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Season 10/11 Stagsnet Match Report
Blue Square Bet Premier
Grimsby Town  
7 - 2
 Mansfield Town
Bore 5, 50, 89, Coulson 6, Connell 55, 80, Kempson 69.
 Duffy 44, Briscoe 56
Attendance: 3654 (518 from Mansfield)
Date: 1 January 2011

Martin Shaw at Blundell Park


Mansfield Town were unbelievably bad to concede seven goals at Grimsby this afternoon, after the wonderful performance scoring five goals at Cambridge just 4 days ago. It was such an astonishing contrast that it is barely credible. The 7 goals conceded is the worst since a 7-2 defeat at Cambridge in March 1999 that I recall led manager Steve Parkin into panic measures of more or less changing his squad. The Stags were just abysmal throughout the side, with woeful individual performances, especially in defence, contributing to the shocking team display. Only Louis Briscoe, who did ok on the right side of midfield, can escape criticism. The Stags have 48 hours to sort themselves out defensively and bounce back at home to bottom club Altrincham on Monday.

This was the Stags 11th consecutive defeat on New Years Day (thanks to Svante Bernhard aka Sweden Stag for this remarkable statistic).

Grimsby started well and there was a sign of things to come in the first 20 seconds when they had two shots blocked.

The first goal wasn’t long coming. On 5 minutes, a Grimsby throw on the left, near the half way line, was taken quickly and Alan Connell was 5 yards goalside of the sleeping Stags defenders. He powered down the left before crossing for Peter Bore to slot into the net from six yards. The inquest in the Stags defence continued for some time as Day and Istead had a big argument and Duncan Russell joined in from the sidelines.

Just a minute later it was 2-0. Coulson cut inside from the left and his right footed shot from 20 yards took a big deflection, sending it towards the left corner of the net. Pilkington got a firm hand on it but couldn’t keep it out. I suspect Pilkington would have been disappointed not to keep it out.

On 9 minutes, Briscoe made a brilliant turn on the edge of the box and shot a foot over the bar. Great effort. There was controversy on 12 minutes as Connell went down holding his face. As he got up, he was pointing furiously at Rhys Day. The incident was not seen by any of the officials or any of the media. After the game, I heard Connell telling Duncan Russell that it was “just heat of the moment stuff”, while Day said they just ran into each other. On 15 minutes, Connell made a great turn inside the box and curled a right foot shot towards the bottom left hand corner where Pilkington made a great save to tip it round the post. A great tackle from Istead on 17 minutes and he played a good ball forwards into the path of Parker but Parker’s cross didn’t reach Duffy. A terrible mistake from Pilkington on 19 minutes as he dropped a routine cross but luckily the Stags were able to clear.

On 28 minutes, a good break from Grimsby and Bore looked as though he may be through on goal but Pilkington was out to grab it at his feet. On 29 minutes, the Stags woeful performance was summed up by a Briscoe cross that went away for a goal kick and a minute later, Parker did the same thing from the left.

The Stags created a chance on 31 minutes with a great cross from the right from Briscoe which was perfect for Parker but his header was terrible and the chance was wasted. Straight to the other end and it was nearly 3-0 as Coulson got down the left and he fed Ademeno in the box whose fine left shot cannoned off the bar.

Adam Murray was not getting a sniff in midfield and he was booked on 33 minutes born out of frustration. On 36 minutes, Connell turned and shot straight at Pilkington. A rare chance for the Stags on 37 minutes - a free kick from Sandwith from the left was cleared as far as Istead 22 yards out but his shot was miles wide of the right post.

On 44 minutes the Stags were back in the game, completely out of the blue. Grand pumped a hopeful ball with his left foot over the top from the half way line. A defender let it bounce and as the ball rose, Duffy got there to head the ball just before the keeper got there and Duffy headed it over him and into the empty net. It was a rather a freak goal but at the end of a torrid half for Mansfield, and especially the back four, it seemed to be a lifeline.

Two minutes into stoppage time, Briscoe was lucky to get away with a yellow card as he lunged in two-footed with his studs showing on the touchline right in front of us. The home crowd were incensed that the red card was not shown.

Half time 2-1.

On 48 minutes Parker out to Duffy, who forced the keeper to save from a tight angle. On 50 minutes, Smith’s corner from the left was headed back by Day, and Cook headed over.

But within seconds it was 3-1 as Grimsby broke to the far end and Sinclair’s cross was turned in by Bore at the right post. It was a shame for the Stags who had looked promising in the opening 5 minutes of the half but at 3-1 this appeared to the be the killer goal.

On 52 minutes, Briscoe crossed from the right and Duffy headed goalwards but it was straight into the keeper’s arms.

It was 4-1 on 55 minutes with a free kick from just outside the box. Connell took it from the right, over the wall. It wasn’t right in the corner and Pilkington got to it, but only succeeded in pushing it into the corner of the net. In my opinion he should have kept it out.

A minute later, on 56 minutes, it was 4-2. Briscoe picked up the ball 25 yards out, looked up and sent a bullet of a shot into the top left corner. It was a fabulous strike worthy of winning a game but sadly on this occasion it would only be a consolation.

Connor replaced Parker on 59 minutes. The Stags had a 10 minute spell of good pressure without creating any chances.

On 67 minutes Bore made a great run down the right and his attempted cross flew towards the top corner of the net where Pilkington palmed it over.

Grimsby sealed the game on 69 minutes making it 5-2. A corner from the right flicked off the head of Murray, and Kempson headed in from 12 yards with his header looping over the Stags defence. It was more terrible defending in the Stags’ box.

On 73 minutes, Grimsby sub Lee Peacock chested down and volleyed over. On 78 minutes, a great run from Briscoe down the right, getting past a defender but his cut back was eventually cleared.

It was 6-2 on 80 minutes with another free kick from Connell. This time it was chipped over the wall and perfectly placed into the left corner of the net. Pilkington got his fingertips to it but such was the placement of the shot, he could not be blamed in my opinion.

Connell made a good run into space on 83 minutes and shot into the side netting. More terrible defending from the Stags on 86 minutes as they parted like the North Sea. Cook fouled Bore and Connell sent the resulting free kick just over the bar with Pilkington watching it.

The humiliation was complete on 89 minutes when Grimsby made it seven, with a great move and the ball was played out by Peacock to Bore on the right hand side who finished brilliantly past Pilkington with an accurate shot into the left hand corner.

Man of the Match: Louis Briscoe

Report by: Martin Shaw at Blundell Park

Line Up:
Pilkington 4 At fault for the second goal and possibly the fourth, in my opinion.
Cook 4 Easily his worst game in a Stags shirt.
Day 5 Some reasonable challenges, but nowhere near good enough.
Grand 4 Poor.
Sandwith 4 Dreadful defending. Ripped to shreds by Bore. Poor distribution as well.
Briscoe 7 Fabulous goal. Did ok down the right.
Murray 4 After a great game at Cambridge, he just didn't turn up today. Inexplicable.
Istead 5 Worked hard, but poor.
Adam Smith 4 Anonymous. Barely mentioned his name in commentary.
Parker 4 Terrible. Summed up by feeble header from fine Briscoe cross.
Duffy 6 Clever opportunist goal. Won a few headers.
Sub Line Up:
Connor (for Parker, 59) - Didn't get into the game.
Mitchley (for Adam Smith, 70) -
Subs Not Used: Collett, Naylor, Mills.
Opposition Line Up:
Arthur, Wood, Kempson, Atkinson, Ridley, Bore, Cummins, Sinclair (Hudson 77), Coulson (Eagle 72), Ademeno (Peacock 61), Connell. Subs Not Used: Croudson, Garner.
R West (Beverley) 5 Poor game, though didn't affect the scoreline.

Season 10/11 Reports