogbu but didn’t accept the gift and sent a left footed shot well wide from 25 yards.

At the other end a couple of minutes later, a Grimsby corner came out to Ethan Robson who fired a volley well over the bar. After 26 minutes, Khan had a chance to Maynard in going forward but Khan’s ball was terrible.

Grimsby were forced into a change after 27 minutes as striker Max Wright, who had been linking well with left back Liam Gibson in the early stages, went off injured and was replaced by Matt Green. After the game Grimsby boss Michael Jolley noted that Grimsby were not as effective going forward after that, and I think that was correct.

Good play by Khan to win a free kick after 30 minutes. Khan took the resulting free kick himself, from about 32 yards out, and it was a good delivery finding Danny Rose who sent a clean header straight at the keeper from 10 yards. Then Khan played inside to Maynard who turned his man well and was brought down for another free kick, this time 24 yards from goal, just to the right of centre. Benning took the resulting free kick but sent his shot over the bar.

A good run by Grimsby left back Gibson after 35 minutes and Gordon did well to block his cross for a corner. Then three minutes later, really good defending from MacDonald against Ogbu.

MacDonald made a good run forward after 42 minutes, Ethan Robson tried to hack him down and failed, MacDonald found Rose who sent a wayward shot well wide from 30 yards. Good refereeing as Robson was then booked.

Sweeney had a chance to put in a cross from 43 minutes but put it out for a goal kick.

Goalless at the break, with chances few and far between, and quality somewhat lacking. 0-0 was about right with the best chance falling to Hanson who fired wide as Logan did well to narrow the angle.

Half time 0-0

After 49 minutes, Khan cut inside and fired in a shot from 30 yards which gave McKeown an easy save.

A good run from Maynard after 54 minutes but he wasted it with a poor lay-off. Then on 57 minutes a free kick from Khan was headed away to Benning who sent a shot from 30 yards well over the bar.

Bishop was booked for a tackle from behind on Ogbu after 58 minutes. The resulting free kick from 28 yards from the left of centre was sent well over the bar by Jordan Cook.

The Stags were reduced to ten men after 60 minutes when Hayden White was sent off for sliding in on Ethan Robson in the middle of the park. White got the ball but his studs were showing and it was a poor challenge. Tellingly, from the pitchside video footage, Danny Rose, who had a great view of the incident, immediately put his hands on his head fearing what was to come as White made the challenge and well before the referee had decided what to do. Incredibly, it was Mansfield’s 5th red card (Preston 2, Sweeney, White and Mellis) in just 12 league games this season, a ridiculous record, albeit Sweeney’s was undeserved and rightly over-turned.

A loose ball from Sweeney after 63 minutes and MacDonald got him out of jail.

Hamilton replaced Maynard after 63 minutes. The Stags switched to 4-4-1 with Khan on the right, Hamilton on the left, and Rose up front.

Great play from MacDonald after 65 minutes as he charged a clearance down, but it span through to the keeper.

Rose won a free kick 35 yards from goal after 67 minutes. Khan’s free kick was cleared.

Schoolboy stuff from the Stags after 69 minutes. Benning took a corner short to Khan, who knocked it forward to Benning again. Benning was offside. Set pieces are so important when you’re down to ten men and that was terrible. Benning was to make amends in a huge way later on.

Rose went down with a head injury after 75 minutes. Logan was furious indicating an elbow was used, but nothing was given.

Hamilton showed great pace to get into the area on the left a minute later, he pulled a low ball back and across but it just evaded Khan.

Cook replaced Rose after 83 minutes.

Shaughnessy replaced Khan after 85 minutes.

6 minutes of stoppage time were added on. There was a buzz from home fans, but the home side had created nothing since the Stags had gone down to ten men.

After 90+5 minutes, Hamilton won a free kick as he was cynically and deliberately chopped down by Luke Hendrie. Hendrie was shown a yellow card, technically the right decision by the referee, but hardly justice for Hendrie. Benning took the free kick into the middle from the left, 25 yards out. It was a good delivery and it was headed down by a combination of sub Andy Cook and Ryan Sweeney who got to the ball at the same time, it fell kindly for Pearce who turned and gleefully hammered the loose ball into the net from 6 yards. Pandemonium amongst the Stags players and fans, and indeed in the Stags dugout where assistant manager Lee Glover was booked for over-celebrating.

(as a footnote, Grimsby keeper James McKeown protested furiously against the goal. It was not clear at the time what for. He was interviewed after the game on BBC Radio Humberside. I went to find the interview on the BBC iPlayer and he said he thought one of the Mansfield players was offside. From the video, plainly no-one was offside.)

The game restarted but there were only seconds left and the Stags were soon celebrating just the third win of the season. This was a poor game, with little quality from either side, but the Stags didn’t care about that. It was all about getting the three points.

So the Stags win at Grimsby for the second season running. And all that after Mansfield had not won there since 1987. That win at Grimsby in 1987 was by 3-2, and a game I particularly remember because it was the last time I missed the kick-off in a Stags game, arriving 15 minutes late and vowing not to let that happen again!

Man of the match: Alex MacDonald


Report by: Martin Shaw at Blundell Park



Line Up:
(3-4-1-2)
Logan 7 Out quickly to narrow the angle against Hanson who shot wide in a 1-on-1.
White 5 Sent off for sliding in on Ethan Robson. White got the ball but his studs were showing and it was a poor challenge. The second time White has been sent off for the Stags at Blundell Park. White will miss the next three league games. Meanwhile Preston is still suspended for one more league game.
Pearce 8 The hero with the last gasp winner, which was so badly needed by the club.
Sweeney 7 A couple of mistakes but mostly solid.
Gordon 7 One good block for a corner.
MacDonald 8 Several pieces of very good play, including defensively. All-action display.
Bishop 6 Worked hard. Not hitting his form from last season yet.
Benning 7 Super delivery of the crucial free kick that led to the goal in stoppage time. Earlier free kick was poor.
Khan 6 Mixed performance. Good free kick for Rose’s header after winning the free kick himself. Some poor balls as well.
Maynard 6 Teed up MacDonald for a shot. Good play to win a free kick. One poor lay-off.
Rose 6 Header on target from a free kick.
Sub Line Up:
Hamilton (for Maynard, 63 mins) 7 Great run to win the free kick which led to the goal.
Cook (for Rose, 83 mins) - In the right place to head the ball down (in combination with Sweeney as they got to the ball at the same time) to set up the winning goal for Pearce.
Shaughnessy (for Khan, 85 mins) -
Subs not used: Stone, Smith, Tomlinson, Afolayan.
Opposition Line Up:
(4-3-3): McKeown; Hendrie, Davis, Waterfall, Gibson; Hessenthaler, Robson, Cook (Whitehouse, 85); Ogbu (Ahkeem Rose, 76), Hanson, Wright (Matt Green, 27). Subs not used: Russell, Pollock, Hewitt, Clifton.
Referee:
Paul Marsden 6 Got a few minor things wrong (such as giving Mansfield a drop-ball when the ball was heading out for a corner to Grimsby), but I think he got the red card right, and overall his performance didn’t have an impact on the result despite all the complaining post match from Grimsby boss Michael Jolley. Jolley said that the referee apologised to him over two “key incidents”. The two incidents were both concerning drop-balls. He gave a drop-ball for Grimsby when Rose had a head injury, but allowed Rose back onto the pitch right by where he dropped the ball and Rose immediately dispossessed the Grimsby player. He also gave a drop-ball when the ball was heading out for a Grimsby corner, and there was a head injury. He dropped the ball for Logan, which was indeed a mistake. Neither was a "key incident" by any reasonable definition.


Season 19/20 Reports