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Season 23/24 Stagsnet Match Report
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Grimsby Town  
1 - 1
 Mansfield Town
Eisa 6.
 
 Oates 59
Attendance: 7,100 (1,188 from Mansfield)
 
Date: 19 August 2023

STAGS DRAW AT GRIMSBY

Martin Shaw at Blundell Park

Mansfield Town drew 1-1 at Grimsby Town this afternoon. Abo Eisa put Grimsby ahead with an absolute screamer from 30 yards after 6 minutes. The second game running that Mansfield have gone behind to an unstoppable strike from distance.

The Stags equalised after 59 minutes when Jordan Bowery's fine long ball from the back was chased down by Rhys Oates, who showed incredible pace to get to the ball first, ahead of the keeper, and then roll it into an empty net.

That's how it finished and yet again Mansfield were left rueing poor finishing, bad luck, and that screamer, for not winning the game.

The Stags were miles better than Grimsby. The Stags have been miles better than every team they have played this season. Mansfield had 20 shots to Grimsby's 8.

The Stags hit the woodwork twice, Davis Keillor-Dunn smashing a great shot against the bar from 18 yards after 35 minutes, and Aden Flint heading against the post from a corner after 81 minutes, the keeper actually getting a fingertip on it to turn it onto the post. Keillor-Dunn missed a 1-on-1 after 54 minutes when a flicked header from a defender put him onside and yards clear of the defence, but with only the keeper to beat, he shot wide. He certainly should have scored.

In the first half, Keillor-Dunn made a great run to the edge of the box, but the keeper did well to tip his shot wide. At the other end, Christy Pym made one brilliant save tipping a shot from 18 yards from Gavan Holohan over the bar. Pym had little else to do.

Mansfield once again lost players to injury: Baily Cargill forced off at half time with a tight hamstring, while Stephen Quinn got a whack on his knee and was also forced off at half time. On came Oates and Ollie Clarke for the second half.

Meanwhile there was confirmation that Callum Johnson, Aaron Lewis and Hiram Boateng will all miss 4-6 weeks after their respective injuries on Tuesday. We already knew the devastating news that Alfie Kilgour will miss the rest of the season.

With George Williams not fully fit, though on the bench for the first time, Bowery replaced Johnson at right back. Then when Cargill went off at half time, Bowery switched to centre half, with Lucas Akins moving to right back. Bowery was outstanding in both roles. A brilliant performance using his height and pace to good effect. Akins was again very good at right back, getting forward effectively. Oates was really dangerous in the second half and showed great pace for his goal. The reason he didn't start the game was he hasn't trained for two weeks with a sore hip. Flint was excellent again at the back. He continues to show what an immense signing he was. Keillor-Dunn though wasn't at his best. While Will Swan played his first 90 minutes of the season and looked a little off the pace, but he missed most of pre-season and will get better with game time. Ollie Clarke played the second half, and looked less rusty than his previous two sub appearances; again he will get better with game time after missing most of pre-season.

Overall, frustrating for Mansfield to only draw. Again it was largely impressive from the Stags, albeit a little less so than other games, but again with 20 shots. Both Doncaster and Grimsby have earned a point with an unstoppable worldie from 30 yards. While the Stags have spurned too many chances and need to be more clinical.

The next game is at home to Stockport next Saturday.

DETAILED REPORT :

Mansfield made four changes from the side that drew at Doncaster:
out went Kilgour (out for the season with a ruptured Achilles), Johnson (out for 4-6 weeks with a hamstring strain), Lewis (out for 4-6 weeks with a calf strain), Oates (hasn't trained for two weeks with a sore hip, but was on the bench).
In came Bowery, Macdonald (back from suspension), Maris, Swan.
Bowery was at right back.
Hiram Boateng was also absent (out for 4-6 weeks with a groin strain).
George Williams was in the squad for the first time- he played in pre-season at Matlock but felt his thigh and hadn’t played since.
Youngsters Cooper, Anderson and Abdullah were also in the 18. Young Charlie Carter travelled with the squad and was the “19th man”.
Elsewhere on the injury front John-Joe O’Toole and James Gale have returned to a running phase of training.

Grimsby were unchanged from their morale-boosting 2-0 win over Salford on Tuesday. Danny Rose was up front, having signed from Stevenage after getting promoted. I spoke to Danny after the game, he told me he was happy to be back up north. Former Stag Luke Waterfall came into the side. Another former Stag Otis Khan was injured. Arthur Gnahoua was in midfield. Gnahoua was a trialist at Mansfield in 2019 (playing in two pre-season games, against Alfreton and Blackburn).

It was a lovely sunny day in Cleethorpes.

Grimsby took the lead with the first shot of the game after 6 minutes. And what a shot it was. Abo Eisa sent an absolute screamer from 30 yards into the top left corner. No chance for Pym. The second game running that Mansfield have gone behind to an unstoppable strike from distance.

After 9 minutes, Harry Clifton shot on the turn well wide of the right post.

Mansfield’s first chance came after 14 minutes, as a Bowery throw-in reached Quinn who sent a right foot shot over the bar. A difficult chance. Then on 18 minutes, Maris sent a shot from 24 yards straight at the keeper after Keillor-Dunn was dispossessed. After 28 minutes, a great ball through ball from Keillor-Dunn to Maris, who miscued his left footed shot which rolled through to the keeper. Straight to the other end, and a Danny Amos shot that was going well wide was turned well over the bar by Clifton.

On 32 minutes, Bowery crossed in and Quinn’s shot was blocked.

The Stags hit the woodwork after 35 minutes. Akins cut inside to find Keillor-Dunn who showed great footwork to create a yard of space for a shot, and he smashed a great shot against the bar from 18 yards. Then Bowery’s shot on the follow-up from 15 yards was blocked by Harvey Rodgers.

Two minutes later, Keillor-Dunn won the ball and made a great run to the edge of the box, but the keeper did well to tip his shot wide. Superb play from Keillor-Dunn. From the resulting corner from the right from Macdonald, Flint headed over the bar; he just couldn’t get over the header. On 39 minutes, good control by Swan in the area, his shot was blocked, it came to Maris who shot over the bar from 16 yards.

After 42 minutes, a Macdonald free kick into the area, was headed back by Flint to Quinn whose shot from the edge of the area was blocked.

After 44 minutes, Pym made a brilliant save tipping a shot from 18 yards from Gavan Holohan over the bar after Eisa squared to Holohan.

Grimsby ahead through that screamer at half time.

Half time 1-0

Mansfield made an enforced double change at half time: Baily Cargill was forced off with a tight hamstring, while Stephen Quinn got a whack on his knee and was also forced off at half time. On came Rhys Oates and Ollie Clarke for the second half. Bowery switched from right back to centre half. Akins moved to right back.

Keillor-Dunn missed a 1-on-1 after 54 minutes when a flicked header from a defender put him onside and yards clear of the defence, but with only the keeper to beat, he flicked his shot wide. He certainly should have scored.

Good strong defending by Akins against Eisa after 58 minutes, shepherding the ball out for a goal kick.

The Stags equalised after 59 minutes. Bowery's fine long ball from the back was chased down by Oates, who showed incredible pace to get to the ball first, ahead of the keeper, and then roll it into an empty net. The keeper had looked favourite to get to it first. Oates said after the game: “the pitch is quite dry and so the ball has held up for me and I got round the keeper and slotted it home. It’s an unbelievable ball (from Bowery). It’s held up perfectly for me to knock it past him (the keeper) and slot it home.”

After 65 minutes, calls for a free kick and red card from the home side. Clifton lifted a ball over the top, Holohan got slightly in front of Bowery who put an arm on his shoulder five yards outside the area and Holohan went down very easily. The referee decided there was not enough contact for Holohan to go down and from the video from behind the goal I think that is correct. Had the referee decided there was enough contact for him to go down, Bowery would have had a red card for sure.

On 66 minutes, Swan turned in the area and shot well wide after Keillor-Dunn gave him the ball. Then five minutes later, Akins crossed in from the right, it was cleared to Clarke who had a shot deflected wide from the edge of the area.

Good defending by Bowery against sub Pike after 75 minutes.

After 76 minutes, Keillor-Dunn crossed, Maris rose but could only head it over the bar. The cross was just too high for him to get over.

Flint headed against the post, after 81 minutes, at the far post, from a Maris corner from the left, the keeper actually getting a fingertip on it to turn it onto the post.

After a blatant foul against Oates wasn’t given on 90 minutes, Clough called the referee over. The referee came over, and eventually booked Andy Garner. Clough told me that he told the referee that the fourth official was telling the ref that it was a clear foul, and because the fourth official had a better view, he should have taken the fourth official’s view.

Brilliant defending by Flint against Pike after 90+4 minutes.

It finished 1-1 and yet again Mansfield were left rueing poor finishing, bad luck, and that screamer, for not winning the game.

The Stags were miles better than Grimsby. The Stags have been miles better than every team they have played this season. Mansfield had 20 shots to Grimsby's 8.

Man of the match: Jordan Bowery

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

Goals (league and cup): Akins 3, Keillor-Dunn 3, Oates 2, Maris 1, Reed 1.

Assists (league and cup): Oates 4, Keillor-Dunn 2, Quinn 2, Bowery 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): Boateng 1, Cargill 1, Clarke 1, Keillor-Dunn 1, Kilgour 1, Lewis 1, Quinn 1, Reed 1, Swan 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)

Injuries: Kilgour (ruptured Achilles, return July), Hewitt (ACL, return April), McLaughlin (knee, return mid-late Oct), O'Toole (ankle, return later than early Sept), Johnson (hamstring, return end Sept), Lewis (calf, return end Sept), Boateng (groin, return end Sept), Gale (thigh, return around 5 Sept), Williams (felt thigh at Matlock, back training, “see how he goes”), Cargill (felt hamstring, outside chance back 26 Aug), Quinn (whack on knee, outside chance back 26 Aug).


Report by: Martin Shaw at Blundell Park



Line Up:
(4-4-2, diamond in midfield)
Pym 7 No chance with the goal. Made one brilliant save tipping a shot over the bar. Had little else to do.
Bowery 9 Outstanding at right back in first half and centre half in second half. A brilliant performance using his height and pace to good effect. His fine long ball from the back turned out to be an assist for the goal.
Flint 8.5 Excellent again at the back. He continues to show what an immense signing he was. Headed against the post.
Cargill 7 Forced off at half time with a tight hamstring.
Macdonald 7.5 Did well at left back.
Reed 7 Played well, albeit not at his best.
Maris 8 Very good game. Four chances which didn’t really trouble the keeper.
Quinn 7 Got a whack on his knee and forced off at half time. Three shots in the first half, two blocked and one over the bar.
Keillor-Dunn 7 Smashed a great shot against the bar. Missed a 1-on-1 when he certainly should have scored. Made another great run to the edge of the box when the keeper did well to tip his shot wide.
Akins 8.5 Up front in the first half. Particularly good at right back in the second half, getting forward effectively.
Swan 6 Played his first 90 minutes of the season and looked a little off the pace, but he missed most of pre-season and will get better with game time.
Sub Line Up:
Clarke (for Quinn, 46 mins) 6.5 Played the second half, and looked less rusty than his previous two sub appearances; like Swan he will get better with game time after missing most of pre-season.
Oates (for Cargill, 46 mins) 9 Really dangerous in the second half and showed great pace for his goal. Clough noted after the game: “Rhys Oates has hardly trained in the last ten days or so with a sore hip. It would have been a gamble had we started him but he came on at half-time and made an impact, running beyond and scoring a very good goal.”
Subs not used: Flinders, Cooper, Williams, Anderson, Abdullah.
Opposition Line Up:
(4-1-4-1): Eastwood; Mullarkey, Waterfall, Rodgers, Amos; Conteh (Hunt 82); Gnahoua (Pyke 63), Holohan, Clifton, Eisa (Green 82); Rose. Subs not used: Cartwright, Efete, Vernam, Khouri.
Referee:
Will Finnie 7 Missed a blatant foul on Oates, despite the fourth official seeing it. Got the call right on the Bowery/Holohan incident I think.


Season 23/24 Reports