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Season 04/05 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca-Cola League 2
Grimsby Town  
2 - 0
 Mansfield Town
Pinault 5, Crowe 86
Attendance: 5693 (1124 from Mansfield)
Date: 28th August 2004

The Stags stuck with the side that had defeated Kidderminster a week earlier with the exception of Lee Williamson coming in at left back to replace Jake Buxton. Keith Curle stuck with the 4-3-3 formation that had seen the side win the last two matches.

In front of a large away following the Stags started poorly and fell behind within the first 5 minutes, though there was more than a touch of misfortune about the goal on two counts. First of all, it appeared Lee Williamson was shoved in the back before conceding a corner. Then, with the Stags sleeping, a low pass found Pinault, some 20 yards from goal, his shot was heading straight at Pilkington, but took a deflection off Baptiste and went in off a post. It could have been even worse just a few moments later, Pilkington making a superb save from close range denying Parkinson. After this poor start, the Stags got into the game and should have been level on at least four occasions. Joe O'Neill blasted a half volley over the bar, Colin Larkin then broke through and his attempted lob dropped into the arms of Mariners keeper Williams, Asamoah then broke clear, again with just the keeper to beat his shot was weak and straight at the keeper. The final chance of the quartet fell to Larkin, but this time the angle was acute and his shot flew into the side-netting. Sadly the entire first half was dominated by a woefully bias performance from the referee. The word "homer" was made for this official, who constantly penalised Stags players, failed to spot theatrical dives from home side players (some which were laughable) and the icing on the cake was a terrible lunge on Asamoah just before half time which not only escaped a booking, but wasn't even rewarded with a free kick. There was a talking point as the players came off for half time, Artell appeared to be poked in the face by Reddy (a Mariners fan I spoke to afterwards saw the incident and said Reddy was very lucky not to be dismissed), but not suprisingly this wasn't spotted by either the referee or his assistant.

Half Time: 1-0

If the Stags were unlucky to go in behind at half time, a poor 2nd half performance meant defeat was inevitable. Not longer were the Stags cutting through the opposition defence and too often long, aimless balls were food and drink to the Grimsby centre halves. Though Grimsby never really threatened either, once Williamson had taken a bad knock and appeared to be struggling, the home side did create two excellent chances on their right hand side, taking advantage of Williamson's incapacity. First Reddy broke through but was thwarted by some excellent work by Curtis, then Parkinson forced an excellent save from Pilkington. With the Stags pushing forwards, a goal on the counter was always possible and after a quick break and an excellent cross field pass, Crowe slotted the ball past Pilkington to make the points safe.

Overall the Stags were possibly the better side and created some excellent chances in the 1st half. Sadly the failure to capitalise on these chances and a poor 2nd half display left them with a defeat. The 4-3-3 formation clearly doesn't suit all the Stags players and many seemed unsure of their role. In particular the Stags failed to threaten in wide areas and always looked vulnerable defending wide areas.

Man of the match: Scott McNiven

Report by: Rob Wheldon at Blundell Park

Line Up:
Pilkington 7 Excellent save just after the first goal. Kicking was poor though improved in the second half
McNiven 7 Very solid; some excellent crosses
Baptiste 7 Barely put a foot wrong
Artell 5 Badly caught out for the second goal. Too many long balls played
Williamson 7 Defended well at left back, until injured and should have been immediately substituted
Curtis 5 Battled hard, but poor distribution
Murray 6 Passing was good, but never stamped his authority on the game
MacKenzie 5 Not involved enough. Some poor passes in dangerous areas put the team in trouble
O'Neill 5 Worked hard but lacked quality and never looked like producing the end result
Asamoah 5 Lively when running with the ball, but shooting was poor and flattered to deceive.
Larkin 6 Not his best game in front of goal but he was the Stags only threat
Sub Line Up:
Neil (for MacKenzie, 63 mins) 7 Played wide right and provided some much-needed width
Tate (for O'Neill, 63 mins) 7 Won every header as the Stags moved to a long ball game, and looked a threat
Corden (for Williamson, 83 mins) -
Subs not used: White, Day.
Opposition Line Up:
Williams , Whittle , Ramsden , Gordon , McDermott , Sestanovich , Fleming , Pinault , Crowe , Parkinson , Reddy.
Subs: Young , Coldicott , Mansaram , Marcelle , Bull
S Tanner (Somerset) 2 Appalling

Season 04/05 Reports