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Season 07/08 Stagsnet Match Report
Coca-Cola League 2
Mansfield Town  
1 - 2
 Grimsby Town
Arnold 49.
 Till 32, Boshell 74
Attendance: 2616 (452 from Grimsby)
Date: 22 March 2008

The Stags hopes of avoiding relegation to the Conference took a huge blow this afternoon at a windy Field Mill. There is an old addage in football that when you are down at the bottom luck deserts you, this was certainly the case today, Grimsbys opening goal had more than an element of fortune about it and after equalising, the Stags twice hit the woodwork, saw the visitors keeper make two outstanding saves and were denied a penalty when it looked like a Mariners defender had handled inside the area. To make matters worse, Boshell hit a stunning 20 yard shot into the top corner to seal the Stags fate and earn the visitors an undeserved victory.

The Stags kept the same eleven that won at Bradford last week, but added new loan signings Kevin Horlock and Neil Wainright to the bench. Grimsby had former Stag Jamie Clarke at right back and on the sidelines former player and manager Stuart Watkiss who is Assistant to Mariners boss Alan Buckley.

In a blustery wind it was a lively start to the game, both sides registering an attempt on goal within the opening two minutes, Hamshaw's cross flew just wide and a long range effort from the visitors was easy for White. White was forced into a more difficult save from Bolland just moments later, superbly turning away his goal-bound shot. The game settled down and it was a fairly even affair, though the visitors looked stronger in the final third whilst both Boulding and Arnold struggled to control the ball and keep possession. In fact, the opening goal came out of the blue and was rather fortunate, a scramble inside the Stags area saw a weak effort on goal deflected past the helpless White into his bottom right hand corner. This was just the sort of luck that goes against you when you are at the wrong end of the table and conversely the sort of thing that goes for you when you are in the top half. Credit to the Stags though, heads didn't drop and before half time they could have been level, Atkinson saw his goal bound effort deflected wide for a corner and from the set piece Baptiste headed over from less than 6 yards.

Half time 0-1

The Stags began the 2nd half like a train and within 5 minutes were back level. Arnold turned superbly on the edge of the area and fired a superb low shot past Barnes. This was the signal for a period of sustained pressure where, once again, lady luck deserted the Stags. Arnold broke clean through on the left and his goal bound effort was superbly turned away by Barnes. An almighty scramble in the Mariners goalmouth followed the corner, twice Stags efforts were blocked on the line, one being inadvertently deflected onto the bar. Boulding then tried his luck from long range and Arnold broke clear again, but this time his finish was rushed and he blasted the ball high and wide. Gradually Grimsby came back into the game but the goal that sealed it again came out of the blue, but what a goal it was. Till cut in from the right and Bushell curled a stunning right foot shot into the top corner from 20 yards. It was a sickener for the home faithful and was more than the visitors deserved. Sadly, the goal really knocked the stuffing out of the home side and they failed to create any further clear cut chances in the remaining 15 minutes, despite the introduction of Wainright and Horlock. In stoppage time, the Stags luck was summed up when Mullins had a shot blocked on the line and from the corner Baptiste headed over the bar.

This was another good home display but once again failed to net the Stags any points, ultimately this is what will cost the Stags league status, an abysmal home record. Although opposition managers continue to praise the Stags, ultimately the table does not lie and the next three games will probably decide the Stags fate, lose them and for the first time in over 70 years, the Stags will lose their football league status.

Man of the Match: John Mullins

Report by: Rob Wheldon

Line Up:
White 7 One excellent save, no chance with either goal
Mullins 8 Did everything well, attacking and defending
Baptiste 7 Defended well, looking sharper as each game passes
Buxton 6 A couple of nervy moments, but otherwise solid
Jelleyman 7 Some fine defending and like Mullins attacked often
Hamshaw 6 When involved did OK, but not involved enough
Dawson 6 Lots of effort but no end product
D'Laryea 5 Still looks badly out of sorts
Atkinson 5 Poor first half, a little better in the 2nd
Arnold 6 Had a terrible 1st half but scored a terrific goal - his first touch was generally poor
M.Boulding 5 Ineffective afternoon for Mickey
Sub Line Up:
Wainwright (for Atkinson, 66) 6
Horlock (for D'Laryea, 77) 6
Louis (for Hamshaw, 83) 6
Subs not used: Muggleton, Briggs.
Opposition Line Up:
Barnes, Newey, Fenton, Atkinson (Bennett, 65), Clarke, Till, Bolland (Jones, 65), Boshell,
Hegarty, Butler, North (Hunt, 45). Subs not used: Montgomery, Taylor
Andy Hall 7 Pretty good though could have given the Stags a penalty

Season 07/08 Reports