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Season 20/21 Stagsnet Match Report
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Grimsby Town  
1 - 1
 Mansfield Town
Jackson 63.
 
 Maynard pen 69.
Attendance: behind closed doors
 
Date: 12 December 2020

STAGS DRAW AT GRIMSBY IN POOR GAME

Martin Shaw at Blundell Park

Mansfield Town drew 1-1 at Grimsby Town this afternoon in a very poor game that was low on quality and punctuated by far too many unforced errors and terrible crossing. For the Stags, having won 4 away games on the trot in all competitions, coming to a Grimsby side hopelessly out of form, this looked like a real opportunity to pick up valuable points at the bottom of the table. But in the end, after a poor performance, it was important for Mansfield not to lose the game, and they managed to grab a draw thanks to a penalty from Nicky Maynard after 69 minutes, which levelled up the scores after Ira Jackson had put Grimsby ahead 6 minutes earlier.

The first half was not a classic, and that’s understating it. Indeed the only time either side came close to scoring was a corner from George Maris which Ryan Sweeney headed down into the ground and it was held by keeper Sam Russell on his line after 35 minutes, while at the other end Farrend Rawson’s excellent tackle denied George Williams in the area as he was about to shoot after 15 minutes.

The second half couldn’t be such a non-event and it wasn’t. The Stags nearly took the lead after 52 minutes as Jamie Reid sent George Lapslie away into the area and Lapslie’s shot was deflected by Luke Waterfall into the side netting. Eight minutes later, Ollie Clarke, Mansfield’s best player on the day, surged forward and powered a shot goalwards from 28 yards that the keeper couldn’t hold, it came out to Harry Charsley but Charsley miscued the rebound straight to the keeper.

Grimsby took the lead after 63 minutes with their first decent chance of the game. Left back Danny Preston curled a ball down the left wing. Farrend Rawson had a chance to head it away or into touch, but he only succeeded in heading the ball up and falling to the ground. That allowed Elliott Hewitt space to turn away to the edge of the area, left of centre and curl a fine shot low towards the right corner of the net. Marek Stech got down well to save it one-handed at full stretch, but could only parry the ball into the path of Ira Jackson who had the easiest task to knock the ball into the net from 6 yards. Poor defending from Rawson. I wouldn’t attach blame to Stech as it was a good save at full stretch. For Jackson, it was a goal six minutes into his league debut, having just come on as substitute.

The Stags brought on Nicky Maynard and Andy Cook up front after 68 minutes and within a minute were back level. Lapslie threaded a fantastic ball forward for Charsley to run onto. Grimsby appealed for offside but Charsley was a yard onside. Charsley took one touch to take the ball around the keeper and was brought down for the clearest of penalties. The keeper was correctly booked. Maynard had not yet touched the ball, but stepped up and buried the penalty into the bottom left corner of the net as the keeper dived the wrong way for a goal with his first touch of the ball. It was Maynard’s 4th goal of the season, taking him level with Charsley and Lapslie as the club’s leading scorer this season.

Grimsby could have retaken the lead after 79 minutes when former Stag Luke Waterfall headed down from a corner and Stech did very well to get down and push it away.

A free kick from Stephen McLaughlin from 32 yards was into the side netting after 82 minutes. At the other end, Owura Edwards brilliantly turned away from Kellan Gordon and Ollie Clarke and curled a shot just wide of the right post from 20 yards on 90 minutes. Edwards again came close to winning it after 90+3 minutes, when he fired just wide of the right post from 16 yards. Edwards, on loan from Bristol City, was Grimsby’s best player, and he was only on for 37 minutes. There was one final chance for the Stags on 90+4 minutes when Stech’s long ball forward bounced over Hewitt and bounced up nicely for Andy Cook, but just when you fancied Cook to volley at goal from 15 yards, he elected to try to square it to Lapslie and it was cleared for a corner.

So a share of the spoils for the sides, and a fair result. The point lifts Mansfield three points outside the relegation zone, with 17 games gone. And it means that the Stags have still lost just one of 11 games in league and cup since Graham Coughlan was sacked.

On to Tuesday night and a trip to third-placed Carlisle United (kick-off 7pm, join us on iFollow Stags from 6.50pm). Carlisle have won 7 out of their 8 home league games this season, and will have 2,000 fans backing them. But the Stags have done well recently at high-flying Forest Green and Cambridge, so it’s all to play for.

DETAILED REPORT:

It was a damp, drizzly, dreary day in Cleethorpes. The Stags had won 1-0 on the last two visits here, with goals from Neal Bishop and Krystian Pearce. Mansfield and Grimsby were level on points going into the game, though Grimsby had a game in hand. I had watched Grimsby’s game at home to Newport on Tuesday night on iFollow and they were hopeless, all over the place. Boss Ian Holloway had bemoaned that his side is “too young” and “sadly lacking in experience in vital areas”. He was missing former Stag Matt Green and fellow striker James Hanson through injury. Today Holloway had plenty of experience in his team though: 38 year old Sam Russell in goal (keeping James McKeown out of the side), former Stag Luke Waterfall in defence, Elliott Hewitt (who played 135 games for Notts County) and Danny Rose (who scored against Mansfield more than 10 years ago for Newport in the game where the two sides were managed by David Holdsworth and his twin brother Dean) in midfield, and Kyle Bennett and George Williams up front (both of whom have played against the Stags before for Portsmouth and Forest Green respectively). Holloway had also brought in Filipe Morais yesterday, the 35 year old midfielder who was sent off at the One Call Stadium for Oldham last season as Mansfield won 6-1, and he was to come on as substitute in the second half.

Mansfield meanwhile were unchanged from the side that drew with Crawley. There was one change on the bench with Stephen McLaughlin, fresh from signing until the end of the season, back in the 18 after injury, at the expense of Aaron O’Driscoll.

The first shot of the game came after 3 minutes when Windsor’s effort from 25 yards was straight at Stech. After 12 minutes, a good cross from Danny Preston was put behind for a corner. The corner was played to George Williams on the edge of the area where he was unmarked, but he missed his kick.

After 15 minutes, a low ball in from Maris was just missed by Bowery. While at the other end, Rawson’s excellent tackle denied Williams in the area as he was about to shoot.

After 22 minutes, a header from Bowery was deflected wide from a Maris corner. Good play by Clarke after 28 minutes finding Bowery with a great pass. Bowery momentarily had a chance to shoot but didn’t, he laid off to Benning and the chance was gone. A minute later, a high cross from Benning was met by Lapslie with a header, but he couldn’t get any power on it and it was straight to the keeper. After 30 minutes, good defending by Sweeney from a Grimsby break after Gordon lost the ball. After 34 minutes, George Williams tried a shot from a free kick from 35 yards and was well wide.

The only time either side came close to scoring in the first half was a corner from Maris which Sweeney headed down into the ground and it was held by keeper Russell on his line after 35 minutes,

A good tackle by Maris on 39 minutes as Kyle Bennett threatened.

A really poor first half, and 0-0 felt like the right scoreline for it. Too many unforced errors from both sides.

Half time 0-0

After 47 minutes, a really good move from the Stags, better than anything we saw in the first half. Charsley’s cross-field ball found Bowery, who fed the overlapping Benning. Benning cut inside, fed Bowery again, who laid back to Maris. Finally Maris teed up Charsley for a shot from the edge of the area which was blocked. Moments later, Benning found Reid from a free kick from the left. Reid turned and fired a cross-shot goalwards, it struck Danny Preston in the chest or possibly on the left arm, but his arm was tucked into his side, so either way it wasn’t a penalty. Nigel Clough, right in front of us on the touchline, was screaming at the fourth official for a penalty.

The Stags nearly took the lead after 52 minutes as Reid sent Lapslie away into the area and Lapslie’s shot was deflected by Luke Waterfall into the side netting. Nigel Clough, living every moment on the touchline, had his head in his hands.

Gordon was booked after 54 minutes for an attempted foul though he didn’t make contact with his man.

Two minutes later, a good move involving Clarke and Gordon, and Gordon won a corner. The corner was cleared by Waterfall.

Grimsby made a triple change after 57 minutes, to add to one change made earlier in the half.

Brilliant control by Bowery on the left after 58 minutes, from a high diagonal ball from Clarke. Bowery’s cross was cleared.

On the hour, Clarke surged forward and powered a shot goalwards from 28 yards that the keeper couldn’t hold, it came out to Charsley but Charsley miscued the rebound straight to the keeper.

Stephen McLaughlin replaced Maris after 61 minutes. Maris limped off after picking up an injury, but Nigel Clough revealed afterwards that Maris was coming off anyway.

Grimsby took the lead after 63 minutes with their first decent chance of the game. Left back Danny Preston curled a ball down the left wing. Rawson had a chance to head it away or into touch, but he only succeeded in heading the ball up and falling to the ground. That allowed Elliott Hewitt space to turn away to the edge of the area, left of centre and curl a fine shot low towards the right corner of the net. Stech got down well to save it one-handed at full stretch, but could only parry the ball into the path of Ira Jackson who had the easiest task to knock the ball into the net from 6 yards. Poor defending from Rawson. I wouldn’t attach blame to Stech as it was a good save at full stretch. For Jackson, it was a goal six minutes into his league debut, having just come on as substitute.

The Stags brought on Nicky Maynard and Andy Cook up front after 68 minutes and within a minute were back level. Lapslie threaded a fantastic ball forward for Charsley to run onto. Grimsby appealed for offside but Charsley was a yard onside. Charsley took one touch to take the ball around the keeper and was brought down for the clearest of penalties. The keeper was correctly booked. Maynard had not yet touched the ball, but stepped up and buried the penalty into the bottom left corner of the net as the keeper dived the wrong way for a goal with his first touch of the ball. It was Maynard’s 4th goal of the season, taking him level with Charsley and Lapslie as the club’s leading scorer this season.

A great tackle by Clarke after 71 minutes as Owura Edwards was about to shoot.

More good defending by Clarke after 78 minutes getting back and snuffing out danger. From the resulting corner taken by Filipe Morais, Grimsby could have retaken the lead when Waterfall headed down and Stech did very well to get down and push it away.

A free kick from Stephen McLaughlin from 32 yards was into the side netting after 82 minutes.

Gordon wasted a cross after 85 minutes. There had been far too many wasted crosses. After 88 minutes, a terrible cross from Charsley. Clough was going ballistic again on the touchline.

Lapslie was booked for a foul after 89 minutes. Looked a very harsh yellow card.

On 90 minutes, Owura Edwards brilliantly turned away from Gordon and Clarke and curled a shot just wide of the right post from 20 yards.

Edwards again came close to winning it after 90+3 minutes, when he fired just wide of the right post from 16 yards. Edwards, on loan from Bristol City, was Grimsby’s best player, and he was only on for 37 minutes.

There was one final chance for the Stags on 90+4 minutes when Stech’s long ball forward bounced over Hewitt and bounced up nicely for Andy Cook, but just when you fancied Cook to volley at goal from 15 yards, he elected to try to square it to Lapslie and it was cleared for a corner. The resulting corner from McLaughlin was out of play before it came back into the play. So many unforced errors.

After 90+5 minutes, a great tackle by Clarke again as Gibson tried to break into the Stags box.

The Stags won a corner in the final minute of stoppage time, but as the corner came in, the referee blew for a foul in the middle before the ball got there. That happened several times and was a real waste.

So a point apiece, and we move on to Carlisle.

Man of the match: Ollie Clarke


Report by: Martin Shaw at Blundell Park



Line Up:
(4-4-2)
Stech 6.5 I wouldn’t attach blame to Stech for the goal as it was a good save at full stretch. Saved well from Waterfall.
Gordon 5 Lost the ball on occasion, and put in some disappointing crosses. He’d been in good form in recent games but dropped below it here.
Rawson 5 Poor defending for the goal. Excellent tackle to deny Williams in the first half.
Sweeney 7 Good solid game.
Benning 7 Had a decent game at left back.
Charsley 7 Good play to win the penalty. Miscued a good chance in the first half. One very poor cross.
O.Clarke 9 Clear man of the match. Several great tackles, and surging runs.
Lapslie 6.5 Fantastic ball to set Charsley away to win the penalty. Had a shot into the side-netting.
Maris 7 A couple of good corners. Teed up Charsley for a shot. Some good tackles. Limped off, though he was about to be subbed anyway.
Bowery 5.5 One brilliant piece of control. But hesitant when in front of goal.
Reid 5.5 Good ball to set Lapslie away for his shot into the side-netting. But otherwise didn’t do enough.
Sub Line Up:
McLaughlin (for Maris, 61 mins) - Fired a free kick just wide. Wasted a corner in the final minute of stoppage time, putting it straight out of play.
Cook (for Reid, 68 mins) - Had a chance to volley a Cook special goalwards in stoppage time, as we’ve seen him do before, but he didn’t and elected to lay off instead.
Maynard (for Bowery, 68 mins) - Scored with his first touch of the ball.
Subs not used: Stone, O’Keeffe, Menayese, Sinclair.
Opposition Line Up:
(4-3-3): Russell; Clifton, Waterfall, Pollock (76 Tilley), Preston; Hewitt, Taylor (57 Morais), Rose; Bennett (53, Edwards), Windsor (57, Jackson), Williams (57 Gibson). Substitutes not used: McKeown, Starbuck.
Referee:
Carl Brook 7 Had a good game generally.


Season 20/21 Reports