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Season 23/24 Stagsnet Match Report
Carabao Cup (English Football League Cup) - Round 1
Mansfield Town  
2 - 0
 Grimsby Town
Akins pen 28, Oates 55
Attendance: 3,123 (512 from Grimsby)
Date: 8 August 2023


Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town put in a superb performance on Tuesday night to beat Grimsby Town in the first round of the League Cup. It finished only 2-0 as the Stags played some brilliant football but only converted two out of many chances created. Grimsby manager Paul Hurst called it "pretty much as good a performance I've seen from a League Two side for some time." The goals came from Lucas Akins and Rhys Oates. Akins converted a penalty after Oates had been brought down by the keeper in the first half. And Oates scored a beauty with the outside of his right boot in the second half.

It was the first time the Stags had progressed to the second round since the 6-1 win over Accrington in 2018.

Mansfield made two changes to the side that played well at Crewe but only drew: Aden Flint came in for Baily Cargill, Jordan Bowery came in for the suspended Calum Macdonald at left back. Macdonald is suspended for three games.
On only making two changes, Nigel Clough explained: "We played so well on Saturday, it's early season, let's put in another good performance, let's get through in the cup. We knew Aden Flint wasn't going to play 90 minutes ... Baily's had a couple of back problems ... so we thought it would be perfect for Aden to do 60 and Baily just to do 30.”
Kilgour played on the right and Flint on the left of the two man central defence.
Ollie Clarke returned from injury to the bench.
McKeal Abdullah was on the bench and was to come on for his debut. Nigel Clough said: "To get McKeal on was lovely. One of the players that we've kept in this small group of U19s and we're going to involve them as and when we can.”
No Gale or Williams in the squad. Clough explained: "James Gale felt his thigh, he trained yesterday and then practicing penalties, he felt his thigh so he'll be a week or two. He had a problem with it a couple of weeks ago and it all cleared up. George Williams felt his thigh in the first half at Matlock. he'll probably be a couple of weeks.”
"Will Swan is back outside doing one to one work and we're hoping he'll join in after the weekend.”

Grimsby made five changes from their draw with AFC Wimbledon. Arthur Gnahoua made his first start for the club. Gnahoua was a trialist at Mansfield in 2019 (playing in two pre-season games, against Alfreton and Blackburn). Danny Rose was up front, having signed from Stevenage after getting promoted. The move was because he wanted to move north. Former Stag Luke Waterfall came into the side. Another former Stag Otis Khan was injured.

It was a sunny evening in Mansfield.

After 4 minutes, Bowery cut in from the left on to his right foot and his shot was blocked by Mullarkey. Two minutes later, Reed shot from the edge of the area wide of the right post.

A break from Abo Eisa who found Vernam and his low shot gave Pym an easy save.

Great play from the Stags on the right after 10 minutes, Johnson got along the byline and crossed. It gave a Quinn a chance at the far post but Eisa cleared as he was about to shoot. Oates got into the area after 13 minutes, turned his defender inside out, but his shot from 16 yards was blocked by Waterfall. And on 17 minutes, a corner from Lewis, the towering Flint headed across, and a defender headed it over his own bar.

A golden chance for the Stags after 18 minutes. Keillor-Dunn played a great ball in to put Oates in 1-on-1 with the keeper, but Oates fired miles wide.

A minute later, Keillor-Dunn got to the edge of the area and squared for Akins, who took one touch before toe-poking just over the bar. Like Oates’ a minute earlier, a glorious chance.

The Stags took the lead after 28 minutes. Harvey Rodgers played a backpass to keeper Harvey Cartwright. The keeper took a touch, which was too heavy, Oates nipped in, nicked the ball away, and was brought down by the keeper for a clear penalty. The keeper was booked. Not a red card as he was trying to play the ball. Oates was also going away from goal.
Akins stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way, firing into the bottom right corner of the net.

Two minutes later, almost a carbon copy penalty. Harvey Rodgers played a backpass to keeper Harvey Cartwright, he took a heavy touch, and Oates was within a whisker of nicking it away from him again but the keeper cleared with a split second to spare.

A great move from the Stags down the left after 31 minutes. Bowery headed away down the line. Quinn slipped a nice ball down the line for Keillor-Dunn, he played another ball down the line for Oates. Oates curled a low ball across the edge of the area with the outside of his right boot, to Akins. Akins took a touch and his low left footed shot was blocked by the keeper with his leg. A brilliant move.

Another good move from the Stags after 36 minutes, Bowery to Quinn to Akins down the left. Akins turned and switched play to the right to Lewis with a lovely ball. Lewis cut in to the edge of the D on his left foot and his shot was blocked by Glennon.

After 38 minutes, a free kick from Grimsby from the right from Charles Vernam into the area. Danny Rose met it with a header from 12 yards which Pym pushed round the right post. Good header from Rose from a long way out, and a decent save from Pym. A minute later, Abo Eisa shot left footed across Pym and wide.

Bowery, who otherwise had a terrific game at left back, chipped the ball from the left into his own area after 40 minutes, towards Pym. Pym had to head it away to get it away from the onrushing Vernam. Ludicrous from Bowery. Pym dealt with it well.

Another brilliant move down the left from the Stags after 41 minutes. Bowery headed away down the line, Quinn swept it further down the line, Oates did brilliantly to nick it past Waterfall and show him a clean pair of heels. Oates cut inside, squared across the area to Lewis and Lewis side-footed goalwards from 16 yards, but the keeper made a superb save pushing it away. It was another wonderful move, and only denied a goal by a good save.

Yet another good move after 43 minutes. Reed played the ball down the right for Akins. Akins played it back and across to Quinn on the edge of the D. Quinn flicked the ball forward for Oates with his back to goal 8 yards out. Oates turned and missed his kick as he tried to divert the ball past the keeper.

At the other end, great defending from Bowery with a clearing header with Rose behind him. From the resulting corner, Holohan headed straight at Pym.

On 45 minutes, Akins put in a great cross from the right, Keillor-Dunn met it first time at the far post left footed on the half volley and fired just over the bar from 8 yards.

Only two minutes added on at the end of the half, retro football! But actually it reflected that the ball had mostly been in play, and mostly it had been the Stags knocking it around beautifully.

The Stags ahead at the break then. Some wonderful football from Mansfield. But it should have been more than 1-0.

Half time 1-0

Boateng replaced Quinn at half time.

After 46 minutes, a Vernam corner was headed well wide by Kieran Green.

At the other end on 48 minutes, a Boateng corner and Akins headed it straight at the keeper. Then two minutes later, a chance for Akins 8 yards out as Lewis headed across to him, but Akins scuffed his shot harmlessly through to the keeper. And on 52 minutes, a Boateng corner from the left, Flint met it with a header, but it was wide of the right post.

The Stags made it 2-0 after 55 minutes. Keillor-Dunn squared inside to Oates 25 yards from goal. Oates took a couple of touches into the area and fired with the outside of his right boot curling it just inside the left post. A beautiful goal from Oates.

A blatant foul on Bowery wasn’t given after 61 minutes. Grimsby broke and won a corner.

Another great move from the Stags after 64 minutes. Boateng lifted a lovely ball out to Oates on the right touchline. Oates made a yard a space and crossed low into the six yard box for Akins whose shot was saved at point blank range. The offside flag went up. But what a cross from Oates.

Cargill replaced Flint, and Maris replaced Lewis after 64 minutes.

Cargill was straight into the action blocking a shot from Harry Clifton after 66 minutes.

More brilliant football from the Stags after 70 minutes. Akins to Boateng to Johnson, to Maris, Johnson, Maris, to Boateng, to Maris to Keillor-Dunn, inside to Akins, whose goalbound shot from 9 yards was deflected by Waterfall. Brilliant football.

After 72 minutes, Mullarkey put in a good cross, Khouri headed goalwards but it was an easy save for Pym.

A brilliant clearance from Cargill after 75 minutes from an Eisa cross. Straight to the other end, and Akins crossed towards Oates who would have had a tap in but for a last ditch clearance.

Then a great tackle from Reed as Grimsby broke.

Ollie Clarke replaced Oates after 76 minutes. Good to see him back from injury.

A poor ball from Reed gifted possession to Grimsby after 78 minutes, but Eisa shot well wide from the edge of the box. Reed apologised to his teammates.

No more chances for the Stags.

Abdullah replaced Reed after 90 minutes, for his competitive debut.

On 90+1 minutes, Holohan fired 20 yards wide from outside the area.

So the Stags through to Round 2. Some wonderful football. The entire team played very well. And Stags fans can look forward to the first home league game on Saturday against Morecambe. If the performance is anything like this one, it’ll be enjoyable to watch. As it is on a Saturday, it will be commentary only on iFollow, unless you are overseas in which case you can watch it.

Man of the match: Louis Reed

Here’s a running tally of various stats this season:

Goals (league and cup): Keillor-Dunn 2, Akins 1, Oates 1.

Assists (league and cup): Keillor-Dunn 1, Oates 2, Quinn 1
(notes on assists: in the case of a penalty, the player who earns the penalty gets an assist. In the case of a solo goal, such as Maris against Newport at home two seasons ago, nobody gets an assist. In the case of the scorer scoring from the rebound after a shot is saved or blocked, the player who had the shot saved gets an assist. In the case of an own goal, the player who caused the own goal gets an assist, for example McLaughlin against Newport away two seasons ago where his shot was deflected in for an own goal. In the case of a cross that is headed away before the goal is scored, such as Clarke’s goal at Doncaster last season, nobody gets an assist.)

Yellow cards (league only, alphabetical order): Keillor-Dunn 1, Kilgour 1, Quinn 1, Reed 1.
Red cards (league and cup): Macdonald 1.
(note: red cards count across competitions apart from Papa John’s Trophy; yellow cards are competition specific)
(note: 5 yellow cards before the end of the 19th league game will result in a one match ban; 10 yellow cards before the end of the 37th league game will result in a two match ban; 15 yellow cards before the end of the 46th league game will result in a three match ban)

Report by: Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Line Up:
(4-4-2, diamond in midfield)
Pym 7 One good save from a Danny Rose header, and dealt with awkward Bowery backpass by heading it away.
Johnson 7.5 Some good play down the right, including setting up a chance for Quinn.
Kilgour 7.5 Solid.
Flint 7.5 Solid. A couple of headers in the Grimsby box.
Bowery 8 Terrific game at left back, apart from one ludicrous backpass. Pace at the back, plus headers away, and get forward well.
Reed 9 Dictated the match from midfield.
Lewis 7.5 One shot well-saved.
Quinn 7.5 Really good first half, involved in so many good moves.
Keillor-Dunn 8 Set up multiple chances.
Akins 8 Coolly taken penalty. Had a few other chances. One great cross.
Oates 9 Won the penalty, and scored the second goal, a beauty.
Sub Line Up:
Boateng (for Quinn, 46 mins) 7 Good second half, involved in some good moves.
Cargill (for Flint, 64) - Good block and a brilliant clearance.
Maris (for Lewis, 64 mins) - Did well.
Clarke (for Oates, 76 mins) - Good to see him back from injury.
Abdullah (for Reed, 90 mins) - As Nigel Clough said: "To get McKeal on was lovely. One of the players that we've kept in this small group of U19s and we're going to involve them as and when we can.”
Subs not used: Flinders, Cooper, Hartigan.
Opposition Line Up:
(4-2-3-1): Cartwright; Mullarkey, Rodgers, Waterfall, Glennon (Efete 73); Holohan, Green; Eisa, Gnahoua (Clifton 56), Vernam (Khouri 56); Rose (Pyke 69). Subs not used: Eastwood, Amos, Hunt, Bramwell, Conteh.
Scott Jackson 7 Handled the game well.

Season 23/24 Reports