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Season 23/24 Stagsnet Match Report
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town  
2 - 0
 Grimsby Town
Keillor-Dunn 19, Maris 45+5
Attendance: 8,125 (1,200 from Grimsby)
Date: 26 December 2023


Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town beat Grimsby Town 2-0 at the One Call Stadium on Boxing Day lunchtime.

Mansfield had an incredible 39 shots, the most by any side in England's top 4 leagues since 2015 when Manchester City had 43 against West Brom in the Premier League.

The two goals came in the first half with Davis Keillor-Dunn scoring his 13th goal of the season, after a good run into the box and his shot took a helpful deflection to take it past the keeper. And then with virtually the last kick of the first half, George Maris let fly with a screamer from 26 yards into the bottom right corner of the net giving the keeper no chance.

But it could have been different. Less than a minute before Maris made it 2-0, Abo Eisa was inches away from equalising with a fine strike just wide of the post. Earlier this season, Eisa scored a screamer of his own to earn the Mariners a point in the game between the two sides at Blundell Park. And before that Grimsby hit the post through Arthur Gnahoua while Kieran Green hit the bar. While Christy Pym also made some good saves to keep Grimsby at bay.

The Stags had plenty of chances too in the first half but were flattered by the two goal lead at the break.

By the way, Grimsby boss Dave Artell claimed his side should have had two stonewall penalties in the first half. So stonewall that no-one knows what they were, and no reference is made to them in the match report on the Grimsby website. Answers on a postcard.
UPDATE: Thanks to Stags fan Dan Worthington who was sitting just behind the dugout who says: “The 2 penalties Artell is claiming came in the first half but neither player went down, one just before they hit the bar and the other one Bowery kicked his man. He was telling us behind the dugout that if they had gone down they would have been given.”
In truth these incidents are very rarely given as penalties, so they are very far from stonewall. I’d go so far as to say they were laughable.

The second half was a different story as Mansfield swarmed all over Grimsby and in the end racked up an incredible 39 shots in the game, the highest by any club in England in the top 4 leagues since 2015 (*). Keillor-Dunn missed a sitter with a free header from 9 yards, while Ollie Clarke struck the bar with a great shot from 18 yards.

(*) UPDATE: from the Official EFL website: “Mansfield had 39 shots in their 2-0 win against Grimsby Town, the most attempts by a team in the top four tiers of English football since Man City had 43 against West Brom in the Premier League in March 2015 (3-0).”

Grimsby at no stage looked like getting back into the game. Artell claimed after the game his side should have been 4-1 up half-time. A rash claim when perhaps level would have been fair. But perhaps the right scoreline in the end would have been about 10-4.

A strong performance. The win took Mansfield back into 3rd place, still with games in hand. The next game is at home to Doncaster on Friday night. Get your tickets while you still can. But if you can’t, you can again watch it with us on iFollow Stags.


The game was moved to a 12.30 kick off “on police instruction”, (not the usual “police advice”), according to the club.

The crowd was a home sell-out of 6,900. 1,200 from Grimsby.

Mansfield made one change from the side that won at Sutton: Reed returned in place of Clarke. It was still the 4-2-3-1 formation played at Sutton and the second half at Crawley, with Brunt and Reed in front of the back four. Then Maris, Keillor-Dunn and Quinn behind Akins. Bowery continued at left back.

Grimsby had lost at home to Harrogate on Saturday, but prior to that had gone six league games unbeaten since new manager Dave Artell, the former Stags centre half and Crewe manager, had taken over. Mansfield had already beaten Grimsby at home in the Carabao cup, while the league game at Blundell Park was a draw.
Danny Rose was up front for Grimsby. Luke Waterfall was on the bench and didn’t come on.

The first chance of the game fell to Grimsby as Rekeil Pike sent a low shot straight at Pym.

At the other end on 4 minutes, Keillor-Dunn squared for Maris, 23 yards out, who shot over the bar.

After 6 minutes, a good save from Pym with his feet from Pyke’s low shot.

After 8 minutes, Arthur Gnahoua cut in from the right and smacked a shot against the right post.

The Stags won the ball back after 10 minutes as Cargill tacked Danny Rose, he found Keillor-Dunn, who slipped a great ball forward for Akins who had a shot deflected over the keeper and just wide by Harvey Rodgers. From the resulting corner, Flint headed wide.

Positive play from Johnson on 15 minutes, marauding down the right into the area, he belted a shot goalwards, it hit the keeper in the face on his goalline and went behind for a corner. So close. From the resulting corner, Flint headed the ball up and as the ball was drifting wide, Maris fouled the keeper.

Moments later, Akins with a left footed shot from 25 yards was deflected for a corner. From that corner, a shot from Flint was heading in but blocked for a corner. From that corner, Brunt had a shot blocked by Glennon.

A free kick for the Stags 30 yards from goal for a foul on Brunt after 17 minutes, was taken quickly by Bowery to Reed who blasted a shot just over the bar from 30 yards.

The Stags took the lead after 19 minutes. A long ball forward from the Grimsby keeper was headed forward by Flint. Maris did well to win the ball and set Keillor-Dunn away for a run into the box. Keillor-Dunn cut inside left back Glennon and his left footed shot from 15 yards took a helpful deflection to take it past the keeper. A good run from Keillor-Dunn and his 13th goal of the season.

Efete broke away down the right for the Mariners after 22 minutes, and they had men over, but a square pass to Clifton saw Clifton miscontrol it before he could get it out from under his feet and the ball ran through to Pym.

After 27 minutes, Grimsby brought on Abo Eisa for the injured Pyke. Grimsby were down to 10 men for fully 2 minutes while someone had to run back to the changing room for get Eisa’s shirt. Very unprofessional. It is the player’s responsibility to bring his shirt with him.

On 30 minutes, Brunt crossed from the left and Akins backheeled towards goal but it was blocked.

Johnson was booked for a foul on the edge of the Mariner’s area on Eisa after 30 minutes. The referee pointed to other areas where Johnson had committed other fouls.

Grimsby hit the woodwork for the second time after 31 minutes. Kieran Green played a one-two on the edge of the box and curled a shot against the bar, while the Stags defence stood and watched him. The ball rebounded and Green headed down to Gnahoua whose shot was well saved by Pym with his legs.

Quinn intercepted a ball out from Rodgers after 35 minutes, he played a one-two with Maris, surged into the area and his low shot was deflected, but straight to the keeper. Two corners followed. From the second from Quinn from the left, Flint headed goalwards and the keeper saved at point blank range. Flint close to that first headed goal.

After 38 minutes, Akins took the ball on his chest from a Keillor-Dunn pass, and half volleyed over the bar from 25 yards.

A minute later, Quinn played inside from the left to Maris whose shot was blocked on the line by the keeper. Seconds later, Keillor-Dunn sent a left footed curling shot goalwards and the keeper did well to parry.

A good tackle by Flint after 41 minutes.

A great chance for Maris after 44 minutes. Great play by Bowery down the left, he played inside to Maris, who controlled the ball and dragged his shot wide of the left post. Maris said after the game he should have scored.

4 minutes were added on at the end of the first half. After 45+3 minutes, Gnahoua got past Bowery on the right in the area and pulled back for Rodgers whose shot from 7 yards was well-saved by Pym pushing it wide at his near post. As Gnahoua went past Bowery, there was the slightest of touches by Bowery, not enough to send Gnahoua down. Laughably, Artell claimed it was a stonewall penalty.

After 45+4, Abo Eisa was inches away from equalising with a fine strike just wide of the right post from the left. Earlier this season, Eisa scored a screamer of his own to earn the Mariners a point in the game between the two sides at Blundell Park.

Pym was booked for time wasting over a goal kick after 45+4 minutes.

Then with virtually the last kick of the first half, Maris let fly with a screamer from 26 yards across the keeper into the bottom right corner of the net giving the keeper no chance.

18 chances for the Stags in the first half (all listed above), 8 for Grimsby (also listed above). It could have been 1-1 with that Eisa shot just before Maris scored, but it was 2-0 at the break. Grimsby tried to attack, and hence we had an open game. The Stags had plenty of chances in the first half but were flattered by the two goal lead at the break.

Half time 2-0

McLaughlin replaced Johnson at the start of the second half. Johnson had been booked. Bowery switched to right back.

A great run and cross from the right from Bowery after 48 minutes and an on-target shot from Keillor-Dunn was blocked. A minute later, Brunt found Quinn whose cross-shot was tipped away and just evaded Akins.

After 50 minutes, Keillor-Dunn’s corner from the right reached Flint whose shot was blocked almost at source from 12 yards.

Great feet from Keillor-Dunn after 51 minutes, into the area past two defenders, and he shot about a foot wide, the ball ending in the side-netting.

A rare second half chance for Grimsby after 53 minutes as Danny Rose sent a scissor-kick high over the bar.

Brunt did well to win the ball after 55 minutes, surge forward and his low shot was straight at the keeper.

A great pass from Akins out to the left to Quinn after 57 minutes. Quinn’s cross was headed away as far as McLaughlin. McLaughlin’s cross in was turned goalwards by Maris and the keeper made a fabulous save one handed on his line. It came to Akins who turned it goalwards and the keeper saved again. How did that not go in!?

Good tracking back by Brunt after 57 minutes to dispossess Andrews after initially a good run from Andrews.

A great block by Reed on the edge of the area from an Andrews shot after 59 minutes.

A great tackle by Bowery on Eisa in the area after 61 minutes after Eisa had initially got past him.

Brilliant play by Keillor-Dunn twisting and turning away from Maher in the box and his powerful left footed shot was brilliantly tipped over the bar by the keeper.

A great move from the Stags after 64 minutes. Bowery crossed from the right, McLaughlin leapt to head back across goal, Quinn squared for Maris, Maris teed up Keillor-Dunn whose low shot was brilliantly saved again by the keeper with his legs.

The Stags were sloppy after 66 minutes as Pym’s clearance was charged down by Rose, Cargill’s header then gave the ball to Clifton who teed up Conteh for a shot from 20 yards, blocked by Brunt.

Maris was booked after 67 minutes. Frustration at losing the ball, then fouling his man.

A good cross from Glennon after 68 minutes, and Rose flicked an effort wide at the near post.

Oates replaced Maris after 69 minutes. Clarke replaced Quinn. Maris had just been booked. Just a matter of managing Quinn’s minutes.

After 71 minutes, McLaughlin crossed from the left, Oates headed down and goalwards but it was cleared away. Oates was hurt in the process but eventually able to continue.

After 74 minutes, Eisa cut inside and his shot hit a Stags player.

On 75 minutes, Clarke fed Oates in the area and Oates dragged his shot wide, via a deflection.

Following on from the resulting corner, the ball was headed out to Clarke on the edge of the area. Clarke chested down and volleyed left footed against the top of the bar. Trademark Ollie Clarke, brilliant.

Mansfield claimed for a penalty after 78 minutes as a cross from Oates hit a Grimsby hand. The referee wasn’t interested. Seconds later, Oates crossed from the right, Flint headed down and towards goal but it was blocked.

On 79 minutes, Akins found Oates who had a chance to shoot but his first touch let him down, but the Stags did win a corner. From the corner taken by Keillor-Dunn, McLaughlin headed down and the keeper blocked it on the line.

It should have been 3-0 after 81 minutes. McLaughlin crossed from the left and Keillor-Dunn sent a free header wide from 9 yards. Seconds earlier, McLaughlin’s shot from the edge of the box was blocked by Efete.

Then Clarke played a good ball forward for Oates, who got to the corner of the area on the left, cut inside, but fired high and wide.

On 84 minutes, Keillor-Dunn to Bowery, back inside to Keillor-Dunn and he sent a first time shot over the bar. Great effort.

Two more changes after 85 minutes: Swan for Keillor-Dunn, Williams for Reed. Williams went in to midfield.

The Stags had a goal disallowed after 85 minutes. Grimsby sub Holahan gave the ball away to Clarke. Clarke slipped a super ball to Swan who in turn squared for Akins to tap into the net. But Swan was a yard offside as Clarke slipped the ball to him.

A great tackle by Brunt after 89 minutes.

On 90 minutes, Oates to Akins whose shot was blocked for a corner.

After 90+6 minutes, a corner from the left from Ollie Clarke, Flint’s header was saved, and then a shot from Williams from 8 yards was blocked by the keeper. That brought the full time whistle.

21 chances for the Stags in the second half (all listed above) (total 18+21=39),
5 for Grimsby in the second half (also listed above) (total 8+5=13).

52 shots in the game in total. Incredible. What entertainment.

Man of the match: Lewis Brunt

Running tally of various stats this season:

Goals (league and cup): Keillor-Dunn 13, Akins 9, Maris 6, Oates 5, Bowery 2, Cargill 2, Flint 2, Gale 2, Reed 2, Swan 2, Brunt 1, Clarke 1, Cooper 1, Johnson 1, Lewis 1, Quinn 1.

Assists (league and cup): Keillor-Dunn 9, Maris 6, Quinn 6, Oates 5, Flint 4, Swan 4, Akins 2, Bowery 2, Clarke 2, Gale 2, Johnson 2, Lewis 2, Macdonald 1, Reed 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 cleared away before the goal is scored, such as Keillor-Dunn’s first goal against Newport, nobody gets an assist.)

Injuries (including quotes from Nigel Clough):
Kilgour (ruptured Achilles, return July),
Hewitt (ACL, “on schedule for February time"),
Gale (out until towards end of January, from injury in the Burton EFL Trophy game),
Lewis (hamstring problem, likely to return “at some point over the Christmas period”),
O’Toole (hamstring injury, Nigel Clough told me at Sutton he will be out for 4 weeks).

Yellow cards (league only, alphabetical order): Boateng 2, Bowery 1, Brunt 3, Cargill 5, Clarke 4, Gale 2, Johnson 3, Keillor-Dunn 3, Kilgour 1, Lewis 2, Macdonald 5, Maris 3, Oates 1, Pym 1, Quinn 1, Reed 5, 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)

Average home league attendance: 7420 (average away fans: 747, average home fans 6673) (remember the attendance is calculated as tickets sold, including season tickets. There are 5171 season ticket holders this season.)

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

Line Up:
Pym 8.5 Made some really important saves in the first half
Johnson 8 Had a good first half. Booked then subbed at half time.
Flint 8 Defended well. Had several efforts at goal and that first headed goal still alludes him.
Cargill 7.5 Defended well.
Bowery 8 Some good attacking down the left in the first half and right during the second half.
Brunt 9 Excellent game in front of the back four. Blocked shots, won tackles, and got things moving.
Reed 7.5 Decent game.
Maris 8.5 Scored a screamer and had 5 shots at goal in total including bringing a great save from the keeper.
Keillor-Dunn 8.5 Scored his 13th goal of the season and set up plenty of chances. Had 8 shots and brought some great saves from the keeper. Should have scored more than one.
Quinn 8 Set up plenty of chances. Very good game.
Akins 8 Played well. Had six shots bringing plenty of good saves, and set up other chances.
Sub Line Up:
McLaughlin (for Johnson, 46) 8 Put in some very good crosses.
Oates (for Maris, 69) -
Clarke (for Quinn, 69) -
Swan (for Keillor-Dunn, 85) -
Williams (for Reed, 85) -
Subs not used: Flinders, Macdonald.
Opposition Line Up:
(4-2-3-1): Cartwright; Efete, Rodgers, Maher, Glennon; Conteh (Hunt 76, Mullarkey 90+4), Green (Holohan 76); Gnahoua (Andrews 46), Clifton, Pyke (Eisa 27); Rose. Subs not used: Eastwood, Waterfall.
Ollie Yates 7 Handled the game well.

Season 23/24 Reports