Walker 50, 82.
Benning OG 36
Attendance: 4118 (544 from Grimsby)
Date: 6 November 2018
WALKER DOUBLE AS STAGS BEAT GRIMSBY TO ENTER PLAY-OFF POSITIONS
Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill
Mansfield Town came from a goal behind to beat Grimsby Town 2-1 at the One Call Stadium this evening, with two more goals from Tyler Walker, and that propelled the Stags into the play-off positions, and just three points behind third place with 17 games gone this season. Walker now has 5 goals in the last 3 games, and 12 for the season in all competitions. It was just reward for the Stags who yet again created, and missed, a hatful of chances.
The Stags were frustrated to be behind at the break after missing some glorious early chances as Danny Rose was 1-on-1 with the keeper from 12 yards but the keeper made a good save with his legs, then a great pull-back from the byline by Rose to Walker 10 yards from goal with just the keeper to beat but Walker’s first touch let him down. Walker just shot over the bar, Jacob Mellis had a powerful low shot well-saved, Timi Elsnik also forced a good save from the keeper, and Elsnik then created a chance for Walker who turned well but shot wide. Meanwhile Grimsby took the lead on 36 minutes following a throw-in that was awarded to Grimsby after a foul throw by Matt Preston. The throw-in from Hendrie found Wes Thomas, who turned Krystian Pearce and played a low ball across, underneath Bobby Olejnik towards the far post where it was turned into his own net by Mal Benning. Hard to tell whether it was going wide, it probably was, just, so it is an own goal for Benning. Poor all round from Mansfield, though credit to Thomas for his turn. Grimsby only had one other chance when Thomas headed goalwards from a corner, and his own player turned it wide almost from the goalline.
The Stags changed shape at the break to four at the back, for the third game in a row at half time. It was a 4-2-4 formation, throwing everything at Grimsby. And it paid off handsomely. The Stags were level on 50 minutes. Mellis’s corner from the left was cleared to Benning, who fed the ball back to Mellis, who whipped in a sensational cross that Walker met with a flying volley into the net from 6 yards. The winning goal, on 82 minutes, was just as good as CJ Hamilton skinned his full back on the left and put in a perfect ball from the byline to the far post where Walker got away from his marker to head in from 5 yards. The Stags dominated the second half and could have had more goals with Craig Davies firing wide, Walker having a shot deflected just wide, Rose headed against the top of the bar, and then in the final minute Walker set up sub Jordan Graham whose fine effort was brilliantly saved by the keeper. Grimsby didn’t register an effort on or off target in the second half, though it was still nervy with the Stags looking for victory. Some great performances in the Stags side, with Walker getting the headlines again for his goals, but my man of the match goes to Jacob Mellis who was sensational especially in the second half and really got the Stags firing on all cylinders. Special credit also to CJ Hamilton for his fabulous work for the winner. Credit also to James McKeown in the Grimsby goal who pulled off several outstanding saves on the night to keep the score down. Overall a dominant performance from Mansfield a well-deserved win.
The Stags take a break from the league with an FA Cup tie against Charlton on Sunday lunchtime followed by the Checkatrade Trophy against Scunthorpe on Tuesday, both games at the One Call Stadium. It is Charlton’s first visit to Mansfield for 40 years on Sunday, and I’m expecting an excellent game, with two sides who like to play good football.
The Stags made one change from the side that drew at Cheltenham. Ryan Sweeney came in for Hayden White, who dropped to the bench. Mansfield had struggled defending high balls into the box at Cheltenham and hence David Flitcroft reverted to his usual back three that had served him so well this season. It was the usual 3-5-2 formation to start the game. No other changes in the 18. Young attacking midfielder Alistair Smith continued in the squad as the club’s “home grown player”. Alex MacDonald and Otis Khan remained out through injury.
Grimsby included former Stags Mitch Rose in midfield. They made four changes from the side that lost at Cambridge in their previous game. Ben Pringle, who was a standout player for Rotherham in their double promotion a few years ago, started his second game for Grimsby, on loan from Preston. Grimsby are managed by Michael Jolley, a surprising appointment last season with no first team management experience having been U23 coach at Burnley. This season Jolley had appointed Anthony Limbrick as his assistant. Limbrick was another coach without first team management experience until he took over at Woking last season, and after a good start, led them to relegation though he was sacked prior to the end of the season.
It was a windy evening. The wind got stronger from about 30 minutes into the game. The Stags had it behind them in the first half.
Grimsby created a chance after just 9 seconds, as Wes Thomas fired high and wide.
The Stags should have been ahead after 2 minutes. A ricochet put Danny Rose 1-on-1 with keeper McKeown from 12 yards but the keeper made a good save with his legs.
On 4 minutes, a short free kick from Mellis to Elsnik, back to Mellis, who shot wide of the left post from 30 yards.
Good defending from Hamilton to clear a cross from Woolford on 6 minutes. Bishop did well to put a Pringle corner behind for a corner on 7 minutes. From that corner, Danny Collins volleyed miles over the bar.
Another glorious chance for the Stags on 10 minutes. A great ball forward down the line from Mellis and a great pull-back from the byline by Rose to Walker 10 yards from goal with just the keeper to beat but Walker’s first touch let him down and the keeper blocked.
A great block by Preston on 13 minutes after Benning gave the ball away.
On 16 minutes, Walker just shot over the bar from 25 yards. A good effort.
Pearce left a backpass to Olejnik slightly short on 17 minutes, and Olejnik only just got there.
On 20 minutes, Elsnik’s corner from the left back to him, he crossed in again and Walker knocked over the bar from close range. Elsnik powered to the edge of the box a minute later and his shot was blocked.
Good defending by Hamilton tracking back on 23 minutes.
Mellis had a powerful low shot well-saved on 24 minutes. It was heading just inside the near post.
On 26 minutes, Mellis’s corner from the left reached Sweeney beyond the far post. Sweeney actually had the goal gaping, but pulled back across the area, and it was cleared.
At the other end, a rare chance for Grimsby on 30 minutes as Thomas headed Pringle’s corner goalwards and his own player turned it wide almost from the goalline.
On 34 minutes, a low ball across the corridor of uncertainty from Cook which Thomas just missed in the middle.
Grimsby took the lead on 36 minutes following a throw-in that was awarded to Grimsby after a foul throw by Matt Preston. The throw-in from Hendrie found Wes Thomas, who turned Krystian Pearce and played a low ball across, underneath Bobby Olejnik towards the far post where it was turned into his own net by Mal Benning. Hard to tell whether it was going wide, it probably was, just, so it is an own goal for Benning. Poor all round from Mansfield, though credit to Thomas for his turn.
On 38 minutes, Elsnik forced a good save from the keeper with a low toe-poke from the edge of the area. Walker shot wide of the right post from 20 yards a minute later. A minute after that, Benning crossed from the left and Walker headed well wide.
Elsnik then created a chance for Walker on 45 minutes, Walker turned well but shot wide.
On 45+2 minutes, Sweeney headed over from a Mellis free kick from the right.
A frustrating scoreline at the break with the Stags 1-0 down despite creating plenty of clearcut chances.
Half time 0-1
Two changes at the break: Davies for Elsnik, White for Preston. And the Stags changed shape to four at the back, for the third game in a row at half time. It was a 4-2-4 formation, throwing everything at Grimsby. White was at right back. The 4 up front was Walker (right), Rose and Davies (middle), Hamilton (left).Grimsby now had the wind behind them and it was stronger than at the start of the game.
On 46 minutes, a free kick from Mellis skimmed off the top of Sweeney’s head and well wide. On 49 minutes, a brilliant long ball forward from Mellis into the path of Davies who momentarily had a chance to shoot but delayed, and then his lay-off was cleared.
Hamilton did well to get to the byline but with Rose in space his pullback was blocked from a corner, which led to the Stags scoring.
The Stags were level on 50 minutes. Mellis’s corner from the left was cleared to Benning, who fed the ball back to Mellis, who whipped in a sensational cross that Walker met with a flying volley into the net from 6 yards.
On 52 minutes, Mellis laid a wonderful ball forward to Davies whose shot from the edge of the area was deflected just wide.
At the other end a great tackle by Pearce on Thomas on 54 minutes.
Brilliant from Mellis again on 60 minutes, as he chipped a ball forward to Davies, Davies got forward to the edge of the area and curled a shot wide of the right post.
On 64 minutes, with Olejnik slightly off his line, Hendrie tried an ambitious high lob from 35 yards which landed on the roof of the net.
On 69 minutes, Walker had a shot deflected just wide from 22 yards. From the resulting corner by Mellis, Sweeney headed over the bar.
A great run from Hamilton on 73 minutes, but a poor cross.
Great football from the Stags around the area on 78 minutes, culminating in a great cross from Mellis and Rose headed against the top of the bar.
White was booked for a late tackle on 80 minutes. A bit harsh.
Jordan Graham replaced Rose on 80 minutes.
The winning goal, on 82 minutes, was just as good as the first goal as CJ Hamilton skinned his full back on the left and put in a perfect ball from the byline to the far post where Walker got away from his marker to head in from 5 yards. There were great celebrations.
On 86 minutes, Davies headed inside to Walker whose low shot was well saved.
A good block by Hamilton at the back on 88 minutes.
On 90 minutes, great play by Hamilton breaking into the area after a good lay-off from Davies, and Hamilton’s shot was well blocked by Collins.
Moments later, great play from Walker to set up sub Jordan Graham whose fine flick was brilliantly saved by the keeper as it was heading just inside the far post. A super effort from Graham.
With the final kick of the game, Walker volleyed wide from 22 yards. And with that the referee blew the final whistle.
Grimsby didn’t register a serious effort on or off target in the second half, though it was still nervy with the Stags looking for victory. What a performance from James McKeown in the Grimsby goal who pulled off several outstanding saves on the night to keep the score down. Overall a dominant performance from Mansfield and a well-deserved win.
The Stags have now played Sat-Tues-Sat-Tues-Sat-Tues in the league, drawing all three Saturday games and winning all three Tuesday games.
Man of the match: Jacob Mellis
Report by: Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill
Olejnik 6 Didn’t have a single shot to save apart from the goal.
Preston 6 One great block. His foul throw indirectly led to the Grimsby goal. Subbed at half time.
Pearce 6 One great tackle. Was turned by Thomas for the Grimsby goal.
Sweeney 6 Had four efforts at goal, none on target.
Hamilton 8 Some great runs in the second half on the left, culminating in that fabulous cross for the second goal. At least three good pieces of defending.
Mellis 9.5 Sensational especially in the second half and really got the Stags firing on all cylinders. What a cross for the first goal!
Bishop 7 Good game.
Elsnik 7 Created a couple of chances, and forced a good save from the keeper. Sacrificed at half time.
Benning 7 One bad ball giving the ball away. Otherwise a decent game, mostly pushing forward.
Walker 8 Two goal hero again. 5 goals in the last 3 games, and 12 for the season in all competitions. Ten efforts on goal, including his two goals.
Rose 6 Missed a great chance early on, and headed against the bar in the second half. Great pull back for Walker’s early chance.
Sub Line Up:
Davies (for Elsnik, 46 mins) 6 A couple of shots wide. Some good lay-offs.
White (for Preston, 46 mins) 6 Did ok at right back.
Graham (for Rose, 80 mins) - Super effort in the final minute, well saved.
Subs not used: Logan, Atkinson, Butcher Alistair Smith.
Opposition Line Up:
(4-4-1-1) McKeown; Hall-Johnson, Famewo, Collins, Hendrie; Mitch Rose, Hessenthaler, Woolford (A. Rose 83) Cook (Vernam 71); Pringle (Embleton 63); Thomas. Subs not used: Dixon, Welsh, Clifton, Russell.
Keith Stroud 7 Reffed his first Stags game since 2007. Handled the game well.